Neuqua's Connor Swier (bottom) and Bradley-Bourbonnais' Mason Delonge compete in the 182-pound match during the Neuqua Valley Mega Dual. | Mike Mantucca / For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 20, 2014 6:52AM
Glenbard North has pair of wrestlers ranked up high in Jered Cortez and Jon Marmolejo, but a dual meet’s heroes aren’t always necessarily a team’s best wrestlers.
“Kirk Johansen and Luke Greenberg,” Cortez said after the Panthers won 32-26 over Lockport on Saturday. “We had a lot of guys like them step up and not give up pins to (Lockport’s) studs, and then we got bonus points where we needed to.”
The Panthers earned an 8-6 edge in matches won against the Porters, and won three duals at the mega-dual tournament at Neuqua Valley. North also won 54-21 over the host Wildcats and 39-15 over Plainfield Central.
Johansen held Porter Brian Rossi to a major decision win at 113 and Greenberg did the same at 220 to Tyler Johnson, who bumped up from 195 pounds. Both Rossi and Johnson are ranked No. 1 in their weight classes by Illinois Matmen.
Two days after beating conference rival No. 9 Carl Sandburg, Lockport went 2-1 Saturday, with a 52-19 win over Bradley-Bourbonnais and 39-21 win over Metea Valley.
Starting 138-pounder Dom Naso suffered an arm injury in the win over Bradley-Bourbonnais and did not wrestle for the Porters against Glenbard North, but Porters coach Josh Oster wasn’t making any excuses.
“There were a lot of matchups where they’re good and we’re good,” Oster said. “Dom getting hurt sort of put a damper on the proceedings, but Glenbard North picked up points where they needed to and we didn’t.”
Top-ranked three-time state champion Cortez won a 9-0 major over third-ranked Dan Radcliffe at 132 pounds, while second-ranked Marmolejo majored third-ranked Shayne Oster at 126.
After Rossi’s win, Glenbard North took an 18-4 lead thanks to a tech fall win from Patrick Augustyn (120), majors from Cortez and Marmolejo, and a pin from Phil Partipilo (138).
Lockport won five of the next seven bouts to take a 26-25 lead with two matches left to wrestle, including pins from Trevell Timmons (145) and Vince Dietz (160), and decision wins from Demetre Smith (182) and Malek Qandil (195).
But North heavyweight Chris Edwards posted a 7-2 decision over the Porter’s Dillon Blankenship and Austin Gomez secured the win for at 106 with a major decision over Abdullah Assaf, for a North program seeking its seventh consecutive appearance at Illinois’ team dual state finals.
“The post-season is a week away, our bodies are beat up, and we’re in the hardest training cycle right now,” Cortez said. “But that’s coach (Mark) Hahn’s system and it works. You just have to trust in it, and we do.”