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Wrestling: Mount Carmel, Brother Rice shine in triangular

Updated: January 14, 2014 12:23PM



A pair of returning state champs were the undoubted headliners Wednesday night at Brother Rice, and they continued to live up to their billing.

Mount Carmel senior Bryce Brill, a two-time state champion headed to Northwestern, topped Metea Valley’s Kenan Carter by technical fall at 152 pounds. Carter recently conquered the 20-team Conant Invitational but couldn’t keep up with Brill’s blend of speed and power.

“It’s my senior year, so there really isn’t much to worry about,” Brill said. “I’m just going to go out there and score as many points as possible and try to put on a show.”

Meanwhile, Brother Rice sophomore Rudy Yates continued his unbeaten career with a technical fall over Metea Valley’s Axl Ariza and a fall over Mount Carmel’s Jack Mulay at 113. Yates was the Class 3A unbeaten state champ at 106 last season.

“I’m fat and happy at 113,” Yates said. “(The) 106 (weight class) was a little too tough of a cut.”

Brother Rice and Mount Carmel downed Metea Valley 43-26 and 58-6, respectively, before meeting in the finale. That turned into a back-and-forth dual that featured seven lead changes before Mount Carmel emerged a 39-26 winner.

The teams started at 182 and traded victories before the Caravan received a pin from heavyweight Mathew Reyes, followed by a technical fall from explosive 106-pounder Yahya Thomas for a 14-10 advantage.

The lead continued to alternate over the next four matches as Jake Tucker (132) garnered a pin to give Mount Carmel a 23-19 lead. Rice’s Juan Blanco (138) used a major decision to tie the session with four matches to go.

The Crusaders’ Paul Balich (145) continued his undefeated season with a 4-1 decision to put Rice back on top, but that was the last advantage the hosts would take.

“That was my first match that went to decision,” Balich said after improving to 9-0.

The Caravan followed with Brill’s win before David Rojas scored a major decision at 160 as Mount Carmel walked away with the final verdict.

“All of our football players are just getting back into it,” Brill said. “There are still a couple of guys that have to move around weight, but overall, I think we’re looking really tough.”



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