Wrestling: Marist advances to state quarterfinals
By Logan Malloy For Sun-Times Media February 25, 2014 9:18PM
Nick Lukanich, of Marist, locks up Lyons' Tyler Zeman in the 120 pound match for the Dual Team Sectional at Marist, Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 in Chicago | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 26, 2014 2:58PM
Marist’s Mike Mullaney wasn’t pleased with the way his Senior Night ended in January. It’s fortunate that he can remember it at all.
“I got dropped on my head three times and had to injury default out,” Mullaney said.
Lucky for him, that wouldn’t be the last match he’d wrestle in front of his home crowd.
Mullaney, an individual state qualifier, earned a do-over against Lyons in Tuesday’s dual team sectional. He couldn’t have gone out much better, securing a pin in 78 seconds as Marist seized a 35-28 victory to advance to the state quarterfinals.
“I thought my last time wrestling here was going to be (Senior Night),” said Mullaney, who competed at 132 pounds. “So coming back, I wasn’t going to let it be a loss. I went out there knowing I had to get stuff done for my team, and that’s what I did.”
Mullaney and Co. will meet Lincoln-Way Central in a state quarterfinal at 9 a.m. Saturday at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington.
“We’ve been waiting for this for two years,” Marist senior Peter Andreotti said after bumping up to 170. “The last time we did this was my freshman year. We went out there and had fun, and I think we did it the right way. We wrestled hard.”
Andreotti and Alex Benoit, third-place finishers in state at 160 and 182, respectively, secured back-to-back technical falls as Marist took a 35-12 lead with three matches to go.
“We’re all psyched up for this, having fun and letting loose,” Benoit said. “It’s the best time of the year. It’s really fun being with the team and wrestling for your teammates.”
Nick Lukanich (120), Andy O’Brien (126) Ameen Hamden (138), Nick Gasbarro (152) and Jakada Hull (160) added victories for the RedHawks.
Johnny Mologousis, Lyons’ lone state qualifier, stunned Marist’s 138-pound state finalist Mario Leveille in the final seconds of their 145-pound bout. Leveille controlled the action most of the way until Mologousis took Leveille’s back for two points in the waning seconds.
“I ended my freshman year on a good note,” Mologousis said. “I tied the record for most wins on the varsity for a freshman. This win will definitely boost my mind-set for next year.”
Zach Villarreal (113) and Nick Caldwell (195) garnered wins for Lyons, which also benefited from three forfeits.
Marist’s Mark Duda, a three-time state medalist, was suspended from action Tuesday in the wake of an outburst at the individual state tournament. After dropping a semifinal to eventual runner-up Steve Polakowski, of Libertyville, Duda launched his head gear at the Libertyville fans and added an obscene gesture.
“Whatever happened, happened,” Duda said. “I’m looking forward to Saturday now.”
Duda said he was provoked by profanities. He didn’t sit on Marist’s bench during the contest.