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Wrestling: Minooka too strong for Waubonsie Valley

Updated: February 19, 2013 11:22PM

With the trials and tribulations Minooka’s wrestling team endured this season, earning a fifth consecutive berth at the dual team state finals was extra sweet Tuesday.

The Indians suffered injuries among other factors that forced them to struggle to get their full lineup together all season.

But on Tuesday, Minooka easily handled Waubonsie Valley 48-9 in the Class 3A sectional at Oswego East. The Indians will face Marmion at 11 a.m. at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington in the state quarterfinals Saturday.

“The regional team was the first time all year that we had our whole team on the mat for a competition,” Minooka coach Jeff Charlebois said. “For what we’ve been through as a team, we took some bad losses as a team; we had some bad losses as individuals. It took us a long time to put it together. The fact that we were able to get to the Elite Eight is just great.”

The meet started at 285 pounds, and that suited Minooka (14-7) just fine. The Indians won the first five matches to take a 24-0 lead. David Neuman (285) and KJ Minor (106) started the meet off with pins, followed by major decisions from Andrew Potts (113), Shane Mart (120) and Danny Ruettiger (126).

“Neuman started off well,” said Corbett Oughton, Minooka’s 152-pound wrestler. “We pulled off wins in a row all the way up to 132. That’s awesome when you can get a lead like that because guys can just go out there and wrestle and not worry about the team score so much.”

Waubonsie got its first win of the night at 132 as Jimmy Davis earned a pin. But Mike McNulty picked up a 4-1 decision over state qualifier Howard Beatty at 138, and freshman Carson Oughton ground out a 1-0 win at 145 in advance of a technical fall from Corbett Oughton to put Minooka in command.

That put Waubonsie in a position where it had to win the final five matches by way of pin to pull off the comeback. The Warriors lone win the rest of the way came from senior Anthony Touchstone at 220 in the meet’s final match, however.

“We certainly got a lesson tonight on what it means to get to that next step,” Waubonsie coach Brad Caldwell said. “We did have a great season. We got the two goals we wanted. We got the conference championship and we got the regional championship. Of course we would have liked to have performed better tonight. It was kind of an eye-opening experience. First time the kids got to be in this situation. Hopefully next year we can get back and make it a little better.”

Meanwhile, Minooka is focusing on bringing home a state medal from Bloomington this weekend.

“They’re a good team, don’t get me wrong, but we’re a good team also,” Corbett Oughton said. “We just need to have a couple more good practices this week and just wrestle our butts off Saturday.”

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