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Plano conference title written in stone with Derrick Maisonet

01/25/2014, 6:17pm CST
By Kevin McGavin

Derrick Maisonet, the defending Class 1A state champion at 220 pounds, extended his season-long winning streak for Plano to 36 matches at his newfound weight of 195 by winning the Interstate Eight wrestling tournament.

Derrick Maisonet needed only 31 seconds of the second period to defend his Interstate Eight wrestling tournament championship.

Maisonet, the defending Class 1A state champion at 220 pounds, extended his season-long winning streak for Plano to 36 matches at his newfound weight of 195.

“Every point counts,” Maisonet said after terminating his championship match against Peotone junior Tom Ruffino early in the second period with a fall. “That (pin) felt nice. (Winning the team title) would make me and my teammates feel a heck of a lot better.”

Sandwich, the host school, defeated the Reapers by double digits en route to running the table in the regular-season dual matches.

But Maisonet was one of four individual champions as Plano turned back the host Indians — who crowned two winners — 177-166 Saturday afternoon in Sandwich.

Traditional power Wilmington was a distant third, followed by Coal City, Herscher, Lisle, Peotone, Dwight, Seneca, Manteno, Reed Custer and Westmont.

Plano heavyweight Junior Nunez denied Westmont sophomore Anthony Griffins 4-2 in the final match to clinch the Reapers’ conference tournament title.

“We should have beat (Sandwich) in the dual,” Plano coach Joe Kamps said. “You have to peak at the right time. I feel good about (our chances in the state series).”

Zach Tomac was awarded the title at 152 for Plano when Wilmington senior Andrew Liaromatis suffered a knee injury in the championship match.

Wes Brown then did irreparable damage to the Indians’ hopes for a team championship at 160 with a 10-6 win over Sandwich senior Rigo Faire one match later.

“That was nice,” Kamps said of the simple decision.

Sandwich freshman Tommy Dale began the season on the lower levels.

“I had a senior in front of me,” Dale said of Dan Emma, who dropped the 113-pound championship to Coal City junior Cody Minnick.

Minnick improved to 34-1 with his 8-4 verdict.

Dale whitewashed Lisle senior Brandon Vega 8-0 to earn the first of the Indians’ two championships.

Patrick Crothers’ 7-0 victory over Wilmington senior Casey Grskovic was the Indians’ second individual championship. The 138-pounder also won his 30th match of the season.

But his ultimate wish did not materialize.

“I’m hoping that we win this tournament,” the Sandwich senior said. “I definitely wrestled well. I came in and did my best.”

Sage Friese, a Seneca junior, and Coal City senior Casey Brown are both reigning state runners-up.

The duo combined for their fifth career conference championships with respective wins at 126 and 132.

“Rankings don’t mean anything,” said Friese, who holds the distinction of being the top-rated 1A competitor.

“(This championship) is to get me ready for the regional and sectional,” Brown said.

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