Knights grab 5th on NIB-12 mat
Photo: Sonny Horn, wrestling at 138 pounds, fights hard against his Sycamore opponent at the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference Tourney on Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk
Kaneland’s 145-pound entry, Dan Goress, wins NIB-12 bracket
by Mike Slodki
SYCAMORE—Seeing what the rest of the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference can offer provides a nice opportunity.
For Kaneland, it gave a chance to see how many points it could collect.
The Knights put up a nice showing on Saturday at Sycamore High School, collecting 133 points, good for fifth place.
A scoring error shuffled some places and was corrected on Tuesday. Kaneland originally was tied for fourth with DeKalb, and Sycamore was crowned original winner.
After the modifications, Yorkville (218), Sycamore (216) and Geneseo (154.5) took the top three spots. DeKalb took fourth at 141.5.
LaSalle-Peru (108), Morris (93) and Sterling (88) took sixth through eighth.
Rounding out the lower tier were Ottawa with 84, Streator with 60, Rochelle with 46 and Dixon with 22.
Dan Goress (30-3), at 145 pounds, emerged as the NIB-12 champ in his bracket with a 2:28 pin of Sycamore’s Dylan Foster.
It was a nice honor for Goress at the tail-end of regular season action, with the team anchor having used his penchant for tech falls and major decisions quite well.
“They’re just as important, but from a personal standpoint, it’s toughness,” Goress said. “It’s getting a workout out of it and just physically breaking your opponent more than just going out there and pinning them. It’s about getting in their head.”
Kaneland got going with a third-place nod for Stephen Gust at 113 pounds.
Gust (25-7) took the honor by 3-0 decision over Yorkville’s Dan Cikauskas.
Gust, no stranger to late-season competition, planned to use Saturday to its fullest.
“It’s kind of like a gauge to see what you can do in regionals, because regionals are tough, obviously,” Gust said.
At 120 pounds, Connor Williams (22-5) made it to the finals before dropping a 9-0 major decision to Morris’ Kenny Baldridge.
At 132 pounds, Esai Ponce (25-4) took second, his lone defeat at the hands of DeKalb’s Doug Johnson with 11 seconds left in the match.
Nick Sharp (25-10) was given fourth overall at 220 pounds after making it to the third-place match, defeated by Streator’s Isaias Macias in 4-0 fashion.
Zach Theis (22-5) earned second place, losing only to Sterling’s Curtis Lilly, 2-1, in the final.
Kaneland heads to Batavia for a meet with an old rival on Friday, Jan. 25.