Abe’s Rumble: Lena-Winslow, Wilmington, Clifton Central, Mercer County start off 4-0

By ROB SHERRILL
Illinois Matmen

The morning rotation of the inaugural Abe’s Rumble saw three top-six teams, No. 2 Lena-Winslow/Stockton, No. 4 Wilmington and No. 6 Clifton Central, roll through pool competition with 4-0 records. So did No. 18 Mercer County. Here’s a rundown of what happened in each.

Pool A: L-W/S prevailed in Pool A with victories of 77-0 over Hoopeston Area, 49-27 over Petersburg PORTA, 74-6 over Benton and 54-16 over Chicago Hope Academy.

Austin Vincent (113-120), Winston McPeek (126), Jeremiah Hermann (138), Peyton Keeffer (145), Rahveon Valentine (170), Elijah Rowe (182) and Ian Kuehl (285) all went 4-0 for the Panthers. Vincent’s wins included a 5-0 decision over Ezra Elliott of Hoopeston Area as returning state placewinners met. Elliott moved up from 106 for the match.

Although Hope Academy won just three matches against L-W/S, one of them was Jedidiah Willis’s 15-3 major decision over three-time state qualifier Kyle Kalkbrenner at 160, which got the Eagles on the board after falling behind 24-0.

Some other individual highlights: the top two 132-pounders met, with two-time state runnerup Trey Hild of PORTA scoring a 13-8 victory over Oliver Davis of Benton as the Bluejays beat the Rangers, 62-9. It was a rough morning for Davis, who also lost to Keeffer, 10-5 at 145. Hild also beat L-W/S placewinner Hunter Luke, 9-5.

Pool B: A 41-30 victory over No. 5 Vandalia in the third round helped Mercer County earn its 4-0 record. The Eagles also beat Pittsfield, 60-21, Seneca, 54-20 and Heyworth, 57-21.

Two-time state placewinner Stone Engle (126) went 4-0 for the Eagles, edging Jarrett Paslay of Vandalia, 5-4 and pinning Andrew Sims of Heyworth. Sims also dropped a 5-4 decision to Vandalia state placewinner Tanner Swain. Ethan Adolphson (138), Tanner Barnhouse (145), Steven Speaker II (170-182), Justin Carey (182-195) and Robbie Carey (195-220) also went 4-0.

Anthony Enlow, Vandalia’s freshman heavyweight, pinned all four opponents, three in the first period.

Pool C: Wilmington was pushed only by Belleville Althoff, 39-31 in the second round. The Wildcats also beat Normal University, 58-18, Morrison, 48-28 and West Frankfort, 60-22.

With Danny Braunagel scoring a technical fall over Nick Pretto at 152, the Crusaders built a 28-18 lead, but Wilmington followed Jesse Cox’s decision at 182 with consecutive pins by James Cox (195), Sam Jones (220) and Josh Jones (285) to rally for the win.

Corbin Hunt (113), James Cox and Sam Jones all were 4-0 for the Wildcats.

That loss dropped Althoff to an 0-2 start. In the first round, They tied Morrison 36-36, with the Mustangs winning on most first points scored. Morrison’s Joe Eads pinned Max Kristoff in a matchup of state placewinners at 132 and Morrison scored pins at 195, 220 and 285 to earn the win.

Pool D: Clifton Central’s closest match came in a 48-32 victory over LeRoy/Tri-Valley in the second round. The Comets also beat Quincy Notre Dame, 66-15, Carlinville, 66-18 and Shelbyville, 51-27.

David Patel (106), Dane Thorne (120), Thomas Konetski (126), Ben Schafer (182), Justin Coggins (195) and Josh Smith (220-285) all were 4-0 for the Comets.

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