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Wrestling: Ten locals advance to semifinals

Tunink, Quintana, Meenen and Farnham still alive for titles

OREGON – It was West Carroll co-op’s Ethen Doty, Newman’s Kyle Tunink, and Dixon’s Sebastian Quintana leading the way among the nine area wrestlers advancing to Saturday’s semifinals of the Class 1A Oregon Sectional at the Blackhawk Center.

Each had early pins in the quarterfinal round, cementing their status as major contenders for state titles.

“I wanted to get on and off the mat as soon as possible and save myself for Saturday,” said the 39-1 Tunink, who dispatched Keldon McCombie (34-13) of West Carroll in 1:29.

Doty (35-2) only needed 1:18 for his pin at 132 pounds. Quintana went into the second period with a fall in 2:32.

“Sebastian’s looking good,” Dixon coach Chris Bishop said. “His real test will come a week from now.”

West Carroll was the only local to have more than one semifinalist, with Camren Simpson (38-6) joining Doty by pinning his way to a berth at 182.

At 138, Rock Falls’ Adam Meenen was tied 4-4 in the third period with 27-3 Luke Bennett of Genoa-Kingston. Meenen then scored a takedown and quickly put Bennett to his back for a pin.

“Once I got the takedown, I knew I would finish it,” said the 41-5 Rocket senior.

Morrison’s Colton Linke (41-2) completely dominated his 126-pound quarterfinal foe in a 16-4 major decision. Another impressive mat performance was Erie-Prophetstown’s Jase Grunder (37-9) scoring a third-period pin at 120.

“In the semis, he faces a kid from Dakota that beat him 7-6, but Jace gave up five back points early. I like his chances Saturday,” E-P coach Tod McCullough said.

The two closest matches were a 7-4 decision at 285 by Nate Portz (23-8) of Fulton and a 160-pound come-from-behind win by Marcus McKenna (35-4) of the Polo co-op.

McKenna trailed 2-1 in the third period before rallying for a takedown and pin at the 5:50 mark.

“He got up front and tried to throw me, and I countered it for a pin,” said McKenna, a Milledgeville senior.

Chris Sitter (106) and Hakeem Banks (126) of Dixon lost their quarterfinal bouts, with Banks having to face 42-0 Nik Jimenez of Harvard, one of four undefeated wrestlers at Oregon.

“The kid from Harvard took great shots and took control of the match,” Bishop said.

A possible Linke vs. Jimenez match could be for the 126-pound title.

Devin Parker of Rock Falls won his first match, but lost in the 160 quarters, as did Tyler Smith (170) of E-P and Eli Dertz (220) of West Carroll.

2A Rochelle Sectional

Farnham into semifinals: Sterling 220-pounder Jason Farnham Jr. was the only Golden Warrior to advance to the semifinals Friday night at the Rochelle Sectional.

Farnham took advantage of his first-round bye as a regional champion, and defeated Aurora Christian’s Angel Jaimes 5-0 in the quarterfinals.

Drew Kested (132 pounds), Julian Rodriguez (152) and Nick Simester (170) all won their first-round bouts before falling in the quarterfinals. They will join Mauricio Garcia (145) and Alejandro Arellano (195), who both lost in the first round, in the wrestlebacks.

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