STREATOR — The Sandwich Indians picked up a pair of conference victories, while the host Streator Bulldogs won six of the eight varsity matches they fielded entries in during an Interstate Eight Conference quadrangular held here Thursday evening at Pops Dale Gymnasium.
Sandwich defeated first Streator, 60-15, and then Wilmington, 37-22, to improve to 4-2 on the season and 2-0 in the I-8. Lisle scored a last-bout pinfall to edge Wilmington 39-35 in its opening match, then used the 10 forfeits Streator was surrendering to best the Bulldogs 60-17.
For Streator, Rafael Pantoja at 106 pounds and Logan Christensen at 170 each won both of their individual matches. Pantoja handled Sandwich's Evan Fraser for a 9-2 decision and scored a 20-4 technical fall in the second period over Lisle's Brady Collins. Christensen, meanwhile, got both of Streator's matches off to good starts with first-period pinfall victories — in 1:48 against Sandwich's Mason Kellogg and 0:19 over Lisle's Jonathan Sears.
"We don't really have very many guys," Christensen said, "but at practice all the guys just put forth all the effort that they have. Everybody we do have works really hard, and our captain, Alex Granados, motivates everybody. We all do our best and push everybody to the limit."
Granados (285) with a pinfall win in 1:05 over Sandwich and Josh Carter (138) with a second-period pin in 2:35 against Lisle were the Bulldogs' other two victories.
The three losses against Streator and a handful of early defeats facing Wilmington were about the only blemishes suffered by the Indians on this night, with six Sandwich grapplers — Wyatt Murphy (182), Eddie Brown (152), a returning-from-illness Dylan Limon (145), Cael Schindlbeck (138), Braulio Flores (132) and Aiden Linden (126) — each enjoying a two-victory night.
Of them, only Cael Schindlbeck scored both his wins on the mat, pinning Streator's Carter with two seconds remaining in the first period of their match before outlasting Wilmington's Landon Flynn for a down-to-the-wire, 14-11 decision.
"I knew I was getting a little sloppy in that first match," said Schindlbeck, "but I managed to get the pin. The second match (against Flynn) that sloppiness kind of carried over, but I still got the win. It was close. I was getting so tired, but I stuck with it.
"We had a lot of close matches tonight."
Wyatt Murphy with a pin at 1:20, Oryan Lawlor (285) breaking a scoreless bout with 50 seconds left to notch a 2-0 decision, Fraser (106) with an 11-1 major decision, Linden with a clutch takedown with three seconds remaining to stun No. 6 in Class 1A Jack Narine with a 3-2 decision, Flores with a second-period pin at 2:54, Limon via a pin in 51 seconds, Brown with a 9-5 decisioning and Jackson Murphy (160) with a 10-3 decision accounted for Sandwich's other victories, facilitating a come-from-behind win over Wilmington after the Indians trailed 22-13 through eight weight classes.
Linden's victory over Narine — a state medalist last winter — was the Indians' most dramatic, starting a stretch of six straight wins as Sandwich transformed a 22-13 deficit into a 37-22 triumph.
"He had his underhook on," Linden said, "I had an overhook, and I felt him go off-balance. I tripped the leg, and he went right over. My coach was yelling, 'Short time!' and I knew I had to do something because I was trailing 2-1, so I just did what I was taught."
If Linden's win was the most exciting, Limon's pin of Clayton VanDuyne was the most eye-catching. The Sandwich 145-pounder trailed 5-2 midway through the opening period when he caught VanDuyne and scored a fall out of nowhere, hooking his Wilmington counterpart and pinning VanDuyne's shoulder to the mat with his legs sticking straight up toward the ceiling.
"I knew, considering his length, as soon as he put the legs in he was going to be super high," Limon said. "So I knew to sit under the leg and push it up and lean back, and he would either come forward or go back, and I could play with his weight, do what I could.
"It worked out in my favor."
Wyatt Murphy's win gave the Indians their first points in an eventual win over the Wildcats.
"I feel like we're just building as a team," he said, "trying to get to the point to beat the best teams in the conference, like Coal City. We have a really hard-working team."