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JCA tops Lincoln-Way East to advance to IHSA Class 3A Dual Team finals – Shaw Local

DOWNERS GROVE — Both teams were in a Class 3A dual team sectional for the first time Tuesday night when Joliet Catholic Academy took on Lincoln-Way East.

JCA’s experience from the last two seasons, when it finished first and second in Class 2A, showed itself and the Hilltoppers came away with a 46-18 victory. The win puts JCA in the Class 3A quarterfinals Friday at Bloomington’s Grossinger Motors Arena against Chicago Mt. Carmel, which defeated Marmion Academy 70-5.

In one of the most exciting matches of the night, JCA’s Adante Washington got a reversal against Lincoln-Way East’s Kaidge Richardson with 30 seconds left in the third period to secure a 6-4 victory and push the Hilltoppers’ lead out to 33-9.

“This team is really good,” Washington said. “We are always striving to get any extra points. Even if someone loses, we don’t stress about it. Everyone always keeps battling for the extra takedown, the extra back points or the extra pin.

“We all want to win and get points for the team.”

The match started at 175, and Lincoln-Way East got out to a 3-0 lead when Jackson Zaeske beat Isaac Clauson, 5-2. JCA’s Nico Ronchetti pinned Isaiah Williams in 3:10 in the 190-pound bout and East’s Caden O’Rourke returned the favor by pinning Max Hrvatin in 2:00 to put the Griffins ahead 9-6.

JCA then won the next six matches, starting when four-time state champion Dillan Johnson got a pin over Gage LaDere in 1:44. Luke Foster followed with a pin in 1:33 over Gabe Matariyeh at 106 before Max Cumbee won by fall in 3:41 over JT Theis. Jason Hampton then scored a pin over Zach Miller in 4:48 at 120 before Washington’s win over Richardson at 126.

Joliet Catholic’s Connor Cumbee works over Lincoln-Way East’s Domanic Abeja in the Class 3A dual team sectional at Downers Grove South High School on Tuesday, Feb. 20th 2024.

“We certainly didn’t overlook Lincoln-Way East,” JCA coach Ryan Cumbee said. “They are a tough team. I coached some of their kids in grade school, so I knew they would be tough. We knew we would have to perform well, and we did.

“Adante Washington has been growing up in front of all of our eyes. He wanted to be our 113-pounder, but we have a pretty good one there [Max Cumbee, who finished 5th at last weekend’s individual state tournament] and a pretty good one at 120 [Hampton, who finished 2nd]. So, he’s kind of undersized at 126, but he has a giant heart.

“He just loves to win, and you can see that. He is actually eating right now in order to put on weight, which doesn’t happen much at this time of year.”

After Kevin Byrne of East pinned Aurelio Munoz in 1:24 at 144, Connor Cumbee picked up a 3-2 win over Domanic Abeja at 150 for a 39-18 JCA lead.

“The competition we go against all season helps,” Connor Cumbee said. “We pretty much do a national schedule, so we are battle-tested. It’s like practicing the shot put with a heavy shot in practice, then throwing the regular shot in the meet. It’s easier.

“We have gone up against some of the best competition in the country. We train to wrestle a full six minutes, or more if we have to go overtime.”

Lincoln-Way East’s Kevin Byrne flexs after his pin against Joliet Catholic’s Aurelio Munoz in the Class 3A dual team sectional at Downers Grove South High School on Tuesday, Feb. 20th 2024.

Lincoln-Way East coach Kevin Rockett was pleased with his team’s showing in its first Class 3A sectional.

“It was exciting to be here,” he said. “I am proud of what this team accomplished. We won our first 3A regional title for our school. We came here to win the sectional, but JCA is a great program. We had a few tight matches, and if we win a couple of those, it might be a different match.

“But, this is all great experience for the kids that are coming back. It’s a stepping stone to where we want to be.”

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The post JCA tops Lincoln-Way East to advance to IHSA Class 3A Dual Team finals – Shaw Local appeared first on Breaking News in USA Today.

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