Stellar start, poor finish
La PORTE — After six matches, La Porte’s wrestling team was in an advantageous position. It led 26-10 and had already racked up three pins and a tech fall.
From there, though, visiting Lake Central flexed its collective muscles. As a result, the Slicers got outscored 39-0 the remainder of Wednesday night, including allowing four pins and taking three forfeits.
It resulted in a 49-26 Duneland Athletic Conference setback to the Indians on La Porte’s Senior Night.
“We knew going in we were giving up big points as far as forfeits,” Slicers coach Louie Kuzdas said. “We’ve got some injuries. We’ve got some sickness. This is the time of year when we want to try and avoid that at all costs.”
La Porte (14-9, 2-3 DAC) had forfeits at 170, 106 and 113 pounds.
Still, most of those occurred late in the meet. And the Slicers began the night by winning five of the first six matches. That allowed them to build a 16-point cushion.
La Porte’s Tyson Nisley started it by cruising to a tech fall, 16-1, over Cristian Ponce in the 138-pound weight class.
Two matches later, Skyler Querry tallied a pin at 152 pounds in the opening period over Aidan Alonso of the Indians (10-4, 3-2 DAC).
The Slicers’ Matt Neff followed by recording a 7-1 decision against Mason Skrezyna in the 160-pound weight class.
Two matches later, La Porte’s Noah Perez quickly dispatched Michael DeGrado Jr. by pin a little over a minute into his contest at 182 pounds.
Jaden Browder closed the Slicers’ scoring spurt with a pin 23 seconds into the third period. The sophomore outlasted Lake Central’s Sir Felix Garcia after their match was tied 6-6 in the third and final period. Browder rallied after he trailed 6-4 after the second. That gave La Porte the aforementioned 26-10 advantage.
“The kids that were out there battling did well,” Kuzdas said. “The ones we expected to win won. We got some of our younger kids out there against some of their tougher kids. It’s the whole mentality of ‘Don’t give up, keep fighting.’”
Kuzdas added he was especially pleased with Browder’s performance.
“Jaden Browder stuck in there and when he got the opportunity to finish the match, 4:23 with a fall, that’s huge,” Kuzdas said. “Tyson Nisley did a nice job. He ended up with a tech fall right off the bat. That started the ball rolling. And then, we got into probably the more solid area of our squad, which is right there between 152 to 182 or 195.”
La Porte wrestler Cameron Piotrowski wasn’t at this meet. His mother, Debra Piotrowski, passed away over the weekend.
There was a moment of silence before the meet for her passing.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” Kuzdas said. “He’s a kid who gives us 110 percent, gives us everything he has. And we just want to be there for him.”
In addition to Cameron Piotrowski, Slicer heavyweight Nico Torres missed this meet with a knee injury. Kuzdas said it’s questionable how long Torres will be out.
Sebastian Schnick filled in and got pinned by the Indians’ Nick Garcia.
At 220, La Porte’s Will Stone lost a difficult decision, 1-0, to Eddie Alonso.
Prior to the meet, the Slicers’ seniors were recognized with their parents.
La Porte’s junior varsity dropped a 39-24 decision.
Lake Central 49, La Porte 26
The Slicers’ Skyler Querry, Noah Perez and Jaden Browder all posted pins, and Tyson Nisley recorded a tech fall.