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High school notebook: Bulldogs dominate wrestling regional

Valparaiso's Max Buckley Crown Point's Josh Fuqugrapple 126 pound championship match during wrestling regional Saturday Crown Point. | Scott R.

Valparaiso's Max Buckley and Crown Point's Josh Fuqua grapple in the 126 pound championship match during the wrestling regional on Saturday, in Crown Point. | Scott R. Brandush~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 5, 2013 6:31AM



Crown Point wrestling coach Scott Vlink managed a sly smile while talking with reporters after his Bulldogs cruised to the wrestling team title at Saturday’s Crown Point Regional.

“Everybody thought we were going to be a little down this year — that we were done,” Vlink said. “All of our hammers looked like hammers. They all turned it on, on their feet. It’s a great time to do it, when you feel a rhythm and your timing’s outstanding. They’re getting it together at the right time.”

With five second-place finishers, Valparaiso ended up qualifying eight wrestlers for semistate.

While the Vikings had a good showing at the regional, Tyler Schwartz (106); Max Buckley (126); Mack Neal (138); Luke Davis (170) and Ricardo Rosario (132) all ended up losing championship matches.

Three other Valparaiso wrestlers qualified for semistate as Alex Bravo (113) beat LaPorte’s Zach Wells for third place. The Vikings’ Darius Ginn (182) and Derrick Suttles (195) both ended up fourth, losing to Kankakee Valley’s Tim Schoonveld and Joel Bolen, respectively.

They got him again: Whether he’s principal of Lake Central High School or swimming coach at Munster, Robin Tobias said Crown Point seems to always get in the way when it comes to sectional meets that go down to the wire.

The duel for the title between Munster and Lake Central came down to the final event, the 400 freestyle relay. Whichever school won the event took the title.

And the winner was ... none of the above. The Crown Point team of Racheal Butkowski, Aly Tetzloff, McKenzie Artim, and Holly Schuster won it, meaning the Indians, down by four points heading into the final event, had to settle for second.

It was seven years ago that Tobias and Munster lost to Crown Point in a sectional that Tobias said was the last time a Munster sectional had a photo finish.

They did it again: It took almost 16 hours for Indiana High School Bowling to make it official and release the results of the three Saturday northern regionals. But once it did, the Lake Central boys found out that for the second straight week they were the beneficiaries of the fairly new wildcard addition to the postseason.

Last week the Indians missed out on the second qualifying spot at sectional by 10 pins, but that was close enough to earn the sectional wildcard. On Saturday, they rallied from the depths of the standings in the final two Baker games with 194 and a tourney-high 233 to finish just six pins out of the fifth and final advancing spot.

“It’s crazy,” LC coach Gregg Schmied said. “You might have two coaches (including assistant Rick Young) having cardiac arrest here.”

The effort was barely enough as Eastside was 10 pins from the final advancing spot at the Fort Wayne Regional, meaning that 233 Baker game was clutch.

“We have luck on our side, but we actually have to do something with it,” senior Nate Maciejewski said.

Give it away, give it away now: Even though his Griffith Panthers lost to the No. 1 team in the state, Munster, by 22 points Friday night, coach Gary Hayes saw a lot of things to be optimistic about.

“I had three freshmen on the floor at one point — Anthony Quintero and Anthony and Tremmell Murphy,” Hayes said. “Tremmell (6-foot-4) is going to be a monster. In the last four weeks, our practices have been much more intense. Heck, we could be sitting here 10-4 right now, but we gave away games at the free-throw line down the stretch.”

— Staff writer Steve T. Gorches and correspondents John O’Malley, Tommy Williams and Kevin O’Keefe contributed.



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