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Wrestling: Two-time champ Crown Point loses Traicoff to Franklin

Updated: January 10, 2013 6:45AM



GARY — The Franklin Grizzly Cubs jumped out to big leads in the fourth and fifth rounds of the Chris Traicoff Memorial Invitational on Saturday at Calumet High School and hung on to earn the title.

Franklin opened up a 29-3 lead against two-time defending meet champion Crown Point and then hung on for dear life, edging the Bulldogs 34-28 in Round 4 and downing Portage 30-21 in Round 5 after they held an 18-3 lead after six weight classes to go a perfect 5-0.

“I wasn’t really happy with the way we wrestled against Franklin,” said Crown Point coach Scott Vlink. “We gave up way too many bonus points and you just can’t give up bonus points against a good team.

“We have heart, but you can’t get behind early. We lost the first match when we were winning the whole match, but if we had Dusty (Schurg) wrestling today at 152 (pounds), that would have really been exciting.”

The match Vlink was referring to was the first tilt between Crown Point’s Dax Jones and Luke Kreich. Jones held a 3-1 lead with 18 seconds left and ended up losing 6-3. From that point, Franklin ran off 26 points to the Bulldogs three to start the match.

The Bulldogs eventually went on a 25-0 run to cut the Franklin lead to 29-28 with one match remaining at; you guessed it, 152 pounds. Patrick McLearn, filling in for Schurg, lost to Jake Stevenson on a 25-10 technical fall to give Franklin the victory.

In the final round, the Grizzly Cubs saw Portage make a furious run, coming back from an 18-3 deficit. The Indians tied the score at 21 with two wrestlers remaining before falling 30-21 to the eventual champions.

“We’ve really grown as a team in the year and a half since I’ve taken over,” said Portage coach Leroy Vega. “We’re close, but we’re not there yet. Our expectations just got pushed a little higher. We’re a family and when of our wrestlers lose, they feel like they let their team down.

“Franklin is a tough team. They don’t seem to have any weak spots.”



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