PLANO — St. Bede senior Peter Sampson thought he had a pin in the 285-pound title match at the Class 1A Plano Regional on Saturday.
He didn’t, but the result was the same.
Sampson beat Yorkville Christian’s B.J. Kyle by 7-2 decision to win the regional crown and earn a return trip to sectional.
The Bruins senior had a 2-0 lead and looked like a sure winner when Kyle turned a reversal late in the third period. Sampson stayed focused and scored a takedown and a three-point near fall in the final 10 seconds to earn the title.
“I thought I had the pin and the ref hit the mat, but I guess time was up,” said Sampson, who will compete in the Oregon Sectional this weekend. “I had wrestled him at the Kewanee Tournament last year for first place and won. That time, I had to go into overtime to win it – I got to take him down and pin him – but this time, I’ve got a lot more experience than I had then and it was less difficult getting escapes. That was one of my strengths in this match.
“It feels great to be going back to sectional. I went last year, but this, senior year, it’s my last shot and I made it.”
And there was more good news for the Bruins, who finished fourth with 87.5 points. Putnam County-Hall took seventh with 47 and Mendota was 10 with 19.5.
St. Bede’s Noah Setser at 132 and Beau Bonnell at 138 both lost their championship matches but still advance, while Ethan Fleming and Henry Ortez won their third-place matches at to join them.
Setser lost to Sandwich’s Braulio Flores by pin at 2:47 and Bonnell fell to the Indians’ Aiden Linden by pin at 1:19 in their title matches.
In his do-or-die third-place match, Fleming bested Mooseheart’s Gabriel Spivey by pin at 1:59 to claim third at 170.
Meanwhile, Orteza won by 4-0 decision over Aurora Central Catholic’s Ethan Waters for third at 120.
Not as fortunate was the Bedans’ Dominic Bima, who lost the third-place meeting at 126 by pin at 56 seconds to Yorkville Christian’s Jeremy Loomis.
“We have five athletes still in the running for the ultimate goal and one that might slip back in under the right circumstances,” said SBA coach Sam Allen. “I could not be more proud of all of the Bruin grapplers that battled so hard throughout the season. Whether they competed in the regional tournament or not, or whether or not they made it out ... everyone improved. Everyone fought for every point all season and they all represented St. Bede Academy and the wrestling program with honor.”
The best match of the day was at 145, where PC-Hall’s Brooker very nearly had the crown before Sandwich’s Cael Schindlbeck made a match-saving move.
Brooker led 3-1 with only 15 seconds left in the third period when Schindlbeck was able to turn the tables on the Panthers sophomore, scoring the match-tying reversal to send it into overtime.
After two scoreless overtime periods, Schindlbeck started the 30-second ultimate tiebreaker period by preventing Brooker from escaping from the down position, thus earning a 4-3 victory and the regional championship.
“I hadn’t wrestled him in a meet before, but we both belong to NWO out of Sheridan, so we’ve wrestled just a few times in practice,” said Brooker, who had defeated Plano’s Jose Castenada and Somonauk’s Isaiah Nunez both by pin earlier in the day. “I felt comfortable in the tie-ups. I knew he was maybe a little faster but that I could control him with the hooks and stuff … At the end (of regulation), he just kind of went for it and it went south on me. I’m disappointed, but still happy how I went out.”
Schindlbeck’s title helped Sandwich win the team crown with 291.5 points. The Indians had eight wrestlers win titles.
“I knew it was going to be a close match and when it came down to the end, I had to go for something. I had nothing to lose,” Schindlbeck said. “I just exploded for five seconds and something happened to help me out. The overtimes were all mental, you just don’t want to make a mistake. Just stick to what you know and it worked out.”
Brooker’s second-place finish was the best result for the Panthers on the day as two other sectional hopefuls saw their seasons end, falling in the decisive third-place matches.
At 152 pounds, PC’s Denzel Sobin fell to Sandwich’s Nolan Reilly by pin at 29 seconds to finish fourth, while at 195, John Davis lost to Plano’s Alex Diaz by pin at 3:42.
Mendota had only one wrestler make it to the final four in his weight class and that was at 160 where Ty Connelly placed third.
He recorded a 17-2 tech fall over Jared Banister of Somonauk to ensure his berth at Oregon next Saturday.
Connelly, who lost in the semifinals to Seneca’s Isaac Marques, reached that deciding match by wrestling back to a 2-0 decision over Putnam County’s Ben Sylvester.