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At 138 pounds, George Fisher (top) of Marmion Academy pins Tim McCarthy of St. Rita. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Sandburg wrestling coach Eric Siebert thought his team was “a little flat and uninspired” Tuesday night.
Considering the emotional rollercoaster of the last two weeks – with the joy of seeing three individual state champions crowned combined with the heartbreaking Feb. 10 death of Sandburg athletic director Bruce Scheidegger, the Eagles could be forgiven for being a little drained.
Sandburg nonetheless easily earned a return trip to state, where it will attempt to win back-to-back state titles, with a 43-20 win over Hinsdale Central in a Class 3A Hinsdale South Sectional semifinal.
“It’s been a really long and tough stretch for us,” Siebert said. “We know no one’s going to feel sorry for us, though. Hinsdale Central wrestled hard. We have some things to work on.”
The Eagles will meet Oak Park-River Forest, in a rematch of last year’s championship match, in a state quarterfinal at 9 a.m. Saturday at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington.
“There’s definitely a bit of a rivalry there,” Sandburg’s Ricky Robertson said. “We beat them in the championship last year and they kind of beat us twice this year – in a dual and a tournament. Hopefully the third time’s a charm this year.”
Robertson, the state champion at 195 pounds, was impressive as usual Tuesday, pinning Central’s Andrew Pyle with 1:07 left in the second period.
“I just really pushed the pace in the first period,” Robertson said. “I got him tired out.
“It’s great to win an individual state title, but winning another title with my teammates would mean more. We’re hungry, and we have (Scheidegger) in our hearts driving us to win.”
In a matchup of state qualifiers at 120, the Eagles’ state-runner up Sebastian Pique broke a late 6-6 tie against George Holbert with a takedown and earned a 10-6 win.
The Eagles’ other state champions – C.J. Brucki at 160 and Colin Holler at 170 - were victorious by decision.
Tom Slattery (132), Mitch Cook (152) and Christian Robertson (106) earned pins for Sandburg.
Jim Pellegrino (113) won by major decision while Mo Shuaibi (126) and Chris Pajak (182) won decisions.
Hinsdale Central’s winners were Juwan Edmond (pin at 138), Tom Ward (pin at 145), Matt Allen (decision at 220) and state champion Brian Allen (technical fall at 285).
“I thought our guys wrestled tough,” Hinsdale Central coach Jason Hayes said. “They went out and competed and that’s all we asked for. Sandburg just had the bigger horses.”