Host Lowell wins seven weights, takes NCC meet – The Times of Northwest Indiana

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Lowell’s Dominic Brown holds up the No. 1 finger atop the podium at the Northwest Crossroads Conference meet Saturday.
LOWELL — There can be no doubt which team controlled the Northwest Crossroads Conference this season.
After Lowell went undefeated in NCC duals, the Red Devils won the conference round robin tournament Saturday with 247.5 points. That includes seven first-place finishers and two runners up.
“We wanted to take the conference championship from Hobart,” Lowell sophomore Broady Krause said. “We’ve been talking about it for a long time.”
Hobart was second with 236.5, followed by Kankakee Valley with 190, Highland with 166.5, Munster with 147 and Andrean with 56.
Krause was the 106-pound champ with two pins, two forfeited victories and a 7-4 decision over Highland’s Angel Ramirez. Krause avenged an early season loss to Hobart’s Xavian Tijerina in the final match of the day, earning the fall in only one minute, eight seconds.
He took home the blue ribbon at last year’s NCC meet, too, but only by default. He was the only 106-pounder in that bracket. This one means a little more.
“(Last year) wasn’t that much fun,” he said. “I feel a lot more confident now. Last year, I was brand new and this year I’ve gotten a lot better just in general.”
Dominic Brown gave Lowell another champion at 120 pounds, tallying four pins and a 5-1 win over the Brickies’ Daniel Mata.
“It’s just another step on the way down that road to state,” Brown said. “It’s a good accomplishment but tomorrow I’ve got to be back in the room, back after it.”
Brown’s family moved to Lowell from Whiting. Despite not being around the Red Devils long, he said it wasn’t lost on him how important a conference title was to the program.
“It’s a big deal, a big milestone,” he said. “We want to be sectional, regional champs. It starts here.”
Kankakee Valley’s Caleb Solomey missed last year’s conference meet after being contact traced for Covid-19. As a freshman, he ran into a tough draw. So, this was his first NCC title.
Solomey won four matches by fall, only once going into the second period. Andrean didn’t have a 145 pounder to give him a fifth.
“It’s pretty big. We’re going to see a lot of these guys in our sectional so seedings really matter,” he said. “I’m ready to go (for the postseason).”
Highland freshman Aleksandra Bastaic woke up Saturday morning with an Indiana High School Girls Wrestling state championship that was less than 12 hours old. It was about midnight when she got home from Mooresville and went to sleep.
Aleksandra Bastaic, right, finished third at 126 pounds. The Highland freshman won an IHSGW state title the night before.
“It was one of my dreams (to win state). Now I want to keep going,” Bastaic said. “I always want to achieve higher and do better.”
It was tough but she still made the bus to Lowell. The struggle wasn’t through, though. She didn’t quite make weight and had to do some extra running. Bastaic finally got on track and went 3-2 to earn a third-place ribbon.
“I was like ‘If I don’t make (weight), then I don’t wrestle.’ But I wanted to wrestle this one,” Bastaic said. “You do what you’ve got to do.”
Wrestlers from both teams hold the flag for the National Anthem Friday at the Mount Carmel/Crown Point dual wrestling meet in Crown Point.
One-year-old Kyson Escobedo, the son of Mount Carmel assistant wrestling coach Jose Escobedo, waits for the start of the Mount Carmel/Crown Point dual wrestling meet Friday in Crown Point, perhaps contemplating taking to the mat himself.
Crown Point’s Griffin Van Tichelt celebrates after defeating Mount Carmel’s Jairo Acuna in the 132-lb weight class Friday at the Mount Carmel/Crown Point dual wrestling meet in Crown Point.
Crown Point’s Evan Cruz, top, and Mount Carmel’s Sergio Lemley grapple in the 138-lb weight class Friday at the Mount Carmel/Crown Point dual wrestling meet in Crown Point.
Mount Carmel’s Jairo Acuna and Crown Point’s Griffin Van Tichelt wrestle in the 132-lb weight class Friday at the Mount Carmel/Crown Point dual wrestling meet in Crown Point.
Mount Carmel’s Jairo Acuna and Crown Point’s Griffin Van Tichelt wrestle in the 132-lb weight class Friday at the Mount Carmel/Crown Point dual wrestling meet in Crown Point.
Mount Carmel’s Jairo Acuna and Crown Point’s Griffin Van Tichelt wrestle in the 132-lb weight class Friday at the Mount Carmel/Crown Point dual wrestling meet in Crown Point.
Crown Point’s Evan Cruz, top, and Mount Carmel’s Sergio Lemley grapple in the 138-lb weight class Friday at the Mount Carmel/Crown Point dual wrestling meet in Crown Point.
Crown Point’s Griffin Van Tichelt looks to the referee as he wrestles Mount Carmel’s Jairo Acuna in the 132-lb weight class Friday at the Mount Carmel/Crown Point dual wrestling meet in Crown Point.

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Mount Carmel led by five points in the team score and Crown Point had only the Clark brothers left to wrestle at 220 pounds and heavyweight.

Cole Solomey is unquestionably the guy at 138 pounds this season, but that hasn’t really required much of an adjustment from him.

Sam Goin didn’t want anyone in the bleachers at Crown Point’s Carnahan Invite Saturday to leave without experiencing at least a little excitement.

Hanover Central’s Jayden Bartoszek is turning heads with his early success.

Self-proclaimed ‘social butterfly’ AC McNutt keeps things light for the Highland wrestling team, and keeps on winning.
Lowell’s Dominic Brown holds up the No. 1 finger atop the podium at the Northwest Crossroads Conference meet Saturday.
Aleksandra Bastaic, right, finished third at 126 pounds. The Highland freshman won an IHSGW state title the night before.
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