Brandon Critchfield of Jersey made the most of his wrestling work Saturday in IHSA finals at Champaign's State Farm Center.
The sophomore finished fourth at 120 pounds in Class 2A and became the first Panther in school history to place in the finals.
He won his quarterback wrestleback over Wiley Allen of Hampshire 6-0 and his semifinal one Lenny Peterson of Crystal Lake Center 7-3. Then Critchfield dropped an 8-2 decision to Jordan Reich of Vernon Hills in the third-place match on the University of Illinois campus.
Critchfield had placed third in the Mascoutah Regional and fourth in the Chatham Glenwood Sectional. He concluded his season with a 39-8 record.
Elsewhere, East Alton-Wood River’s Zac Blasioli finished his freshman mat season in a big way.
Blasioli took sixth at 160 pounds in Class 1A finals. After winning his first two matches, Blasioli bowed in the semifinals.
Then he fell to Nick Hawkins of Wilmington 12-6 in the semifinal wrestlebacks and lost to C.J. Runkel of Vandalia, 3-0, for fifth place. Hawkins took third. Blasioli, champion of the Mount Olive Regional and third in the Robinson Sectional, concluded his season with a 36-9 record.
Matt Kent of Edwardsville finished third at 220 in Class 3A. Alton’s Phyllip DeLoach lost in a 3A quarterfinal wrestleback at 138.
Civic Memorial’s Drake Boverie lost in a quarterfinal wrestleback at 120 in Class 2A. In Class 1A, Jeremy O’Gara suffered a defeat in a quarterfinal wrestleback at 113. Teammate Dalton Brito absorbed an 11-10 overtime loss at 126 in a quarterfinal wrestleback.
Eryka Graham, a sophomore from Alton, finished 55th Saturday in the IHSA finals at Rockford. She accumulated 2,397 pins in all, for an average of 199.8 for her dozen games.
On the final day at The Cherry Bowl, she shot 1,209, including games of 223 and 213. Teammate Allison Steines, a junior, took 66th with a 2,311 total.
Julia Bond of team champion Aurora Waubonsie Valley emerged as the state champion with a score of 2,817. Madison Kasza was 10th at 2,634 and Katelynn Wirtel of Collinsville came in 11th at 2,605.
The Kahoks wound up fourth and the Panthers were sixth in the final team standings.
EA-WR 70, Valmeyer 55 - The host Oilers tuned up for their Class 2A regional next week by rolling past Valmeyer. Junior center Mike Stimac led the way with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Tanner Pate and Blake Marks both pitched in 12 points.
EA-WR, now 10-16, tangles with Staunton at 7 p.m Monday. in the regional opener.