West Hancock's Lucie shifts out of neutral to win title

West Hancock’s Will Lucie, top, pins East St. Louis’ Antonio Moore in the 106-pound championship match during Saturday’s 22nd annual Quincy Notre Dame Invitational. (H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)
Posted: Jan. 27, 2013 1:24 am Updated: Feb. 17, 2013 2:15 am

Herald-Whig Sports Writer

Will Lucie was already thinking ahead. The 106-pound West Hancock freshman recognized the position East St. Louis' Antonio Moore was in.

Moore chose neutral to start the third period, conceding a point and the lead.

Lucie made sure he never gave it back. He quickly took Moore down and eventually pinned him with nine-tenths of a second remaining to win the 106-pound Quincy Notre Dame Invitational title Saturday at The Pit.

"At the end of the first period, I scored when I got that quick takedown with a toe drag," Lucie said. "I knew I broke him there. I saw it in his eyes when he got up. I knew he was being desperate trying to guess. I've done the same thing. When I can't ride someone out, I know I have to take them down. I knew what position he was in."

Lucie was one of seven area wrestlers to win individual titles. Quincy Notre Dame tied Beardstown for the most individual champions with three. The Raiders finished second as a team behind only Kirksville, marking QND's best finish since it won the title in 1995.

Darren Stephens (120 pounds), Gage Stephens (138) and Jeffrey Haley (195) all won titles for QND.

Gage Stephens, who won his title after losing in the finals last year, said it was special to win his title on the same day as his cousin, Darren.

"We've always been close," Gage Stephens said. "Wrestling makes us hate each other and love each other that much more. For us, being able to win together is much better than winning alone. Seeing him win put a little bit of extra drive in me. Me supporting him, I hope, drove him a little bit."

Quincy High School junior varsity wrestler Jimmy Tedeschi (132) made a surprising run to the finals. An unseeded entry, Tedeschi rolled through his first three matches, winning by pin over Central's Dante Sivers and Sacred-Heart Griffin's Kiel Pearce before winning by major decision over QND's Jacob Abell. Tedeschi capped the run with a 6-4 win over Illini West's Dakota Huss in the finals.

"There is no way," said Tedeschi about his expectations to win. "I knew I was going to come here and try my hardest. At select tournaments this happens, I have to cherish it."

West Hancock's Jack Lucie (126) and Pittsfield's Zach Abney (170) also picked up championships.

Abney scored the first takedown in his match against Springfield Lanphier's Domenich Hathaway before he found himself in trouble. Hathaway reversed Abney and nearly pinned him in the first period. For the rest of the match, Abney stayed on his feet and earned a 12-8 win.

"I just thought I had to get off my back and I shouldn't be in this position," Abney said. "He wouldn't turn or anything, so I kept letting him back up. He was a decent enough wrestler that he wouldn't go to his back as some other kids do."

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