Prep Wrestling

Ready for round 3: QND's Haley, PORTA's Hild to square off for state title

18wrs_State-Semifinals_150
February 16, 2018 - Champaign, IL - Quincy Notre Dame's Zach Haley wrestles Aurora Christian's Eli Ibarra in their Class 1A 145-pound division semifinal match at the IHSA Individual Wrestling State Final Friday evening. Haley won the match advancing to Saturday's championship match. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Clark Brooks
By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
Posted: Feb. 17, 2018 12:01 am Updated: Feb. 17, 2018 1:16 am

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Zach Haley's preparation begins with possibly the most important thing he needs before wrestling for a state championship.

"A lot of sleep," the Quincy Notre Dame senior said.

Once Haley gets enough of that, he will begin to worry about Trey Hild.

Haley earned another showdown with Hild by beating Aurora Christian's Eli Ibarra 3-2 in Friday night's 145-pound semifinals of the Class 1A state tournament. He will square off against Hild, the Petersburg PORTA senior, for the state championship Saturday night at the State Farm Center.

Hild advanced with a 5-0 victory over Sterling Newman's Brody Ivey. The finals are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

This will be the third matchup between Haley (44-1) and Hild (49-1) in as many weeks. Two weeks ago, in the championship of the Class 1A Central Regional, Haley outlasted Hild 11-9 in overtime. In last week's Stanford Olympia Sectional, Hild gained a measure of revenge with a 4-3 victory.

Now it's time for the rubber match on the biggest stage.

"Ding, ding, round three," QND coach Adam Steinkamp said.

Haley expects nothing less than a fight to the finish.

"I expect a match that's going to go one, two, three full periods," Haley said. "It may go four, five, six periods. I have to expect the match to keep going and going and going. You have to be prepared for that. You have to be focused on that."

This is Haley's second state championship appearance. Last year, he reached the title match at 138 pounds, losing 4-2 to Morrison's Joe Eads, and he vowed to get back to this stage.

"I'm ready to get that title," Haley said.

He wrestled like it Friday. After dispatching Roxana's Alex Maguire 6-3 in the quarterfinals, Haley attacked Ibarra early and scored a first-period takedown to take control of the match.

"I had to stay pressuring him, stay pressuring him, stay pressuring him," Haley said. "I couldn't let up."

The wrestlers had gone out of bounds on Haley's first attempt at a takedown, but he locked in on the second try.

"Zach stayed patient, stayed patient," Steinkamp said. "He tried changing his grip, and once he got a hold of (Ibarra), he didn't let go."

Haley picked up a point for an escape and didn't give up a point until Ibarra got a takedown with seven seconds remaining in the match.

With one match left in his prep career, Haley said he will hold nothing back.

"I have to let it go," Haley said.

West Hancock senior Chase Hartweg lost by technical fall in 2:18 to Belleville Althoff's Danny Braunagel in the quarterfinals of the Class 1A 160-pound bracket. The University of Illinois-bound Braunagel, who went 47-0 in winning the 152-pound state championship as a junior, improved to 54-0 with the victory.

Hartweg rebounded to win by technical fall in 5:49 over Martin Martinez of Phoenix Military Academy in Chicago in the first round of wrestlebacks. Hartweg, now 26-6, meets Henry Dawson of Monticello in the second round of the wrestlebacks.

Central junior Chayse Houston won his first match in the wrestlebacks at 132 pounds, winning 6-0 over Oliver Willis of Chicago Hope. His record is now 36-9. His next opponent is Anthony Federico of Belleville Althoff.

Freshman Zach Foote from Central lost 4-3 to Vandalia's Jerek Wehrle in the quarterfinals of the 106-pound bracket, then lost to 1-0 to Gage Mowry of Rock Island Alleman in his first wrestleback match. Foote ends his season with a record of 40-7.

Quincy's Hunter Yohn did not qualify for the wrestlebacks in the 160-pound bracket in Class 3A. Illini West's Ty Jackson did not qualify for the wrestlebacks in the 285-pound bracket in Class 1A.