SYCAMORE – Geneseo's Brandon Mizlo must think winning in the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference is easy.|
The junior who transferred in from Riverdale won a conference title in his first try at Saturday's NIB 12 Tournament. It was the highlight to a third-place team finish for the Maple Leafs.
"It was really tough, and all of the competition was really good," Mizlo said.
Mizlo (31-4) didn't win without a bit of a scare. He reaggravated a right ankle injury he suffered in practice immediately after tallying a three-point near fall early in the second period.
"I tried to stop on it when he was trying to throw me over," Mizlo said. "It snapped right there."
He fought through it, though and notched one more key takedown in the third period to walk away with an 8-4 victory over La Salle-Peru's Chris Morehouse.
"I couldn't really keep any balance on it at all," Mizlo said.
Mizlo was one of two Geneseo wrestlers to reach the finals. At 160 pounds, Ryan Pitra (28-10) lost by fall in 5 minutes, 10 seconds to Yorkville's Tyler Wilkinson in the final.
Still, between those two top two finishes and eight total top five finishes, it was a strong day for Geneseo, which finished only behind Sycamore and Yorkville.
Josiah Cropp finished third at 145 pounds, while Hunter Grau (120 pounds), andCole Hunzeker (152 pounds) and Nick Verbeck (285 pounds) each finished fourth.
"Thinking about it coming in and third place was what we had hoped for considering what we were up against with Sycamore and Yorkville," said GHS coach Jon Murray. "I'm happy with our guys and the way they fought. I'm satisfied with the third place."
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