PREP WRESTLING: Pacot advances to state final

Feb. 18—CHAMPAIGN — Oakwood/Salt Fork's Reef Pacot lost a tough double-overtime decision last year in the IHSA Class 1A 145-pound semifinals.

On Friday, he was able to get the job done, beating Aiden Livingston of Stillman Valley 6-2.

"It was great to get over that hump" OSF coach Michael Glosser said. "We have had three years of kids getting to the semis and not winning, so to get over that hump was a good feeling for Reef, he went out and had a great match."

Pacot took the 2-0 lead early and was able to cruise from there against Livingston.

"He wrestled a very smart match," Glosser said. "He got the first takedown and we got the choice for the second round and extended our lead and increased the pressure. Reef is a smart wrestler and a very athletic kid, so he did what he needed to do. When you coach him, it is a great show to watch."

With the win, the senior (50-2) will go to tonight's final against Paul Ishikawa of Illini Bluffs, who is 53-0.

"He beat us 3-2 early in the year, so we are hungry for the rematch," Glosser said. "They are buddies and they are both great wrestlers, so it will be a fun match tomorrow."

Most of Friday was based on local wrestlers trying to stay in the hunt for at least a third-place finish in the wrestlebacks.

Danville's Phil Shaw IV was able to make the most of that second chance with a 7-2 decision win over Mount Vernon's Ethan Rivera in the Class 2A 182-pound class.

"I am happy for him because he is in the top eight," Danville coach Marcus Forrest said. "Yesterday he was tired, but he was ready to go this morning and did a good job. He gave himself a chance to place at least from the top 3-6. It will be tough because he has to win three in a row, so he will have to put the work in."

Shaw won his first match on Thursday with a 8-1 decision over Hinsdale South's Jovani Piazza, but lost to Rock Island's Steven Marquez by pin in 4:42.

Forrest was pleased with how Shaw rebounded from the quarterfinal loss.

"It is a great accomplishment," Forrest said. "We are extremely and happy he is here and that he able to win the first match and it showed the improvement from last year. To get two out of three so far, it shows the work that he has done so far and everything he has done to do it and he is able to reap the benefits."

In Class 1A, OSF's Tyler Huchel beat Murphysboro's Kaiden Richards 7-4 at 113 and Pedro Rangel (126) beat Bradlee Ellis of Farmington 12-4 to advance to action today, but teammates Carter Chambliss (132) and Bryson Capansky (152) did not win in the consolation rounds.

Hoopeston Area's Angel Zamora (160) lost in the second consolation round while Westville/Georgetown-Ridge Farm's Houston Bryant (152) and Craig Johnson (182) both lost in the first round of wrestlebacks, and Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin's Hunter Wilson (285) also fell in the first round.

The wrestlers who are alive will be in wrestleback action throughout the day, while Pacot will have his match later in the evening as title matches will begin at 6 p.m.