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State champion! Jack Jessen brings home the 182-pound title

Standout finishes his senior season with an unblemished 51-0 record

Senior Jack Jessen completed his athletic career at Willowbrook by winning a state championship.
Jessen, a standout football player and wrestler for the Warriors, won the 182-pound state title at the IHSA Class 3A individual state wrestling meet on Saturday. Jessen defeated Yorkville’s Nick Stemmet 8-3 in the championship match, which took place at the State Farm Center in Champaign.
Jessen, who won four matches in Champaign, completed his senior season with a perfect 51-0 record.
Jessen opened the state meet with a first-period pin. He then posted a 21-6 technical-fall victory in the quarterfinal round. He advanced to Saturday’s final with a 13-3 major-decision win over McHenry’s Jake Leske on Friday evening.
This is the first state title for Jessen, who came close to winning individual state wrestling titles in each of the previous three seasons. As a freshman, he finished second in the 170-pound division. One year later, Jessen earned third-place honors in the 182-pound weight class. As a junior, Jessen advanced to the 182-pound championship match in Champaign. He suffered his only loss of the season in the title match and finished his junior season with a 50-1 record.
Jessen, who will continue his academic and wrestling careers at Northwestern University, led the Willowbrook football team to IHSA quarterfinal berths in the 2016 and 2017 playoffs. The running back and linebacker helped the Warriors to the West Suburban Gold Conference championship in 2017. The title marked the Willowbrook football program’s first conference championship in 35 years.
Three Glenbard East wrestlers competed in the Class 3A state meet in Champaign. Sophomore Reese Martin lost a pair of matches in the 120-pound weight class. He finished the season with a 35-14 record. Junior Alex Posada and senior Cole Martin each wrestled only one match in their respective divisions. Posada lost in the 145-pound division, while Martin dropped his match in the 152-pound weight class. Posada and Martin both finished the season with records of 40-10.
Four Montini wrestlers won individual state titles at the Class 3A event in Champaign. Senior Real Woods captured the championship in the 132-pound division, while junior Jake Stiles claimed the title in the 145-pound class. Junior Matt Ortiz won the 160-pound championship. Junior Peter Christensen of the Broncos earned the state title in the 195-pound division.
Three Broncos—sophomore Dylan Ragusin (113 pounds), sophomore Fidel Mayora (138) and senior Will Lewan (152)—placed second in their respective weight classes. Freshman Nain Vazquez placed third at 106 pounds, while senior Joey Melendez (120) and freshman Dylan Burnoski (126) secured fourth-place finishes.
Montini is competing in this week’s Class 3A dual team sectional. A win at the sectional would propel the Broncos into this Saturday’s IHSA state quarterfinals in Bloomington.

Warriors finish conference season with three home victories

Hinsdale South wins conference title; Willowbrook winds up second

The Willowbrook boys basketball team closed its West Suburban Gold Conference season by winning three home games in a four-day span last week. The trio of wins wasn’t enough to lift the Warriors to a conference championship. Willowbrook wound up finishing second to Hinsdale South.
The Warriors posted conference wins over Leyden, Morton and Downers Grove South last week in Villa Park. They wrapped up the West Suburban Gold season with Friday’s convincing 73-42 thrashing of Downers Grove South. That victory gave the Warriors an overall season record of 22-5 and a final conference mark of 9-3.
While Willowbrook was beating Downers Grove South, Hinsdale South earned a victory over Proviso East in Darien to lock up sole possession of the conference championship. Hinsdale South finished the season with a conference record of 10-2. Willowbrook wound up 9-3, while Proviso East finished at 8-4.
The Warriors went undefeated in their six conference home games this season. They suffered their West Suburban Gold losses at Proviso East, Morton and Hinsdale South.
Willowbrook could face Hinsdale South again in the playoffs. If both teams win their post-season openers, they will meet in an IHSA Class 4A regional championship contest at Hinsdale South on March 2.
The Warriors erupted for 25 second-quarter points in Friday’s win over Downers Grove South to build a commanding 35-13 halftime lead. Willowbrook led the Mustangs 10-4 after one quarter. The lead swelled to 54-27 by the end of the third period.
Senior Ethan Schuemer scored a team-leading 20 points for the Warriors in Friday’s win. Schuemer sank six of nine shots from the field and converted eight of nine free-throw attempts. He was the only Warrior to visit the foul line during the game.
Junior Matas Masys drained four 3-point shots and scored 18 points. Masys made one 3-pointer in each of the first two periods. He converted a pair of long-range shots in the third quarter.
Sophomore Everett Stubblefield added 11 points, while senior Matt Myers scored eight points.
“We were making shots,” said Willowbrook coach Chris Perkins after Friday’s victory. “We got a couple of steals in our full-court pressure, and we got some layups off of those steals. Our defense ignited our offense.”
Two days before beating Downers Grove South, the Warriors beat Morton 70-60. The Warriors led the Mustangs 31-28 at halftime and 44-38 after three quarters.
Masys, who hit two shots from 3-point range, scored a team-leading 15 points. Myers, who sank seven of 11 shots from the foul line, added 13 points. Schuemer contributed 11 points and nine rebounds, while senior Sikander Zafar scored nine points.
The Feb. 14 victory over Morton was originally scheduled for Feb. 9, but postponed because of the snow that cancelled school on that day. Willowbrook suffered a 47-44 loss in its conference game at Morton on Jan. 9.
The Warriors began last week’s busy schedule with a 74-46 conference win over Leyden on Feb. 13. Schuemer scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Willowbrook, which held a 44-20 halftime lead. Stubblefield also scored 16 points. Masys and Myers added 13 and eight points, respectively.
The Warriors are playing a crossover game against York of the West Suburban Silver Conference this week in Villa Park. They will open the post-season against either Metea Valley or Lake Park on Feb. 28.
“We’ve been playing consistently, for the most part,” said Perkins in assessing the upcoming Class 4A playoffs. “We’re trying to make sure we’re ready, but keep our composure and be relaxed and not put too much pressure on ourselves. We’ll see what happens.”

Glenbard East’s offense erupts in conference victory over West Chicago

Rams’ 88-point output marks its highest-scoring game of the season

The Glenbard East boys basketball team improved to 10-15 overall and 4-5 in the Upstate Eight Valley Conference with Friday’s 88-79 win at West Chicago. Three Rams scored at least 20 points in the victory.
Senior Kenny Adams poured in a team-leading 25 points for the Rams, who held a 44-33 halftime lead and a 63-58 advantage after three quarters. Adams made three 3-points shots during the first half. He sank four of five free throws in the fourth quarter. Adams made eight of nine foul shots during the game.
Sophomore Alijah Nelson contributed 23 points by making eight field goals, including two shots from 3-point range. Nelson also made five of six free-throw attempts. He scored 14 of his 23 points during the final period. Nelson drained five baskets, including both of his 3-point shots, during the final eight minutes. He also made both of his free-throw attempts during the final period.
Senior James Peterkin scored nine baskets and provided 20 points for Glenbard East. Senior Korvante Davis, who made two 3-point shots, added 14 points. Sophomore DaRon Hall scored six points.
The Rams will complete their conference season with this week’s home game against East Aurora. Glenbard East will open the IHSA Class 4A post-season with a Feb. 26 game against Wheaton North at the Bartlett Regional.

Registration is open for this year’s Dennis Doyle Three-on-Three Basketball Tournament

This year’s event takes place March 3 at Willowbrook

The District 88 Foundation will hold the 2018 Dennis Doyle Three-on-Three Classic Basketball Tournament on Saturday, March 3, at Willowbrook High School. The annual event takes place in memory of former Willowbrook varsity boys basketball coach Dennis Doyle, who passed away in 2011. Doyle was the Warriors’ head coach from 1994 to 2006. He was also a guidance counselor at the school.
The tournament offers seven divisions, including boys and girls divisions for seventh/eighth graders, ninth/10th graders and 11th/12th graders. There is also an open division for all players 18 and older. Registration costs $30 for youth teams and $60 for open division teams.
Team sponsorship might be available for youth teams. Contact the athletic office at Willowbrook for more details.
For more information, or to register for the event, visit dupage88.net/basketball, or call District 88 Director of Community Relations Dani Brink at 630-530-3989.
Only one registration is needed for each team. All members of each team should register together.
The District 88 Foundation is a member of the Partnership for Inspired Education (PIE) Foundation, a charitable organization that serves public school students in District 88, Addison School District 4, School District 45 and Salt Creek School District 48.

Warriors take part in state bowling meet

Team fails to advance to the final round; Helsper surges to an 11th-place finish in the individual standings

The Willowbrook girls bowling team competed in the IHSA state bowling meet, which took place Friday and Saturday at The Cherry Bowl in Rockford. The Warriors needed to finish among the top 12 teams in Friday’s preliminary round to advance to Saturday’s finals. They wound up 18th out of 24 teams in the preliminaries and did not advance to the finals.
Two Warriors—junior Holly Helsper and senior Betsy Soriano—advanced to Saturday’s finals in the individual competition. A strong Saturday lifted Helsper to an 11th-place finish in the state meet. Soriano placed 65th in the individual standings.
Willowbrook advanced to the state meet after winning two post-season events—an IHSA regional on Feb. 3 in Wheaton and the Feb. 10 Glenbard East Sectional at Brunswick Zone Glendale Heights. A total of 24 teams—the top four teams from each of the state’s six sectional competitions—qualified for the state meet’s team event.
The Warriors rolled a total team score of 5,379 in Friday’s preliminaries in Rockford. They finished 183 pins behind the 12th-place team. Five Willowbrook bowlers competed in six games apiece on Friday. The team rolled a total score of 925 in its first game and dropped to 901 in its second game and 810 in the third game. The Warriors rolled an 871 in their fourth game before improving to 966 in the fifth game and finishing with a 906 in their final game.
Helsper provided the Warriors’ best six-game score on Friday, rolling a total of 1,140. She started the day with scores of 168, 177 and 173. She then posted scores of 182, 206 and 234 in her final three games. Soriano, who joined Helsper in qualifying for the individual finals, fired a six-game score of 1,127 on Friday. She produced her best game of the day with a 215 in her first game.
Senior Dana Sasenick rolled a six-game score of 1,083 for the Warriors on Friday. Her series featured a 233 in her fifth game. Junior Katie Pettinger bowled a 1,024 series, while sophomore Makaylah Jones produced a six-game score of 1,005.
Helsper, who was in 59th place among all individuals after Friday’s preliminaries, rolled a six-game total of 1,346 during Saturday’s individual finals to finish with her 11th-place score of 2,486. Helsper opened Saturday with a 198 and added scores of 222, 244, 248, 222 and 212. Her average score per game on Saturday was 224.33.
Soriano rolled a six-game total of 1,091 on Saturday and finished with an overall two-day total of 2,218. Her best game of the day was a 216 in her second game.
Glenbard East sophomore Molly Galvin competed as an individual at the state meet. Galvin rolled a six-game series of 1,018 in Friday’s preliminaries. She bowled her best game of the day—a 203—in her final game.