BARRINGTON – DeKalb wrestler Doug Johnson saw a familiar opponent in the finals of the Class 3A Barrington Sectional, but the match proved to be anything but predictable.
Johnson defeated Crystal Lake South’s Erik Barone, 5-1, to win the 132-pound championship. A week earlier in the Huntley Regional final, Johnson dominated Barone in an 18-5 major decision.
Johnson said it was frustrating wrestling Barone again at sectionals because Barone was looking to keep the match closer.
“[Barone] wasn’t even trying to win,” Johnson said. “He was just trying to keep it close.”
Johnson said Barone was focusing on controlling his head which didn’t allow for much offensive push. After a scoreless first period, Johnson got back points on Barone in the second period and a late third-period takedown to seal the win.
“[Barone] was slowing me down by just riding on my head,” Johnson said. “I couldn’t get my offense going.”
Johnson, who is ranked No. 3 by illinoismatmen.com, went 3-0 at Barrington, all against ranked wrestlers, to improve his season record to 39-1.
In the quarterfinals, Johnson defeated eighth-ranked Brian Egan from Buffalo Grove by technical fall and in the semifinals decisioned Zion-Benton’s Abel Rios, 9-4.
Johnson said the sectional championship gives him momentum heading into state, but there is still work to do.
“I’m confident (but) I need to wrestle a lot better,” Johnson said.
Last year in Class 2A, Johnson placed second at the Sterling Sectional at 126. He went on to finish third at state, defeating Montini’s Michael Sepke in the third-place match. His 39 wins have already eclipsed last year’s total of 35.