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Wrestling for recognition pays off for TFS junior Quincy Onyiaorah – other local scores

TF SouthLANSING, Ill. (February 2, 2024) – So much has changed in just a few years for Quincy Onyiaorah.

The TF South junior qualified for the first IHSA girls wrestling state tournament two years ago as a freshman. That was a hard season, but it also accelerated her development and helped her get to where she is today: one of the top girls wrestlers in the south suburbs.

“Freshman year, they got me wrestling boys and honestly, because of that, that’s the only reason I was able to get better,” Onyiaorah said after finishing second at 130 pounds at the Curie Regional on January 27.

“I had a lot of matches, I lost a lot of matches … but those matches helped me learn.”

Now, the sport’s surging popularity means Onyiaorah no longer has to wrestle boys. There’s a separate South Suburban Conference Tournament for girls and the state series has added an extra level — the regional — to the previously existing sectionals and state finals to accommodate the growing number of competitors.

“It’s great that the sport is starting to expand to different genders,” Onyiaorah said. “I feel like everyone needs to be able to do anything or everything they want. It’s great for the girls and anyone in general to do the sport they want to do.”

Onyiaorah is 20-3, with two close losses recently to unbeaten junior Simone Standifer of Tinley Park. Standifer edged Onyiaorah 3-2 in the conference finals and prevailed 7-5 in overtime at the regional.

They could meet twice more this season. Both qualified for the Evanston Sectional on February 9-10 by finishing in the top six in their weight class at the regional. If they finish in the top four at the sectional, they will advance to the state finals in Bloomington on February 23-24.

The result aside, Onyiaorah had no complaints about Saturday’s match in particular and the season in general.

“It’s been a great year,” she said. “Even though I lost that match I feel like I really put the work in and I’m not disappointed because I know I put my all in that match. And there’s more to come. I’m really excited.”

Onyiaorah’s runner-up finish highlighted another solid effort for the Red Wolves, who finished runner-up at conference the week before. At the regional, they finished fifth among 33 teams with 113 points and had seven sectional qualifiers.

Also advancing are freshman Dakodia Kelly (16-9), who was fifth at 105; sophomore Abibatu Mogaij (14-8, sixth at 115); junior Summer Rice (17-10, sixth at 120); sophomore Cayton Guyton (15-6, sixth at 125); sophomore Jermia Moore (20-8, fourth at 135); and sophomore Akayla Coopwood (10-2, third at 140).

Boys basketball

The Red Wolves fell to 9-15 with a 52-45 loss to Lincoln-Way West on Wednesday. Amari Dukes and Rashad Peeples each scored 12 points for South and Dukes grabbed seven rebounds. Eion Ikner added nine points and six rebounds.

South moved to 5-4 in the South Suburban Blue with a 55-50 win against Reavis on Tuesday. Alex Lesure led the Red Wolves with 16 points, Iker added 10 and Dukes finished with nine.

The Red Wolves led by 12 at halftime, but Hyde Park rallied for a 54-50 win on Sunday in Thornwood’s Chelby Frazier Memorial Shootout. Dukes led South with 10 points and Lesure added seven.

South cruised past Bremen 66-37 on January 26 as Tyler Earmsmuth scored 13 points and Lesure added 10.

Girls bowling

TF South won the South Suburban Blue Tournament on January 27 with a six-game pinfall of 4,702, 279 better than runner-up Tinley Park.

Earning all-conference honors by finishing in the top 10 individually were South’s Trinity Kimmons (third, 1,064, 177.3 average), Khia Wilson (sixth, 1.014, 169.0 average), and Dazani Holmes (ninth, 981, 163.5 average). Olivia Gifford took 12th with an 861 total (143.5 average).

TF NorthTF North

Boys basketball

Jaylen Blakes scored 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the Meteors knocked off Lemont 69-63 Tuesday in South Suburban Blue action.

Leon Cooks added nine points, eight rebounds, and eight assists for North (12-7, 7-2 SSC Blue), which moved into a tie for second in the conference with Lemont, a half-game behind Hillcrest (14-10, 8-2). Nasir English contributed 13 points, five rebounds, and four assists.

The Meteors fell 59-47 to Bogan on Sunday at Thornwood’s Chelby Frazier Memorial Shootout. Blakes had 13 points, Cooks scored nine, and Dequan Barker added eight.

North defeated Payton 56-34 in a shootout at Rich on Saturday as Blakes and Naiem Evans both scored 19.

Girls basketball

The Meteors suffered their first conference loss of the season, falling 58-54 to Lemont on Tuesday.

Junior guard Gabrielle McClain led South (16-11, 9-1 SSC Blue) with 18 points and sophomore guard Lauryn Jackson contributed 13 points and four rebounds.

Girls bowling

The Meteors finished last among seven teams at the SSC Blue Tournament on January 27 with a six-game score of 3,231.

Janiah Alphonse led North, finishing 19th at 783 (130.5 average).

Marian CatholicMarian Catholic

Boys basketball

Adam Shorter scored 15 points, all on 3-pointers, as the Spartans cruised past St. Viator 78-47 on Tuesday.

Four more players scored in double figures for Marian (16-8, 8-3 East Suburban Catholic): Delan Davis with 14 points, Zack Sharkey and Jonah Weathers with 12 each, and James Bullock Jr. with 11.

Marian hit all 21 of its free throws en route to a 77-64 win over host Thornwood at Sunday’s Chelby Frazier Memorial Shootout.

Sharkey was 13-for-13 on foul shots, finishing with 28 points. Bullock had five 3-pointers among his 17 points and Weathers scored 16.

Marist outscored Marian 26-4 in the second quarter and went on to a 63-48 East Suburban Catholic win on Jan. 26.

Bullock led the Spartans with 21 points, Sharkey scored 11, and Davis had nine.

Girls basketball

Marian opened a 22-point lead after three quarters and went on to beat St. Viiator 64-56 Wednesday in East Suburban Catholic action.

Madison Davis scored 18 for the Spartans (23-6, 8-2 ESCC), while Ty Jackson and Vesta Radziute each scored 10 and Taylor Bolton had eight points.

Marian beat Joliet Catholic 72-45 on January 27 as Davis scored a game-high 21 points. Jackson added 12 points and LaParis Poe scored 10, while Alainna Poisson and Bolton both finished with eight points.

Illiana Christian

Boys wrestling

Two Vikings earned top-four finishes at the Crown Point Sectional on January 27 to qualify for this Saturday’s Crown Point Regional.

Senior Carson Ulrich (25-2) finished second at 152 pounds, while junior Gage Bambic (28-8) was fourth at 165.

The Vikings finished seventh among 10 teams with 79.5 points.

Girls basketball

Illiana (13-8) extended its winning streak to eight games by beating Whiting 46-39 on Wednesday in the Class 2A Lake Station Sectional quarterfinals.

South Suburban CollegeSouth Suburban College

Men’s basketball

The NJCAA Division II No. 5 Bulldogs completed a stretch of three games in five days with an 84-57 win over Black Hawk on January 20.

Sophomore guard Jemel Jones had his second 50-point game of the season, finishing with 51 and nine rebounds. Sophomore forward LeQuan Washington also had a double-double for SSC (21-2), finishing with 10 points and 12 rebounds.


Mike Clark
Mike Clark
Mike Clark is a veteran journalist who has been covering sports in the Chicago area and beyond, from preps to pros, for more than four decades.