If home is where the heart is, the Maple Leafs were able to show their hometown how much heart they had at the 2A Geneseo Sectional.

If home is where the heart is, the Maple Leafs were able to show their hometown how much heart they had at the 2A Geneseo Sectional.

The host Maple Leafs finished off a 43-26 defeat against Northern Illinois Big 12 Kaneland in the 2A Sectional match.

“Everybody knew what their job was and they did a good job,” coach Jon Murray said. “When they had to keep someone from a major decision we did a pretty good job, and when we needed to get the bonus points we were able to.”

Geneseo will face Washington in the state quarterfinals of the 2A IHSA tournament in U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, Saturday, Feb. 28 at 9 a.m.

At sectionals, the Maple Leafs won four of the final five bouts to secure their third-consecutive team state berth.

Joey Medina (152) jump started Geneseo with a 12-2 major decision.

The Leafs’ Josiah Cropp (160) followed with a 4-0 decision, and Cole Hunzeker (170) kept the momentum going with a 8-4 decision.

Ryan Pitra (182) added to Geneseo’s cushion with a 10-5 decision.

While the Maple Leafs are no stranger to being sectional champions, this year’s title was special considering it came on Geneseo’s home floor.

“It’s the first time we have made it to state in our own gym,” Cropp said. “I felt like the crowd was really with us. I felt like the community came together, and we made a good showing. It was exciting to hear the roar of the crowd when you get a take down.”

After losing the opening two matches, the Maple Leafs’ strung together four pins in five bouts.

Geneseo’s Antonio “Tumbo” Tumbarello (113) got Geneseo back on track with a pin in 32 seconds.

Jon Warner (120) followed with a pin for the Maple Leafs coming in 3:57, and Clayton Kennedy (138) pinned the opposition in 1:11.

Fresh off his individual state title, Hunter Grau concluded the Leafs’ pin streak taking down the opposition in 2:48.

“After the first pin, we were rolling and we just did the best we could,” Grau said.

A mat away Washington claimed their state spot defeating Lincoln-Way West 45-24.

In a 2A team poll from Illinois Matmen, Washington is ranked second behind defending team state champion Montini with Geneseo ranked fourth and Kaneland ranked sixth in the poll.

Geneseo’s wrestlers remain confident they can handle whatever the state meet can throw at them.

“I know we can get the job done,” Warner said. “We just have to wrestle our style. Our team can pull through anything. We have good friendships throughout the team which helps a lot and I can see us getting the job done.”