Breske Takes 2nd Cheesehead Crown

By Joe Shinners

Special to the Journal Sentinel

Kaukauna – Beau Breske didn’t get the man he wanted, but the Hartford junior wrestling sensation did get the result he wanted.

Breske, the two-time Division 1 individual state wresting champion and top wrestler in the state, defeated Mesa Mountain View (Arizona) senior Kieffer Taylor by a 9-5 decision to win the 170-pound title Saturday at the nationally ranked Cheesehead Invite at Kaukauna. Breske was one of three state wrestlers to win titles at the Cheesehead.

The victory pushed Breske’s overall record to 24-0 and dropped Taylor to 28-2. Breske also pushed his unbeaten streak in high school to 98 matches. The last time Breske lost a high school match was two years ago in the third-place match to Apple Valley’s Mark Hall by a 3-0 decision at the Cheesehead.

Since then, Breske has been untouchable during the high school season. He held the No. 3 national ranking at 182 by the Amateur Wrestling News before dropping to 170 this weekend.

Breske breezed through the pool portion of the bracket by pinning his first three opponents while showing a little bit of flash. He then needed the full six minutes in three consecutive matches to win the title. It was his second at the 29-team tournament that features teams form eight states and is the toughest in the state.

In the final, Taylor tied up with Breske to slow the match but couldn’t stop Breske’s double-leg shots off a variety of situations. In the end, Breske took Taylor down four times and added an escape while allowing Taylor five escapes. Breske controlled the match from the outset and was only in one dangerous situation when Taylor got in on Breske’s leg early in the second period.

Breske defended the takedown attempt and scored a takedown of his own for a 4-2 lead in a match that wasn’t that close.

“He wasn’t really trying to score points – just trying to keep the score low and then go for a big move,” Breske said of Taylor. “That was the only time I felt I was in trouble in the tournament. I love this tournament. It’s got great competition.

Breske was hoping to get a shot at Montini Catholic (Ill.) senior Xavier Montalvo (20-2), who won the 182 title. Montalvo is ranked No. 5 at 182 by defeating Menomonie junior Mason Stokke (20-3) by a 9-1 major decision in the final.

In his final three matches, Breske tightened up his attack and went with his proven method of controlling the tempo, scoring when he needed and in general being cautious on the mat.

“That’s fine with me if he wants to go with his bread and butter,” Hartford coach Steve Best said. “He tightened up his game in the finals. When the competition gets tougher, he hones in and does what he needs to do to win.”

Breske said he wasn’t nervous about facing the strongest competition he would see this year.

“After 12 years of wrestling, nerves don’t get to you.”

The Pewaukee Pirates had a solid tournament, finishing 15th with 238 points. Southeast Polk (Iowa), ranked No. 9 nationally, won the tournament with 614.5 points. No. 21-ranked St. Edward (Ohio) finished second with 522.5 points, followed by Mesa Mountain View (Arizona) with 518.

It was quite a turnaround for Pewaukee, which finished last year two years ago and didn’t attend last year.

The Pirates were led by third-place finishers Jacob Raschka (27-1 at 170) and Giovanni Guarnero (24-4 at 285).

 Raschka defeated Kasson-Mantorville (Minn.) junior Andy Bigelow (19-6) by a 5-0 decision in the 170 third-place match. Guarnero spun behind for a takedown with 11 seconds left in double overtime to defeat Mt. Carmel (Ill.) junior Matt Reyes (21-5) by a 4-2 decision.

Guarnero also put a scare into nationally No. 3-ranked Southeast Polk senior Jake Marnin (23-0) in the semifinals. Guarnero was in the match throughout but eventually lost, 5-2.

Marnin went on to defeat DeForest junior Hunter Toppel (17-1) by a pin in 1:47 in the 285 final.

Pewaukee also saw senior Christian Dischler (15-8 at 195) finish eighth and senior Blaze Beltran (23-4 at 220) finish ninth and Isaac Lodise (21-6 at 138) finished tenth.

“I’m happy,” Pewaukee coach Ed Kurth said. “I knew Raschka was the real deal in the state but now I know he can go against the best in the country. And our upper weights carried us again. To go from not placing to middle of the pack so suddenly, I’m really happy.”

Port Washington senior Zach Smith (13-5 at 120) finished 8th and Arrowhead junior Aidan Yde (14-6 at 132) placed ninth. Smith was a Cheesehead finalist at 113 two years ago.

Kaukauna, the No. 1 ranked state team in Division 1, finished sixth with 356.5 points, followed by No. 2-ranked Stoughton in seventh with 350 and No. 5-ranked Wisconsin Rapids in eighth with 341.5 in an intriguing battle among D1 teams in the state.

A key result in the wrestlebacks helped lift Kaukauna in the wrestlebacks at 138 and it was provided by senior Robert Lee, the two-time state champion and three-time finalist.

Lee, the 132 Cheesehead champion a year ago, defeated Stoughton junior Collin Kraus (27-3) by a 7-2 decision in a key head-to-head matchup in the wrestlebacks. Kraus went on to finish fifth.

In the 138 third-place match, Lee defeated Southeast Polk senior Keegan Shaw(12-5) by a 9-1 decision.

Two Rivers junior Paul Bianchi (25-0) kept his record unblemished by winning the 113 title. Bianchi defeated Lockport (Ill.) sophomore Abdullah Assa (26-4) by a 14-7 decision in the final.

The final at 195 was an all-Wisconsin affair as Menomonie junior Mason Stokke (21-0) kept alive his perfect season with a 9-1 major decision over Wisconsin Rapids senior Cody Abel (20-3).

The featured match of the evening was between New Prague junior Griffin Parriott (23-0) and Montini Catholic senior Vince Turk (21-2) in a battle between two top-ten wrestlers. Parriott, ranked No. 8 nationally at 145, defeated Turk, ranked No. 9 at 138, by a 3-2 decision to win the title.

Turk won the 138 Cheesehead title a year ago.

Polk senior Nolan Hellickson (24-0) defeated Montini junior Jimmy pawelski (15-4) by a 13-3 decision to win his third Cheesehead title.

Polk junior Ethan Andersen (22-0) defeated St. Edwards senior Parker Knapp (19-2) by an 8-7 decision to win the 220 title. Andersen also won the 220 Cheesehead title in 2014.

Waverly-Shellrock senior Bryce Steiert (25-1) defeated Montini Catholic senior Luke Fortuna (16-5) by an 8-5 decision to win the 160 title. Steiert won the 145 title in 2014.