February 19 Team Sectional Roundup


Vikings March to Madison for First Time

This might be a familiar routine for the Wisconsin Lutheran Vikings football team. It already won a state championship.

But it’s unfamiliar territory for the Vikings wrestling team.

Lutheran blew out two teams at the Division 2 North Fond du Lac team sectional to advance to the state team tournament for the first time in school history.

Lutheran defeated Chilton/Hilbert, 57-18, in the semifinals and then toppled Lomira, 41-19, in the final to advance to Madison.

Lutheran won 10 of 14 matches against Chilton/Hilbert and 10 of 14 matches against Lomira. Lutheran also forfeited at 120 pounds in duals, making the team’s showing impressive but troubling heading into the state team tournament. Lutheran will need to find a body at the state team tournament.

Ellsworth 64, Melrose-Mindoro/G-E-T 6: Ellsworth, the defending Division 2 state champion, easily qualified for its 14th state team tournament appearance at Stanley-Boyd. Ellsworth defeated Amery, 52-13, in the semifinals.

Freedom 33, Wittenberg-Birnamwood 27: The championship at Freedom wasn’t as close as the semifinal. No. 1-ranked Freedom built a 33-9 lead with three matches remaining before forfeiting the final three to make the score closer than it was. Freedom qualified for the D2 state tournament field for the fourth time overall and first time since 2000.

In the semifinals, Freedom needed a late rally to beat Two Rivers, 33-27, and a pin from Jake VanGrinsven at 182 pounds to pull out a victory and even advance to the final.

No. 6-ranked Two Rivers led, 27-12, after 10 weight classes but Freedom won the final four matches to pull out the victory. Freedom received a decision from Blaz Daul (152) and pins from Seth Vosters (160) and Tanner Brockman (170) to tie the semifinal at 27-27.

VanGrinsven then pinned Two Rivers’ Darius Campanelo in 54 seconds to send Freedom to the final.

Sparta 37, Lodi 28: Sparta shocked many by winning the Division 2 sectional at Lodi and pulled off the upset with a string of victories from 126 to 152 that put the dual away. Sparta picked up three pins during the stretch then split the final four matches with Lodi to earn a trip to the state team tournament for the third time.

In the semifinals, Sparta used four consecutive pins from 138 to 160 to put away Evansville-Albany, 43-26. Evansville-Albany was ranked No. 2 at the time.

Division 1

Burlington 39, Oak Creek 28: The Burlington Demons received a good draw for a late comeback against rival Oak Creek in the sectional final at Kenosha Bradford.

Oak Creek jumped out to a 28-21 lead after 10 matches in the dual that began at 152 pounds, but that just played into Burlington’s hands late.

Burlington received a decision from Jared Bird (126), a pin from Josh Bird (132) and a technical fall from Ben Hornickle (138) to put the dual away late. Burlington advanced to the state team tournament for the fourth time overall and fourth consecutive year.

Cedarburg 34, Wauwatosa 30: This was supposed to be an easy victory for Cedarburg but Wauwatosa made the Bulldogs fight for their first berth to the state team tournament at Arrowhead.

Tosa held a 27-17 lead after nine matches but Cedarburg won four of the final five matches in the dual that began at 106 pounds. Cedarburg’s Noah Belschner (195) picked up a decision to set the table for Tyler Watson (220) and Kyle Polum to bring the victory home for Cedarburg.

Watson pinned Tosa’s Jack Ward in 48 seconds to tie the dual at 30-30 before Polum defeated Tosa’s Lorri Venturi by an 11-0 major decision to seal the victory for Cedarburg.

Stoughton 29, Milton 24: In one of the most anticipated team sectional showdowns, the Stoughton Vikings were lifted to victory by Zach Hasselberger’s 8-7 decision over Milton’s Levi Garrett in at 126 pounds, the final match of the dual at Verona. Stoughton led, 26-24, entering the final match and Hasselberger sent the Vikings to the state team tournament for the ninth time. It was quite a turnaround for Stoughton after losing to Milton, 37-25, in mid-January. Stoughton won eight of the 14 matches but needed to rally late for the victory.

Stoughton won the first four matches before Milton rallied to win five of the next six. Milton held a 21-16 lead after its run with three matches remaining after Hunter Nelson pinned Stoughton’s Joe Hohol in 3:16 at 285.

Stoughton, however, won three of the final four matches to pull out the victory as Brandon Klein (106) and Tristian Jenny (113) picked up a major decision and a pin, respectively, to give the Vikings a 26-24 lead.

Wisconsin Rapids 34, Bay Port 22: The Rapids Red Raiders may have fallen off for a couple of years, but they are back. Rapids won eight of the first 10 matches to build a 34-10 lead before losing the final four matches by decision against Bay Port at Pulaski. Rapids junior Brock Benitz started the dual with a pin at 152 and the Red Raiders were off and running as they qualified for the state team tournament for the 18th time overall and first time since 2012.

Hudson 50, Stevens Point 21: Hudson ran away with this one by posting seven pins and winning nine of the 14 matches against overmatched Stevens Point at Menomonie. Hudson qualified for the state team tournament for just the second time with its first appearance coming in 2011.

Sauk Prairie 54, Deforest 17: Sauk Prairie opened the dual that began at 113 with three consecutive pins and cruised to the victory at Baraboo. Sauk Prairie registered eight pins overall and 10 of the 14 matches as it qualified for the state team tournament for the third consecutive year and third time overall.

Kaukauna 60, Hartford 12: Defending Division 1 state champion Kaukauna had no trouble securing its spot in Madison as the Ghosts won 12 of the 14 matches and advanced to Madison for the 13th time overall at Oshkosh North.

Division 3

Spring Valley/Elmwood 61, Cumberland 13: No. 3-ranked SV/E had no trouble advancing to the state team tournament for the third time overall and third time since 2012 at Ladysmith. SV/E won 11 of 14 matches and advanced to the state team tournament for the third consecutive year and third overall.

SV/E defeated Cumberland, 60-13, in the semifinals.

Coleman 35, Stratford 31: In a battle between the top-ranked teams in the state, Coleman’s CJ Pillath was the difference.

Pillath pinned Stratford’s Ethan Fabry in 3:59 at 220 pounds in the final match of the dual to lift No. 2-ranked Coleman to the victory over No. 1-ranked Stratford at Amherst.

Coleman won six of the final seven matches in the dual that began at 285 to overcome a 28-6 deficit.

In the semifinals, Coleman defeated Crandon, 48-33, on the strength of eight pins.

Fennimore 49, Cashton 14: Fennimore, ranked No. 7, qualified for the state team tournament for the first time in convincing fashion by winning 11of 14 matches against Cashton at Riverdale. In the semifinals, Fennimore won 10 of 14 matches against Riverdale in a 52-17 victory.

Random Lake 36, Laconia 27: Random Lake qualified for the state team tournament for the sixth time by winning eight of the 13 matches wrestled. Both teams forfeited at 132 pounds.