March 1 Reinhardt Shocks Breske, Wins First Title

           Madison – Merrill senior wrestler Mason Reinhardt could hardly even believe it.

Neither, it seems, could Hartford junior Beau Breske.

Reinhardt stunned Breske, 5-4, in double overtime to win the Division 1 170-pound title Saturday night at the WIAA individual state wrestling tournament at the Kohl Center.

This was the match many wanted to see. If anyone in the state could end Breske’s nearly three-year undefeated streak against Wisconsin wrestlers, it was Reinhardt.

And he delivered with a dominating ride in the third period that drew three stalling calls and two penalty points to tie the match, 4-4, at the end of regulation after Breske held a 4-2 lead entering the third on the strength of two takedowns. In the first overtime, no points were scored.

That set up the two 30-second overtime periods and again Reinhardt delivered. Breske failed to escape in the first period, and in the second his escape was all he needed to pull out the upset because Breske couldn’t get a crucial third takedown.

The crowd at the state tournament loves to see a returning state champion upset, and Reinhardt brought home the biggest one on championship Saturday.

“I never ever thought this would happen,” said Reinhardt. “It’s just crazy. I’m almost crying. It’s amazing.”

It was. The loss dropped Breske’s record to 50-1. Reinhardt (49-1), who lost by a 4-2 decision to Breske at the Zelinski Duals in January, avenged his only loss of the year.

Not many gave Reinhardt a shot to beat Breske, who won the 152 and 170 Division 1 titles the previous two years and hadn’t lost to a state wrestler in his career.

Reinhardt, however, had his own successful track record. He is a four-time state qualifier and now a four-time state place-winner. He finished second at 160 last year, third at 160 as a sophomore and fifth at 145 as a freshman.

“The kids very good,” said Hartford coach Steve Best. “I think we were confident on our feet. But we gave up the stalling calls there and we couldn’t chase (Reinhardt) down in overtime.

Late scramble lifts Smith:  Mukwonago junior Nathan Smith (40-3) had been in this position before, and he had learned from it.

Smith scrambled away from a dangerous situation off a tie up in the neutral position with 23 seconds left in the third period to score a takedown and went on to a 6-3 victory over La Crosse Central sophomore Jaden Van Maanen (47-1) in the 120 final.

“I was in that position earlier in the year when a guy tries to dig his head in like that,” said Smith. “I went back and worked on that. I knew what to do.”

Smith’s victory gave Mukwonago its sixth individual title in school history.

Folley is Tosa’s First: Wauwatosa East junior Justin Folley (46-1) couldn’t believe his luck.

Folley countered an attempted through by Stoughton senior Zach Hasselberger (49-6) with 14 seconds left in the third period and registered the winning takedown in a 7-5 victory in the 126 D1 final. It was the first state championship won by a Tosa West wrestler

Hasselberger had just scored a takedown in the final minute, and chose to allow Folley an escape of the restart and try to win the title with a takedown.

Folley didn’t let that happen, as he crunched Hasselberger to the mat with his shoulders just out of bounds for his first state title a year after reaching the semifinals at when he was at Milwaukee Riverside.

“After I got that last takedown, I looked at the clock and I knew I was going to win,” said Folley. “I was a little bit scared. It feels really good to be the first Tosa champion. After I put him to his back, my heart dropped.”

Bird rallies for second: Burlington: Burlington junior Josh Bird (46-1) really had to work hard for his second state title in three championship appearances. Getting tossed to your back early in the first period will put a wrestler in that situation.

Bird rallied form a 6-1 first-period decision and went on to a 12-10 victory over Kaukauna senior Tres Leon (45-3) in the 132 Division 1 final.

“I was taught by my coaches and my dad that you have to wrestle a full 6 minutes,” said Bird, who won his second title after winning the 126 title as a freshman and finishing second a year ago at 132. “You have to give it your all.”