March 6 Loss Leaves Hope for Future Goals at Cedarburg 

D1 Quarterfinal Roundup

                 Cedarburg Bulldogs wrestling coach Jake Frias liked what he saw from his team Friday night at the UW Field House.

It just wasn’t quite enough for the Bulldogs as they settled for yet another program building block but lost to the Hudson Raiders, 40-31, in the Division 1 quarterfinals at the WIAA state team wrestling tournament.

Cedarburg finished the year with a 17-2 record while Hudson improved to 13-2.

The loss brought to a close Cedarburg’s first trip to the tournament, but added one more goal reached by the team in Frias’ second year at the school.

“We knew it would be a dogfight,” said Frias, whose team’s hopes for victory fell on the unlikely shoulders of a freshman with a 0-0 record in the decisive final match at 170. “We knew (Hudson) wouldn’t lay down for us. We’ll just use this as motivation for next year just like we did last year.”

Cedarburg turned that nine-point loss to Menomonee Falls at the regional level into this year’s goal of reaching the state team tournament. Now, Frias is hoping the Bulldogs will turn this nine-point loss into a victory a year from now.

“Nine points was the difference last year and this year,” said Frias. “Nine points will be ingrained in our wrestlers’ head this year. We have to have a goal to get to the next level.”

Hudson won eight of the 14 matches in the dual and scored crucial bonus points with four pins, one technical fall and two major decisions.

Hudson won five of the first seven matches to take a 26-12 lead. But Cedarburg came back with pins by freshman Sam Boerner (113), senior Max Stahnke (145) and senior Jason Ipsarides (152) to take a 31-30 lead with two matches remaining.

Hudson junior Sawyer Massie gave the Raiders the lead again, 34-31, when he posted a 10-2 major decision over Cedarburg senior Tucker Hammer in a battle between two state qualifiers at 160.

Cedarburg freshman Cooper O’Keefe took the mat for his first varsity match of the year but couldn’t stop Hudson senior Trent Groplin (28-18). Groplin eventually registered a pin in 5 minutes 28 seconds.

“We rallied all year like that,” said Frias. “It was a great year. It put Cedarburg wrestling on the map.”

Kaukauna 40, Burlington 19: There was a different feel to this match than a year ago when the Kaukauna Galloping Ghosts (18-1) blew the Burlington Demons (12-2) out of the gym. This time, the Demons actually thought they could topple the No. 1-ranked Ghosts, the defending Division 1 team champions.

Burlington won three of the first four matches to take a 16-4 lead before Kaukauna ripped off four consecutive pins to take a 31-12 lead and move into the semifinals.

The dual featured a pair of rematches from the finals at the individual state tournament last weekend.

Kaukauna senior Trent Leon defeated Burlington junior Josh Bird, 8-6, at 132. Bird beat Leon, 12-10, for the 132 state title last week.

Burlington senior Ben Hornickle defeated Kaukauna senior Robert Lee, 9-3, at 138 in a rematch of the state title. Lee, a three-time state champion, beat Hornickle, 5-4, to win the state title.

“We came here thinking we could win this one,” said Burlington coach Jade Gribble. “We did some little things wrong, and the little things added up.”

Wisconsin Rapids 41, Pewaukee 24:  Rapids (19-0) won nine of the 14 matches, but Pewaukee (16-4) was hurt when it lost the three biggest swing matches at 126, 132 and 145. Rapids received pins from Max Benitz (126) and Dylan Hall (145) and a victory from Bergh Diebel (132) to open up a 33-18 lead. Rapids then won three of the final five matches to seal the victory and end Pewaukee’s season.

“I didn’t think they’d put 40 on us, but that’s what happens when you turn a one-point lead into a pin,” said Pewaukee coach Ed Kurth, whose team blew three leads in key matches. “We had to have those.”

Stoughton 36, Sauk Prairie 30: Stoughton (23-1) ripped off seven consecutive victories from 106 to 145 to seal the victory. Included in those victories were a pair of major decisions, a pin and a technical fall before Sauk Prairie (15-4) closed the dual with three consecutive pins.