Tech Rebounds at Milwaukee Hamilton Duals

By Joe Shinners

Special to the Journal Sentinel

      Milwaukee Bradley Tech wrestling coach Craig Bevilacqua had a question for the Trojans after their big stumble in the sixth round Saturday at the Milwaukee Hamilton Holiday Duals.

      Tech, ranked No. 9 in the area, started the second day of competition at the 12-team tournament with a lackluster showing in a 37-32 loss to Wauwatosa after breezing through the first day with a 5-0 record against Milwaukee City Conference teams.

      The first-day performance netted Tech a City dual meet title, but the Trojans forgot they still had work to do on the second day.

“We weren’t focused, and we weren’t ready when we lost to Tosa,” Bevilacqua said. “I asked the kids, ‘This is your team. I’m just the coach. How much to you want to win this (tournament)?’”

      Apparently, the Trojans wanted the team title very badly.

      Tech rebounded from its first loss of the season to rip off four more victories and defeated Kenosha Tremper, 34-28, in the final dual to win the tournament with a 9-1 record.  Tremper also finished 9-1, but due to its loss to Tech finished second, followed by Marshall (8-2) and Tosa (8-2).

      The victory over Tremper, in a dual that started at 135, tested Tech’s ability to win close matches throughout until junior James Parker sealed it with a pin at 125 pounds.

      Tech senior Anthony McGaughy picked up a 6-4 overtime victory over Tremper sophmore Phil Mock at 140, and that sparked the Trojans in the tough matches that enabled them to finally put away Tremper (16-6).

In all, Tech (17-1) won four tight matches to turn a 21-19 deficit into a 28-25 lead heading into Parker’s match.

At 275, Tech senior Ralph Loftin squeezed out a 6-5 sudden death overtime victory over Tremper junior David Nalder. At 112, sophomore Ezekiel Torres fought off his back and turned Tremper freshman Cody Powell to pull off 6-4 victory. At 119, senior Jon Knutson used a third-period takedown to finally stop Tremper senior Mike Predaina by an 8-4 decision. And at 160, Tech junior Joe Horydk overcame a 5-0 first period deficit to pin Tremper junior Dakota Schwartz in 3:31.

“It was one of those things,” said Tremper coach Joel Dutton. “You have to put six solid minutes together and finish off matches. We couldn’t get it done.”

Barker, already with an impressive pin over Milwaukee Custer senior Darius Jennings in 2:36 in a dual Friday, wasted no time in pinning Tremper sophomore Stephen Nichols in 51 seconds to complete a 10-0 tournament.

It was quite a turnaround form the morning action when the Trojans came out flat against Tosa and gave up five pins in a dual that saw the teams split the 14 matches.

Sophomore Demetrius Mensah (112), senior Joe Mensah (125), junior Nick Brooks (152), senior Nick Morin (160) and junior Glen Kendl (285) all picked up pins against Tech for Tosa (10-3).

“My young guys came through for us,” said Tosa coach Kent Morin. “My young guys came through with a ton of heart.”

Luckily for Bevilacqua, the Trojans found a way to recover.

“I’m happy with (the title),” he said. “But we still have a lot of work to do.”