Evansville wins Rock Valley title
But with every wrestler placing fourth or better, highlighted by five champions, the Blue Devils pinned down their third consecutive conference title.
“This is probably the most exciting one we’ve had,” Kostroun said. “This is the one that we didn’t know if we could win or not. We had a good finals round and a good background, but nothing was locked up when we started today.”
Evansville/Albany had posted a 7-0 mark in conference duals, then added the tournament title to finish atop the season standings with 14 points.
The Blue Devils built on a 16-point lead before Saturday’s final matches to finish with a 256-227.5 win over Beloit Turner in conference meet. With only two seniors in the mix, Clinton finished third with 171 points and also was third behind Turner in the season standings.
“This is a young and inexperienced group of kids,” Kostroun said of his own team. “For them to win it—I’m really proud of it. I couldn’t be happier for what they accomplished coming from where we did.”
One key matchup paired Evansville/Albany’s Nick Patchen, last year’s 152-pound champion who moved up to the 160 this year, against Turner’s Lucas Clark.
Clark gave Patchen his only loss in the conference this season, 2-0 in overtime in their dual meet, but Patchen was a 6-2 winner this time over the defending 160-pound champion.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew I wanted to take him down more than once,” Patchen said. “I knew if I took him down maybe three times, I could come out on top.”
Turner coach Matt Ries believes Saturday’s match between those two could be a preview of the sectional pairings in a couple of weeks.
“That was at marquee match-up of the day. Those are two great kids, and both of them are ranked in the state,” Ries said.
With nine seniors, Turner was hoping that experience could carry it over the Rock Valley field. The Trojans were counting on good showings from seniors Eli Shallenberger at 189 and Kyle Decker at 215, both of whom fell in the finals.
“There were some disappointments,” Ries said. “We came in as the No. 1 seeds at 189 and 215, and it didn’t work out for whatever reason. We got out-wrestled, and I give the credit to those other guys.”
Turner got first-place finishes from senior Jeff Grunder at 140 and Cody Andrews at 125.
Clinton senior Josh Danielson gave the field a shake-up and found himself at the top of the podium in the 189 class at the end of the night. As a fourth seed, Danielson beat Shallenberger, 13-6, in the finals.
“What a tremendous effort he had today, and hopefully some of the young guys can learn from him,” said Clinton coach Dan Wallace.
“Just to see him as a senior get better in the last month is fantastic.”
Meanwhile, Edgerton’s Ty Thronson at 119 and Brodhead/Juda’s Tyler Lincoln 135 earned repeat titles. Thronson got a 3-1 decision over Hesebeck, and Lincoln scored a 15-5 major decision over Turner’s Matt Santas.
At Walworth Big Foot
Evansville/Albany 256, Beloit Turner 227.5, Clinton 171, Palmyra-Eagle 138, Brodhead/Juda 132.5, Edgerton 118.5, Walworth Big Foot/Williams Bay 108.5, Orfordville Parkview 48.
Evansville/Albany, 14 points; Beloit Turner, 12; Clinton, 10; Brodhead/Juda, 7; Palmyra-Eagle, 5; Big Foot/Williams Bay, 4; Edgerton, 4; Orfordville Parkview, 0.
103—Title: J.J. Boley (EA) dec. Daniel Banh (Cl), 1-0. Third: Gavin Volbrecht (WB/WB) dec. Ian Grice (BT), 8-2.
112—Title: Travis Schnabel (EA) pinned Mitchel Wiesenberg (BJ), 5:01. Third: Brandon Wixom (Cl) dec. Robert Dimery (OP), 9-8.
119—Title: Ty Thronson (Edg) dec. Brad Heseback (Cl), 3-1. Third: Jeremy Rosheisen (BJ) major dec. over Peter Gallman (EA), 9-1.
125—Title: Cody Andrews (BT) pinned Andy Gorichanaz (PE), 2:52. Third: Kirby Lavariega (BF/WB) pinned Tom Bjugstad (EA), 3:58.
130—Title: Jake Porst (PE) pinned Bryan Banh (Cl), 2:51. Third: De’Andre Jones (BT) dec. Trevor Ardisson (EA), 7-1.
135—Title: Tyler Lincoln (BJ) major dec. over Matt Santas (BT), 15-5. Third: Pat Meredith (EA) pinned Chris Barrett (Edg), 2:54.
140—Title: Jeff Grunder (BT) major dec. over Andy Sanchez (Cl), 13-4. Third: Barry Badeau (EA) dec. Bo Croswell (BF/WB), 9-7 (OT).
145—Title: Travis Ardisson (EA) dec. Ben Neal (OP), 3-2. Third: T.J. Huffman (BT) dec. Rosbel Velez (Edg), 7-5.
152—Title: Jake Rice (PE) dec. Jake Reynolds (EA), 4-2. Third: Ryan McCarville (BJ) dec. Clay McCullough (BF/WB), 9-5.
160—Title: Nick Patchen (EA) dec. Lucas Clark (BT), 6-2. Third: Kevin Schmidt (Edg) major dec. over Patrick Busse (BF/WB), 20-10.
171—Title: Jake Halbrucker (PE) pinned Dom Karolczak (BT), 4:41. Third: Eddie Schmoldt (EA) pinned Jon Turnmire (Edg), 5:41.
189—Title: Josh Danielson (Cl) dec. Eli Shallenberger (BT), 13-6. Third: Bobby Harry (Edg) tech. fall over Jeff Potter (EA), 16-0.
215—Title: Ben Haeberlin (WB/WB) dec. Kyle Decker (BT), 9-7. Third: Kyle Jones (Cl) dec. Cody Kruizenga-Weckesseer (EA), 4-2 (OT).
285—Title: Sam Reed (EA) pinned Tyler Haney (BT), 2:26. Third: Wes Grooms-Vinzz (OP) pinned Tyler Russell (Cl), 1:13.