Stoughton edges Delavan-Darien wrestlers
The Comets built an early 19-6 lead in their WIAA Division 1 sectional team tournament match with Stoughton, but the host Vikings rallied late for a 36-28 win.
The Badger Conference powerhouse Vikings advance to the state team tournament at the UW Fieldhouse in Madison and will wrestle Kaukauna in a quarterfinal match on March 6.
Delavan-Darien finished the dual season with a 25-3 record, but the Comets could not build up a big enough lead to hold off the Vikings. Stoughton had three state-ranked wrestlers competing at the last three weight classes and was able to erase a 28-26 deficit.
“We did not wrestle very smart tonight, to say the least,” Delavan-Darien coach Craig Lodahl said. “And we didn’t wrestle to our capabilities. But I’m still very proud of these kids.
“We had our opportunities. Let’s put it that way. We didn’t get pins where we needed to, and we gave up pins where we shouldn’t have.”
The Comets picked up wins in four of the first five weight classes to take their 19-6 lead.
Starting at 145 pounds, Delavan-Darien’s John Benzon won by pin in the first period to give the Comets to a 6-0 lead.
After Stoughton tied the match at 6-6, Delavan-Darien got wins from Ben Lodahl (160), Jeff Dixon (171) and a 22-second pin from Michael Gonzalez at 189 to take a 13-point lead.
Stoughton quickly cut the lead to 19-17 on a technical fall and a pin at 215 and 285, and then grabbed a short-lived 20-19 lead on Nick Urso’s victory at 103. Urso trailed Lukus Dittner most of the match, but scored a two-point reversal with four seconds left to win 6-5.
“That was the biggest win of the night,” Stoughton coach Dan Spilde said of Urso’s come-from-behind win. “Nick’s been so sick he could hardly get out of bed, but he comes out and finds a way to beat an outstanding wrestler.
“When you get two teams that go back and forth like these two did tonight, it makes it fun for everybody. And when you win, it makes it even more fun than having to wait another year to go back (to state).
The Comets got a pin from Marcus Hudson at 112 and a 9-8 decision from Martin Figueroa at 125 to take a 28-26 lead, but the Vikings won the last three matches to earn the state bid.
“We needed to be up by at least 10 going into the 135-pound match, and we should’ve been, and then it would’ve come down to not getting pinned in the last two matches,” Lodahl said. “As it turned out, we didn’t get pinned in those last two, but we didn’t have enough points.
“Stoughton’s a great program, but the Stoughton mystique didn’t beat us. We beat ourselves.”
STOUGHTON 36, DELAVAN-DARIEN 26
103—Nick Urso (St) dec. Lukus Dittner, 6-5; 112—Marcus Hudson (DD) pinned Datlef Bahnson, 2:54; 119—Tanner Klitzke (St) pinned Jeff Myers, 2:28; 125—Martin Figueroa (DD) dec. Ben Hite, 9-8; 130—Austin Wersal (St) major dec. over Kiefer Bennett, 10-0; 135—Jackson Urso (St) dec. Travis Murphy, 6-0; 140—Dan Schiferl (St) dec. Kyndle Bennett, 12-6.
145—John Benzon (DD) pinned Matt Olson, 1:39; 152—Jake Gohlke (St) pinned Chris Dittner, 2:36; 160—Ben Lodahl (DD) dec. Chris Dvorak, 6-1; 171—Jeff Dixon (DD) major dec. over Max Vejvoda, 11-3; 189—Michael Gonzalez (DD) pinned Ben Blankenship, :22; 215—Eric Nelson (St) tech. fall over Giovanni Tinoco, 15-0; 285—Chad Paulson (St) pinned Marshawn Morris, 1:50.
? Starting weight: 145.