Furseth pins down finals berth
This time the pin in the WIAA state wrestling tournament earned Furseth a berth in the 112-pound Division 1 state finals.
The Craig sophomore led 8-2 after a near fall in the second period of his semifinal match before securing his second scissor hold of the period to pin Blake Koch (37-6) of Reedsburg in three minutes and 44 seconds.
“He was trying to block my legs, so I shifted to work on his head,” Furseth said. “But, I was able to use the legs again and overpower him. He was a big thrower, so I couldn’t rush anything, I had to make sure I set up and finished everything.”
It didn’t take long after Furseth was able to use his legs.
“We knew the kid liked the head steals,” Craig coach Jeff Kaster said. “He may be small in stature, but those little legs are so strong. He put me in that scissor hold once to see if I could get out of them and they are tight. For a 112-pounder that is a lot of torque.”
Next up for Furseth is top-ranked Torin Boernke (43-1) of Marshfield. The sophomore earned a 4-0 decision over Jared Kust (41-4) of Shawano to reach the finals.
“Boernke is really good on the mat, but if I can take him down, I think I can ride him out,” Furseth said.
Boernke took third last year at 103, but Furseth seems to be prepared for the tilt.
“Siven is like a cat that always lands on his feet,” Kaster added. “He is never out of position and if he ever does get out of position, he is smart enough to give up one point, instead of two or five.
“After he lost last year, the first thing he did the next day was get in the weight room and start training the next day. He wants to get a taste of it up here. If he can throw his legs, I like our odds.”
Also in the Division 1 semifinals Friday night, Elkhorn’s Richard Kessler upset Ben Provisor (43-3) of Stevens Point 4-3 to advance to the finals.
Provisor, who is nationally recognized as a Greco-Roman wrestler, took a 2-0 lead after a takedown in the opening seconds of their match. Kessler returned the favor with takedown with :03 left in the first period for a 3-2 lead.
Each wrestler traded escapes in the final two periods with Kessler’s standing up after getting free to open the third period for the second one-point victory in as many nights.
“That was an exciting match,” Elkhorn coach Ken Reynolds said. “He wrestled exactly how he has trained the last two weeks for that match. We devoted so much time to this match. I am so proud of him for sticking with his game plan. (Provisor) is a world-class wrestler right there.”
Kessler collapsed into an exhausted heap after the victory.
“He works a lot of upper body,” Kessler said. “I just had to get my takedowns and I got one of them. Once I got the lead, I didn’t want to put myself in a bad position or get thrown, so I wasn’t going to take any dumb shots, but I wanted to keep attacking.”
His coach was certainly impressed.
“A lot of guys wrestle the same way every match they go into,” Reynolds added. “Ritchie adapts so well and he did that tonight. That was an amazing feat. He did everything that we asked him to do.”
Kessler will face Ben Brummel (47-4) of Middleton in the finals. Brummel advanced after an overtime 5-3 decision over Ronald Dunlap (45-3) of Muskego.
In Division 2, Chesten Kesselhorn of East Troy also advanced to the finals. The senior posted a 7-2 decision over T.J. Kinjerski (42-3) of Mishicot in the semi-finals. Kesselhorn will face undefeated Joe Raygor (44-0) of Saint Croix Falls in the finals.
Clinton’s Daniel Branh led 4-2 after two periods, but lost a 5-4 decision to Sam Huppert (40-9) of Ellsworth in his semi-final match.
Elkhorn’s Ryan Slack also lost his semi-final match, dropping a 9-8 decision to Shane McQuade (49-1) of Appleton West.
“Ryan was the better wrestler in that match, but he will be fine,” Reynolds said. “I think he will learn from that, but he has brilliant career ahead of him. He had 130 takedowns this year and the school record is 98 and he’s not done yet.”