Wilmot upstages everybody in Southern Lakes wrestling
Boy, was he right.
It’s tough to describe exactly how competitive it was here Saturday, but maybe the best way is this: Of the 14 championship matches, just one was decided by pin and one by major decision.
Just about every other match, except for two injury defaults, remained in doubt into the third round.
But unfortunately for the Elks, their designs on earning a season co-championship with dual winner Burlington didn’t happen.
Instead, it was a scintillating performance by Wilmot, which had six individual champions, that earned the Panthers the meet title with 245.5 points and a tie with Burlington for the season championship. The Demons placed second in the tournament, while Elkhorn was third with 178.5.
“We’re not doing the little things right,” Reynolds said. “We work on the little things. We spend a lot of time on it, so I’m disappointed in that.
“Some of those little things didn’t happen for us. I think our kids know that they didn’t wrestle as well as they could’ve today, so that’s the most important thing.”
Nonetheless, Reynolds didn’t sell short how competitive the meet played out.
“(This was a) great conference tournament,” Reynolds said. “Absolutely one of the best in a long time.”
Delavan-Darien coach Craig Lodahl, whose young team placed fifth on Saturday with 122 points after winning the meet last year, shared those thoughts.
“I can’t tell you how tough I think this tournament was today,” Lodahl said. “Between 119 to 145 (pounds), I have five guys that are ranked in the top 10 in Division 2, but not one single one of them was a No. 1 seed here, so that’s how it is.
“Guys that were 30-4 coming in were four-seeds.”
Elkhorn sent four wrestlers to the championship bracket, but only Donte Blackburn at 215 came away with a title. He defeated Burlington’s Mark Ney, 11-4.
Taylor French (125 pounds), Jake Stilling (152) and Tyler French (160) all had second-place finishes for the Elks.
Taylor and Tyler French, the top seeds in their weight classes, were on the short end of compelling matches. Taylor, who won at 112 pounds last year, fell by an 8-3 decision to Delavan-Darien sophomore Lukus Dittner, whose late near-fall sealed the match.
“He’s a good wrestler, but I figured, ‘If I go 100 percent and he goes 100 percent, I’ll beat him,’ ” said Dittner, the Comets’ lone individual champion.
In an upset in the 160-pound title match, unheralded Lake Geneva Badger junior Dylan Peter scored a late point and held on for a 3-2 victory over Tyler French, who entered the meet with a 14-4 mark and had defeated Peter in overtime this season.
“It just feels really good right now to beat a real quality wrestler,” said Peter, who was mobbed by teammates after his win. “People really didn’t predict me ever having a chance against him, but I knew—and my family knew—that I could do it.”
The Badgers finished fourth in the team standings with 138.5 points.
Delavan-Darien didn’t suffer any upsets, but the Comets did suffer an injury to senior John Benzon, the 145-pound conference champion last year, in the 145 semifinals. Lodahl just said he hopes Benzon will return for next weekend’s regional.
In addition to Dittner’s title, the Comets got second-place finishes from Marcus Hudson at 130 and Kiefer Bennett at 135.
Wilmot 245.5, Burlington 210, Elkhorn 178.5, Lake Geneva Badger 138.5, Delavan-Darien 122, Westosha Central 115, Union Grove 90, Waterford 76.
Burlington, 7-0; Wilmot, 6-1; Elkhorn, 5-2; Delavan-Darien, 3-4; Badger, 3-4; Westosha Central, 3-4; Union Grove, 1-6; Waterford, 0-7.
Burlington, 26 points; Wilmot, 26; Elkhorn, 20; Badger, 14; Delavan-Darien, 12; Westosha Central, 10; Union Grove, 4; Waterford, 0.
103—Title: Matt Ehlen (Bu) won by injury default over Kody Zembal (Wil); Third: Tim Cho (WC) major dec. over Chris Oberholtzer (LGB), 12-3.
112—Title: Austin Christenson (Wat) dec. Derek Gill (Bur), 6-3; Third: Robert Dall (Elk) dec. Turner Albrecht (UG), 5-4.
119—Title: Kody Azarian (Wat) won by injury default over Nathan Gill (Bur); Third: Jeff Myers (DD) dec. Kyle Severt (Wil), 8-3.
125—Title: Lukus Dittner (DD) dec. Taylor French (Elk), 8-3; Third: Shane Slaasted (UG) major dec. over Cody Bollendorf (WC), 10-2.
130—Title: Adam Neal (Wil) dec. Marcus Hudson (DD), 8-5; Third: Brandt Gavin (Bur) dec. Kyle Mountford (Elk), 3-0.
135—Title: Kyle Welzen (Wil) major dec. over Kiefer Bennett (DD), 13-3; Third: Peter Stephan (Elk) dec. Chad Ehlen (Bur), 7-3.
140—Title: Matt Gray (Wil) dec. John Leibforth (LGB), 5-3; Third: Kyndle Bennett (DD) pinned Willie Ehlen (Bur), 2:46.
145—Title: Ryan Gartner (Wil) dec. Bill Langford (WC), 8-3; Third: Andrew Koldaway (Bur) pinned Caleb Schmidt (Elk), 3:49.
152—Title: Nick Jazdzewski (Bur) dec. Jake Stilling (Elk), 4-2; Third: Peter Krien (LGB) major dec. over Zach Steadman (Wil), 11-2.
160—Title: Dylan Peter (LGB) dec. Tyler French (Elk), 3-2; Third: Austin Vanderhoof (Wil) pinned Kurt Swanson (WC), 5:58.
171—Title: James Huey (Wil) dec. Ryan Jazdzewski (Bur), 6-0; Third: K.C. Verhoeven (Elk) dec. Jerry Jung (UG), 8-1.
189—Title: Guy Keeku (UG) dec. Zak Verbunker (Bur), 7-1; Third: Tyler Poland (Wil) pinned Bryce Bobula (LGB), 6-0.
215—Title: Donte Blackburn (Elk) dec. Mark Ney (Bur), 11-4; Third: Brad Nugent (LGB) dec. Bryce England (Wil), 2-0.
285—Title: Dustin Edmonds (Wil) pinned Joe Cychner (LGB), 1:29; Third: Joe Clarey (Bur) dec. Sam Jarosz (UG), 4-2.