Ken Reynolds and his Elkhorn wrestling team knew exactly what they were up against Tuesday night.
Stoughton, ranked No. 3 in the state in Division 1, brought seven state-ranked wrestlers to town for a WIAA team sectional dual meet.
The Vikings looked the part of potential state champions. Even when the Elks got in good positions, Stoughton’s wrestlers more times than not found a way to regain an edge, and the Vikings won 10 of 14 matches to beat the Elks 48-13.
Stoughton finished runner-up at team state a year ago and will return to the UW Fieldhouse for team state.
“I’m real happy with how we competed, and what stood out to me was our shape,” Reynolds said. “We’re in shape and ready for this type of thing. We’ve just got to finish a little bit better. A lot of times we thought we were going to get points, and they wrestled out of that.
“Other than that, I thought we did well.”
Elkhorn briefly held the lead in the meet when freshman Payton Jacobson, ranked 11th in the state, scored a 14-4 major decision at 106 pounds. The victory in the second match of the night put the Elks up 4-3.
Stoughton won the next four matches, including pins by Nathan Rein and Hunter Lewis at 113 and 120 pounds, respectively, to pull away.
Elks junior Dan Stilling, ranked third, used a third-period escape to earn a 3-2 decision at 132 pounds that cut the team’s deficit to 19-7.
It was 22-10 after senior Brandon Constable hit a takedown in overtime for a 3-1 win.
“He’s really wrestled well at the end of the season,” Reynolds said of Constable. “He wrestled back to second place last weekend (at regionals), and we didn’t see that coming. Then, today, a big overtime win.”
Stoughton got pins in the next two matches to all but clinch the victory.
Senior Myles Schumaker gave Elkhorn its final win of the night in comeback fashion. He never led in his 170-pound match until he scored a takedown in overtime for a sudden 7-5 decision.
“I thought the guys battled really well,” Reynolds said. “But we had so many (potential) takedowns where we didn’t get takedowns. That’s experience. That’s a good team over there.”
Wrestlers from the two teams will see each other again Saturday at the area individual sectional meet at Fort Atkinson.
Division 1 Elkhorn Team Sectional
STOUGHTON 48, ELKHORN 13
285—Aodan Marshall (S) dec. Hunter Hummel 8-5. 106—Payton Jacobson (E) maj. dec. Alexander Wicks, 14-4. 113—Nathan Rein (S) pinned Luke Truesdale, 3:26. 120—Hunter Lewis (S) pinned Teddy Woyak, 1:09. 126—Braeden Whitehead (S) maj. dec. Grant Truesdale, 10-2. 132—Daniel Stilling (E) dec. Luke Mechler, 3-2. 138—Gavin Model (S) dec. Colman Karl, 7-2. 145—Brandon Constable (E) dec. Rudy Detweiler, 3-1 (OT). 152—Cade Spilde (S) pinned Charlie Schweinler, 2:49. 160—Tyler Dow (S) pinned Aaron Taylor, 1:08. 170—Myles Schumaker (E) dec. Luke Geister-Jones, 7-5 (OT). 182—Brooks Empey (S) maj. dec. Nathan Welsh, 12-4. 195—Will Neuenfeld (S) by forf. 220—Gavin Miller (S) maj. dec. Dakota Biefeld, 12-3.
Evansville/Albany falls to state-qualifier—At the Division 2 Viroqua Sectional, Evansville/Albany’s wrestling team lost to Gale-Ettrick-Trempeauleau/Melrose-Mindoro 46-24 in a team sectional semifinal.
GET/M-M went on to beat Lodi 31-30 in the final and advance to the state team tournament.
Adam Staver (138 pounds) and Nolan Kicmol (152) each earned pins for the Blue Devils.
Division 2 Viroqua Sectional
GALE-ETTRICK-TREMPEAULEAU/MELROSE-MINDORO 46, EVANSVILLE/ALBANY 24
106—Kohl Linberg (G) dec. Gavin Frey, 9-7. 113—Jared Miller (EA) dec. Colton Sime, 7-5. 120—Jack Marley (G) pinned Evan Senter, 4:24. 126—Julian Purney (G) pinned Austin Schofield, 3:01. 132—Sam Johnson (G) dec. Matt Kostroun, 9-3. 138—Adam Staver (EA) pinned Bryce Blaken, 3:52. 145—Hunter Andersen (G) pinned Ben Barmore, 3:33. 160—Jaden Anderson (G) pinned Malcolm Johnson, 0:54. 170—Tyler Aasen (EA) dec. William Johnson, 7-2. 182—Landon Lockington (G) maj. dec. Collin Roberts, 13-4. 195—Bryce Burns (G) pinned Hunter Overland, 1:10. 220—Sam Jansen (G) by forf. 285—Branden Lange (EA) by forf.
GET/M-M beat Lodi 31-30 in the sectional final meet.