Pirates extend North Shore Conference team title streak with dominant show that includes nine individual champs
Someday, somewhere the Port Washington wrestling team’s dominance of the North Shore Conference will come to end.
Last Saturday at Grafton High School clearly wasn’t the time or place, though.
Powering their way to nine first-place finishes in 14 weight classes, the Pirates won the NSC team title for the 11th consecutive year.
Coach Angelo LaRosa’s squad piled up 295.5 points, comfortably ahead of runner-up Germantown’s 212.
Whitefish Bay was third with 166.5 points, followed by Homestead (156), Cedarburg (106.5), Grafton (88.5), Nicolet (84) and Milwaukee Lutheran (46).
“We had a good day. We wanted to get all 14 of our wrestlers into the finals, but we just missed with 11,” LaRosa said.
“As it was, we won nine of those 11 matches, so we did very well. The guys were getting after it and looked sharp.”
With individual champions wherever you look, it’s tough to single out one or two Pirates. However, the most impressive performances may have come from freshman Jordan Dieringer and junior Josh Meins, who cruised to top honors at 152 and 170 pounds, respectively.
Each went 3-0 with three first-period pins.
Dieringer defeated foes from Milwaukee Lutheran and Cedarburg before pinning Germantown’s Danny Krause in 44 seconds. Dieringer has an 11-3 season record.
After pinning Nicolet and Whitefish Bay opponents, Meins dispatched Homestead’s Nick Pierret in just 54 seconds and improved his season mark to 27-11.
Port’s other champions were Noah Rosado (106 pounds), Zach Smith (113), Calvin Harbaugh (120), Nathan Schnell (138), Quentin Lueck (145), Adam Dreikosen (160) and Andy Fidler (285). Each went undefeated in the tournament, posting 3-0 marks or going 2-0 after receiving a first-round bye.
Schnell won his first two matches by pin and scored a 16-1 technical fall over Germantown’s Tyler Patzkill in the final.
In other title matches, Rosado defeated Bay’s Max Carlin, 6-3; Smith edged Bay’s Joey Davey, 6-5; Harbaugh defeated Cedarburg’s Joey Pelkey, 17-7; Lueck pinned Bay’s
Andrew Reidy in 5:59; Dieringer pinned Germantown’s Danny Krause in 44 seconds; Dreikosen scored an 18-3 technical fall over Germantown's Tyler Baran; and Fidler pinned Cedarburg’s Kyle Polum in 3:31.
LaRosa was impressed with the focus of his team, which took a business-like approach to its title defense and preparing for the start of postseason competition this week.
“Up and down the lineup, it was the best I’ve seen our guys wrestle,” he said.
Rounding out the Pirates’ tournament finishes were second-place efforts from Tyler Madden (132) and Tyler Griswold (220), a third by Nathan Sleik-Vidmar (126) and fifths by Tyler Brown (182) and Ryan Steitz (195).
Madden won twice before losing to Cedarburg’s Jason Ipsarides, 5-1.
After a first-round bye, Griswold won his semifinal match but was pinned by Germantown’s Hunter Higginbotham in 5:35.
Grafton was led by third-place finishes from Justin Rapp (170) and Ryan Weber (195).
Rapp, a junior, had a 3-1 tournament record with three first-period pins and improved his season mark to 20-7. His only loss came by a 2-1 margin against Homestead’s
Pierret in the semifinals.
In the third-place final, Rapp pinned Bay’s Paul Lovy in 53 seconds.
Weber, a senior, had a 3-1 tournament record, including a 12-3 win over Bay’s Joe Beck in the third-place final. His only loss came in the semifinals when he was pinned by Germantown’s Mike Knippen.
“As far as the team finish, I don’t think we expected to finish higher than we did,” said Grafton coach Mike Dodge, whose team was unable to fill three weights.
“We just give up too many weight classes. We also had a few injuries during the day that affected our finish.”
Placing fourth for Grafton with 2-2 records were Gary Ross (138), Billy Depies (145), Sam Hoffman (160) and Alex Marshall (182). Taking fifth was Ian Olivas (220), who was also 2-2.
“Gary Ross, Billy Depies, Sam Hoffman and Alex Marshall all had hopes of finishing in the top three,” Dodge said.
“I think they will respond with a good week of practice and make the improvements they need to wrestle well at regionals.”
Dodge said three of his wrestlers — Jacob Brunnquell (120), Ross and Hoffman — were hampered by injuries during the tournament. Brunnquell sustained a season-ending elbow injury in the first round.
Port Washington 81, Milwaukee Lutheran 0
The Pirates capped an undefeated run in conference dual meets with a resounding win at home Feb. 1.
In addition receiving four forfeits, Port scored nine pins — from Madden (132), Schnell (138), Lueck (145), Dieringer (152), Dreikosen (160), Meins (170), Steitz (195), Griswold (220) and Fidler (285).
Regional tests are Saturday
Port and Grafton will both wrestle in WIAA regional tournaments at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11.
The Pirates will participate in a Division 2 meet at Pewaukee while Grafton takes part in a Division 1 meet at Sussex Hamilton.
In Division 2 regionals, the top two finishers in each weight class advance to the sectional level along with the winning team.
In Division 1, the top four individuals advance along with the championship team.
Individual sectionals will be held Saturday, Feb. 18. Team sectionals are Tuesday, Feb. 14.
Image Information: GRAFTON’S BILLY DEPIES tried to keep a tight grip on his opponent during a match in the 145-pound division at the North Shore Conference tournament last Saturday. Depies finished fourth in his weight class. Photo by Sam Arendt