Junior’s title-winning effort sets pace for Port wrestlers in Fond du Lac tournament
Zach Smith continued his impressive start to the wrestling season by reaching the top at the Marty Loy Classic in Fond du Lac last Saturday.
The Port Washington junior scored four straight wins, including three by pin, to win the 126-pound weight class in the 24-team tournament.
Smith, who improved to 10-1, won his first three matches by fall, including a pin of Manitowoc Lincoln’s Jose Acosta in 5 minutes, 16 seconds, in the semifinals. In the title match, Smith defeated Random Lake’s Jon Mudlaff, 4-2.
The latter two wins were particularly impressive because Acosta and Mudlaff came into the tournament undefeated.
“It was a really good meet for Zach,” Port coach Angelo LaRosa said. “He had to beat some really tough wrestlers to win it. This is the best I’ve ever seen him wrestle. ”
Port finished 11th in the team standings with 107.5 points. Sauk Prairie won the title with 184.5 points, and Random Lake was second with 166. Menomonie (150.5) and Hudson (142) rounded out the top four.
“This was probably the toughest the Marty Loy tournament has been in the eight years I’ve been going to it (as coach),” LaRosa said. “There were a lot of excellent wrestlers there.”
Port had three other top-five individual finishes, including a second by Quentin Lueck at 152 pounds.
Lueck, a senior, won his first three matches, including a 7-5, overtime decision over Bryce Bennot of Wautoma/Wild Rose in the semifinals before losing to Sauk Prairie’s Austin Powell, 8-3, in the final. Lueck has a 9-2 season record. Bennot was the state’s top-ranked Division 2 wrestler in the weight class.
“Quentin had a great day. He’s a senior who’s worked hard, and he should have been in the finals,” LaRosa said.
The Pirates got a fourth from Andy Fidler (285) and fifth from Noah Rosado (120).
Fidler, a senior, won his first two matches before being pinned by Burlington’s Tyler Kirkeeng in the semifinals and losing to Random Lake’s Reed Anklam, 3-0, in the third-place match.
Rosado, a senior, won four matches to improve to 11-1. After being handed his first loss of the season in the second round on a 20-4 technical fall by Sauk Prairie’s Drew Fjoser, he rebounded with three wins by major decision in consolation matches.
Rosado defeated Menomonie’s Dylan Kadlec and Wausau West’s Carlton Luedtke before handling Hudson’s Matt Koski, 12-3, in the fifth-place final.
No other Pirates earned place finishes in the tournament, though several won matches.
Senior Brannon Bauer posted a 3-1 record at 145, scoring all his wins after a first-round loss. He finished the tournament by pinning Lodi’s Mitch Falk in 2:37.
Cedarburg 41, Port Washington 25
The host Pirates’ long run of North Shore Conference supremacy ended with a hard-fought loss Dec. 18.
The defeat was Port’s first in the league since the 2001-02 season, a stretch in which it won more than 80 consecutive dual meets and 12 straight NSC tournaments.
“Cedarburg has a nice team this year. They’re one of the best teams in the area,” LaRosa said. “At this point in the season, we had to wrestle a perfect match to beat them.”
The Pirates trailed by only 29-25 with three matches left. However, Cedarburg won all three to seal the outcome, including a pin at 132 pounds and decisions at 138 and 145.
Port’s wins included Noah Rosado’s 16-3 major decision over Dylan Lesar at 120 pounds. Winning by decision were Smith (126), Lueck (152) and Jordan Clark (160).
Receiving forfeits were the Pirates’ Preston Makoutz (113) and Brandon Fleischman (182).
Cedarburg’s biggest advantage came in the upper weights, where it outscored Port, 23-6, between 170 and 285 pounds.
“We lost, but it isn’t something we’re concerned about,” LaRosa said. “We’ll get another shot at Cedarburg at the conference tournament (Feb. 8), and we’re looking forward to it.”
The Pirates’ next meet will be the Cheesehead Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 3 and 4, in Kaukauna.
Whitefish Bay 48, Grafton 21
Six forfeits sealed the Black Hawks’ fate in a North Shore Conference road loss Dec. 19.
Grafton scored three pins in winning half of the eight matches wrestled but couldn’t overcome 36 forfeited points.
The Hawks’ pins came from Tom Makela (152), Romeo Wood (160) and Alex Marshall (220). Wood had the fastest win, defeating Joe Lehrmann in 1:47.
Grafton’s other victory was Jason Gustafson’s 10-7 decision over Jake Plale (145).
The Hawks’ next meet will be the Lourdes Academy On the Water Wrestling Classic on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 27 and 28, at the Kolf Sports Center in Oshkosh.
Image Information: PORT WASHINGTON’S Brandon Moeller (right) battled Cedarburg’s Max Stahnke before losing, 9-4, in the 138-pound match of a North Shore Conference dual meet Dec. 18. With a 41-26 victory, Cedarburg handed the Pirates’ their first conference team loss since the 2000-01 season, snapping a streak of 80-plus wins in dual meets. Photo by Sam Arendt