Port has three individual champs but can’t keep Dogs from taking team mat crown
They didn’t go down without a fight, but the Port Washington Pirates’ reign as kings of North Shore Conference wrestling officially ended last Saturday.
Despite having three individual champions and two runner-up finishes, Port trailed champion Cedarburg in the conference tournament at Milwaukee Lutheran.
Cedarburg used its depth to score 227 points, well ahead of runner-up Port’s 196.5, and snapped the Pirates’ string of 12 consecutive NSC team titles.
“Cedarburg has a nice team this year. Hats off to them,” said Port coach Angela LaRosa, whose squad last failed to win the tournament in 2001, when Germantown took the crown.
“We won the last 12 in a row, so we’re proud of that streak. But now it was time for someone else.”
The chase for this year’s title was expected to become a two-team race after Cedarburg finished a close second to the Pirates in 2013. However, the Bulldogs solidified their claim as the favorite when they defeated Port, 41-25, on Dec. 18, handing the Pirates their first conference dual-meet loss in 13 seasons.
Disappointment aside, Port had plenty of standout performances Saturday, including first-place finishes by seniors Noah Rosado (120 pounds) and Quentin Lueck (152) and junior Zach Smith (126).
Rosado had no trouble improving his season record 31-4. After a first-round bye, he pinned two foes, including Lutheran’s Max Riederer in 2 minutes, 49 seconds, in the final.
Lueck (22-7) had to work even harder. After a bye, he defeated Grafton’s Tommy Makela, 11-5, in the semifinals and was taken to overtime in the title match before downing Cedarburg’s Ryder Sigler, 3-1.
Smith (29-4) edged Cedarburg’s Josh Hickey, 4-3, to win his title. After a first-round bye, Smith pinned Whitefish Bay’s Jack Ludke in 1:17 in the semifinals.
All three Pirates won their second conference titles.
“They all wrestled very well,” LaRosa said. “We’re looking for good things from them in the (WIAA) tournament.”
Port got second-place finishes from freshman Preston Makoutz (113 pounds), senior Jordan Clark (160) and junior Alec Masters (170).
After a bye, Makoutz (16-6) scored a pin in the semifinals and lost, 14-5, to Nicolet’s Jack Kalloch in the final.
Clark (17-16) came within a whisker of winning a title. He won by pin and decision before losing to Homestead’s Zach Lennon, 2-1, in double overtime.
Masters (16-9) won by technical fall after a first-round bye and lost to Cedarburg’s Duncan Isbister, 9-1, in the final.
Port’s other top-four finishes were thirds by Brandon Moeller (138 pounds), Brannon Bauer (145), Cullen Bauer-Trottier (195) and Andy Fidler (285) and fourths by Brandon Willms (220) and Luke Benkley (182).
Homestead was third in the team standings with 179 points, followed by Germantown (117), Milwaukee Lutheran (105.5), Whitefish Bay (100.5), Grafton (92) and Nicolet (73.5).
Grafton was led by Alex Marshall, who dominated the 220-pound weight class.
The senior (37-4) spent little time on the mat. After a first-round bye, he pinned Bay’s Joe Beck in one minute and scored a 1:53 fall over Lutheran’s Logan Moody in the title match.
“Alex has done a great job all season of making adjustments and preparing for tournaments,” Grafton coach Mike Dodge said.
“He wrestled a very controlled and technical tournament. We’ll work on minor adjustments and prepare for (WIAA) regionals.”
Grafton’s next-best finish was a second by Kevin Taylor at 145 pounds. The senior (21-11) won his first two matches by decision, including an 8-2 decision over Nicolet’s Savion Dean in the semifinals, before being pinned by Cedarburg’s Jason Ipsarides in 3:52.
“Kevin had a great day. It was great to see his hard work in the off-season pay off,” Dodge said.
Placing fourth for Grafton were Arturo Duran (106 pounds), Gary Ross (138), Makela (152) and Romeo Woods (160).
Dodge said he was proud of his team, which had only eight wrestlers in the tournament but got six top-four finishes.
Port Washington 54, Whitefish Bay 18
The Pirates cruised in a conference makeup meet at Bay Feb. 5.
Besides receiving five forfeits, Port got pins from Bauer (145 pounds), Makoutz (113) and Manny Rosado (132).
Smith (126) and Masters (183) won by decision.
This Saturday, Port and Grafton will wrestle in WIAA regional meets.
The Pirates will travel to Kaukauna for a 9:30 a.m. Division 1 meet that is part of the Sheboygan South Sectional.
Grafton will participate in a Division 2 meet at Pewaukee at 10:15 a.m.
The top four finishers in each Division 1 weight class and the top two in each Division 2 weight class will advance to individual sectional meets Feb. 22.
Regional team champions qualify for sectional meets Feb. 18.
Image Information: SENIOR NOAH ROSADO won the 120-pound weight class at the North Shore Conference tournament Saturday, one of three individual championships for Port Washington. However, Port finished second to Cedarburg in the meet, ending the Pirates’ streak of 12 consecutive team titles. Photo by Sam Arendt