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Stepping up in the Cheesehead spotlight PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Steve Ostermann   
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 17:50

Dieringer’s runner-up finish leads Pirate wrestlers at Kaukauna meet showcasing some of nation’s best

A 20th-place finish in a 25-team tournament may not seem like much to write home about.

But Port Washington wrestling coach Angelo LaRosa was hardly upset about his squad’s showing at last Saturday’s Cheesehead Invitational in Kaukauna.

“That tournament is just one of the toughest tournaments in the country,” said LaRosa, whose Pirates trailed most of the field but more than held their own in a competition that featured an array of nationally ranked teams and wrestlers.

“We had six wrestlers place (in the top 16) last year, and this year we had nine place, so we did really well.

“This is by far the best tournament we will be in all year. It’s 10 times tougher than the state meet.”

As expected, Port was led by junior Alex Dieringer, who finished second in the 135-pound weight class.

After receiving a first-round bye, Dieringer won six straight matches, including a 4-2 decision over previously undefeated Brandon Kinsley of Apple Valley, Minn., in the semifinals.

In the championship match, Dieringer battled Arrowhead’s Jake Suelfohn before losing, 10-6. The showdown was a rematch of the tournament’s third-place final last year, when Dieringer won by major decision.

“It was a great match between two of the top kids in the country,” LaRosa said.

“Alex wrestled well until it was 6-6. Then he got caught on his back, and Suelfohn got some late points. Jake’s very good and seems to get stronger as his matches go on.”

The loss left Dieringer with an 18-1 season record. Suelfohn improved to 22-1.

LaRosa singled out Dieringer’s win over the highly regarded Kinsley as “the best match I’ve seen Alex wrestle.”

Kinsley, a defending state champion in Minnesota, went 44-0 last year with 40 pins, LaRosa said.

Port scored 183.5 team points in the tournament, which was won by Apple Valley with 710.5.

Brandon, Fla., placed second with 671.5 points. Wyoming Seminary of Kingston, Pa., took third with 585 points, and Montini, Ill., was fourth with 512.5.

The best finish by a Wisconsin team came from Kaukauna, which was eighth with 294 points.

The Pirates’ other top-16 individual finishes in the tournament included 10ths by Justin Meins (125) and Trevor Schumacher (145); a 13th by Josh Meins (152);
15ths by Jake Maechtle (140), Ryan Wischer (160) and Mark Strong (189); and 16ths by Bret Winker (171) and Adam Dreikosen (119).

Justin Meins, a junior, posted a 4-3 record that included a 3-2 loss to Christ Divito of Montini in the ninth-place final.

After going 2-2 in his first four matches, Meins rebounded with two wins in the consolation round, including a 9-7 victory over Jordan Seidl of Luxemburg-Casco in
the semifinals.

Schumacher, a junior, also went 4-3, including a loss by pin to DeForest’s Steve Hoffman in the ninth-place final. Schumacher’s wins included a 6-2 decision over
Pewaukee’s Mike Dusel in the consolation semifinals.

“This was the best I’ve ever seen Justin and Trevor wrestle,” LaRosa said. “They both did outstanding jobs.”

Port’s other individual finishes included a 19th by Eli Rosado (142), 20th by Jermaine Will (103), 23rd by Tyler Griswald (285), 24th by Nate Schnell (130) and 25th by Nate Flack (215).

The Pirates will return to the mat Thursday when they travel to Milwaukee Lutheran for a North Shore Conference dual meet at 6:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Port will participate in the Burlington Invitational at 10 a.m.

Schweitzer leads Black Hawks

Brandon Schweitzer’s second-place finish carried the load for the Grafton wrestling team at the On the Water Classic in Oshkosh on Dec. 29 and 30.

The senior posted a 5-1 record in the 215-pound weight class, with his lone defeat coming in the championship match.

Schweitzer, who improved his season record to 10-2, battled Yusef Hassan of Burnsville, Minn., before losing, 3-0.

Schweitzer scored 42 of the Black Hawks’ 57 points, which gave them a share of 45th place in the 58-team tournament.

Coleman won the title with 326.5 points, well ahead of runner-up Hortonville’s 271.

“Brandon did an outstanding job and had a great tournament,” Grafton coach Mike Dodge said.

“Last year, he won the title at the same meet. This year, he became the first Grafton wrestler to get to the finals in consecutive years.”

On his way to the final, Schweitzer received a first-round bye, scored three straight pins and defeated Random Lake’s Mason Anklam, 8-5, in the semifinals.

Schweitzer made quick work of his other opponents, pinning Three Lakes’ Emerson Hegeman in 16 seconds, Markesan’s Dakota Roeder in 52 seconds and Tyler
Kubler of Eden Prairie, Minn., in 2:44.

No other Grafton wrestlers placed in the tournament. Juniors Matt Sieracki (160) and Cody Bobholz (140) had the Hawks’ second-best finishes by posting 2-2
records.

Sieracki opened with a 6-4 win over Kewaskum’s Derek Aupperle but then lost to Hortonville’s Nick Lecher, 5-0. In the consolation bracket, Sieracki pinned Wabeno’s Jeremy Norris in 2:35 before losing to Tomahawk’s Isaac Silvernale, 3-1.

Bobholz got both of his wins on forfeits. His defeats included a 15-0 technical fall against Peshtigo’s Mitch Johnson in the third round of the consolation bracket.

Nick Goetz (145) also represented the Hawks in the tournament. After being pinned in the first round, he won by forfeit and lost to Slinger’s Owen Ciriacks, 5-3, in
a second-round consolation match.

Grafton will travel to Whitefish Bay for a North Shore Conference dual meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and wrestle in the Baraboo Invitational at 10 a.m. Saturday.
 
No slippery slope for Port boys over break PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Steve Ostermann   
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 17:43

Team cruises by Escanaba on way back into NSC play

Facing an unfamiliar opponent during the distractions of a holiday break has thrown more than a few basketball teams for a loop.

The Port Washington High School boys’ squad didn’t stumble into the pitfall, though, when it hosted Escanaba, Mich., in an unusual nonconference game Dec. 29.

Zipping ahead early, the Pirates glided to a 67-40 win that gave everyone plenty of playing time.

“We didn’t know the level of competition we would face from the Upper Peninsula, but we responded well,” Port coach John Bunyan said. “It was a good win, and we got a lot of kids in the game.”

The contest, which marked the first time teams from the schools faced each other in any sport, was scheduled to help  both squads fill out their nonconference schedules.     

Escanaba, which plays in the five-team Great Northern U.P. Conference, made the 4-1/2-hour bus ride south for a pair of games wrapped around a one-night stay at the Country Inn & Suites in Port. After losing to University School, 52-50, on Dec. 28, the Eskymos brought a 4-2 record into their contest against the Pirates.

Port broke to a 22-12 lead in the first quarter and held a 40-28 edge at halftime before turning the game into a rout.

Turning up the defensive heat, the Pirates went on a 16-4 run in the third period and held Escanaba to just 12 points for the second half.

Ten Port players scored in the game, led by senior guard Josh Gasser’s 19 points in limited court time. Cory Steinmetz had 10 points, and Kyle Rismeyer added eight.

Quinn Wakefield, a senior forward, paced the Eskymos with 12 points.

The win was the Pirates’ third straight and improved their season record to 7-1.

Bunyan said the highlight of the night for his team was a determined second-half performance.

“At halftime, we talked about improving our defense,” he said. “We didn’t move our feet and weren’t real active in the first half.

“They really stepped it up and played a lot better the rest of the game.”

The Pirates resumed North Shore Conference play this week, starting with a game against Milwaukee Lutheran on Tuesday. On Friday, they will travel to Cedarburg for
a 7:30 p.m. contest.

“We need to start focusing on conference games now,” said Bunyan, whose team started the week tied for second place in the NSC race with a 2-1 mark.

“We have an important stretch coming up and need to improve each week.”

JOSH GASSER (center), teammate Cory Steinmetz and the rest of the Port Washington boys’ squad had little trouble overpowering Escanaba for a nonconference win. Photo by Sam Arendt
 
High marks for heavy hardwood duty PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Steve Ostermann   
Wednesday, 30 December 2009 15:24

Back-to-back nonconference wins underscore resilience of Port boys during stretch of four games in eight days

Port Washington coach John Bunyan had a sneaking suspicion that his boys’ basketball team would have its mettle tested during the second half of December.

Playing four games against tough foes during an eight-day stretch, he reasoned, should provide an idea of how good the Pirates will be this season.

The acid test that ended with a nonconference win last week didn’t leave Port unblemished, but it did produce three wins and plenty of positives.

“I think we’re in good shape, although we haven’t played our best basketball yet,” said Bunyan, whose team finished the test with a 69-54 win over Brookfield Academy on Dec. 22.

“We had one disappointing game (a loss to Whitefish Bay on Dec. 18) during that stretch, but we learned from it. We’re getting better.”

The Pirates, who took a 6-1 overall record into a nonconference contest Tuesday against Escanaba (Mich.), capped their pre-Christmas schedule with a solid performance.

Against Brookfield Academy, Port absorbed a one-two scoring punch to win handily.

Forward Marquis Jordan tossed in 26 points and guard Troy Huff added 25, but the rest of the Blue Knights combined for just three points. The two-man show simply wasn’t enough to keep pace with the Pirates’ more balanced attack.

Guard Josh Gasser scored a game-high 27 points for Port, which also got 22 from forward Cory Steinmetz.

Shane Kennedy and Luke Schueller added eight and six points, respectively, for the Pirates.

Bunyan was particularly impressed with Steinmetz, who “was really efficient in the way he played.”

“Cory took advantage of his scoring opportunities and didn’t miss many shots all night,” Bunyan said. “He had what you’d call a quiet 22 points.”

Bunyan also praised the hustle of forward Kyle Rismeyer and guard Marcus Lack-ovic, who gave the Pirates a lift in reserve roles.

“They both played good defense and handled the ball well,” he said.

Brookfield Acad-emy, which plays in the Midwest Classic Conference, held a 14-12 lead after one quarter. However, the Knights fell victim to a Port scoring blitz in the second period, which gave the Pirates a 38-22 lead at halftime.

Brookfield Academy pared the margin in the third quarter but never got closer than 10 points.

The Knights brought a 5-1 record into the game but lacked the focus to stay in contention against a Port team that has established itself as one of the state’s top Division 2 squads.

“Brookfield Academy has some talented players, but they didn’t play very good team basketball,” Bunyan said. “That made them easier to defend.”

At the other end of the court, the Knights struggled to match up inside with Port, which cashed in at the free-throw line. The Pirates made 15 of 17 foul shots compared to their opponent’s 1-for-4 effort.

Brookfield Academy did most of its scoring from the perimeter. Jordan hit four three-pointers in the game, and Huff, a University of North Dakota recruit, had three.

The win was Port’s second straight since a 62-48 road loss to Bay, which Bunyan said reminded his players about the importance of fundamentals.

“We got outrebounded and turned the ball over too much in that game,” he said. “It reminded us of what we have to do well to be successful.”

The Pirates entered the holiday break at 2-1 in the North Shore Conference, good for a second-place tie with Bay and Nicolet. Both teams trail Homestead (3-0).

Port will resume league play next week with a pair of 7:30 p.m. road games — Jan. 5 at Milwaukee Lutheran and Jan. 8 at Cedarburg.


FORWARD CORY STEINMETZ scored 22 points to help the Port Washington boys’ basketball team overpower Brookfield Academy in a nonconference game last week. Photo by Sam Arendt

 

 
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