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Hawks, Pirates pin down tournament honors PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 18:13

Grafton wrestlers post solid finishes in home duals; Rosado takes crown to lead Port at Pulaski Invitational

For a wrestling team with a middle-of-the-pack finish, the Grafton Black Hawks had no shortage of solid individual performances last Saturday.

Although the host Hawks finished third in the five-team Grafton Duals, they had five wrestlers post 3-1 tournament records.sports3

The group included Gary Ross (138 pounds), Billy Depies (145), Sam Hoffman (160), Justin Rapp (170) and Alex Marshall (182).

Marshall, a sophomore, had the most impressive showing, winning three times on first-period pins. His lone loss came to Elkhorn’s Jake Stilling.

Rapp had two pins, including a five-second win against a Waukesha North opponent. Ross, Depies and Hoffman each had one pin.

The Hawks went 2-2 in the round-robin tournament, which was won by Elkhorn (4-0). West Bend East placed second at 3-1, and North (1-3) and Racine Case (0-4) were fourth and fifth, respectively.

 
Big meet, big splash PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 17:54

Nennig leads way as Grafton, Port boys pick up pace in showdown of state’s small-school teams

High finishes were few and far between for local teams at the Small School State Swimming Invitational in Plymouth last Saturday.

Encouraging performances were not.sports1

Although Grafton and Port Washington finished well back of the upper echelon in the 18-team meet, both squads had several standout performances.

Grafton junior Al Nennig continued his impressive season by winning the 50-yard freestyle in 22.13 seconds and placing second in the 100 breaststroke (58.92).

Nennig led the Black Hawks to ninth place in the overall standings with 150 points.

Port, which finished 15th with 51 points, was paced by junior Alex Mehre, who took seventh in the 100 butterfly (58.26).

“This was a real tough meet,” Grafton coach Mark Minz said. “Every team in it knew that their conference meets are coming up, and it was crunch time.”

McFarland won the team title with 332 points, topping a strong field that included several other perennial powers.

Monona Grove was second with 245 points, and Cedarburg (242), Madison Edgewood (194) and Whitefish Bay (168) rounded out the top five.

“I was pleased with the way our guys did in the meet,” Minz said. “They’re continuing to lower their times, which is what we’re looking for.”

 
Playing through their tears PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 25 January 2012 19:44

With the weight of a teammate’s death on their shoulders, Grafton boys stand tall before losing thriller to Port Washington


On a night when tears, bowed heads and standing ovations were as plentiful as field goals, all that was missing was a last-second victory.

Toiling through a heart-wrenching night that paid tribute to a fallen teammate, the Grafton boys’ basketball team came close to defeating longtime rival Port Washington last Friday.

Painfully close.GRAFTON’S SCOTTY TYLER found himself surrounded by Port Washington defenders during a North Shore Conference game last Friday. Tyler led the Black Hawks with 16 points, but Port rallied to pull out a 52-49 win.                                     Photo by Sam Arendt

It wasn’t until Grafton’s desperation three-point shot at the buzzer fell short that host Port prevailed, 52-49, in a game that will be better remembered for its emotional undertone than the box score.

The Black Hawks took the court for their first game since player Josh Davis-Joiner collapsed at practice and died the previous Monday. Still reeling from the tragedy, his teammates carried on, buoyed by a standing-room-only crowd on the visitors side and a sympathetic contingent of Port fans, many of whom dressed in Grafton orange as a show of solidarity.

Davis-Joiner’s jersey bearing the No. 32 was draped over an empty chair on the Hawks’ bench, an unmistakable reminder of their loss.

“Everybody wanted to win it for Josh, you could sense that,” Hawks coach Kevin McKenna said.

“I believed our kids would pull together and play hard. It was just a question of how much they would be able to focus on the game.”

Not surprisingly, Grafton’s focus wavered at times, particularly down the stretch. After outplaying Port in the first half and taking a 27-20 lead into intermission, the Hawks stretched the margin to eight points — 32-24 on a three-point play by Scotty Tyler midway through the third period.

Grafton took a 36-31 edge into the fourth quarter before the Pirates caught fire behind the play of Joey Burbach. The junior guard scored 11 of his game-high 18 points in the final period, including a three-point basket that gave Port the lead for good, 41-40, with four minutes left.

The Hawks continued to scrap despite foul problems that repeatedly sent Port to the line. The Pirates made nine of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter, including a pair by Eric Graf that put them up, 51-46, with 41 seconds to go.

After Robbie Doring hit a three-pointer that pulled Grafton within 51-49, Kyle Rismeyer added a free throw for Port. In the final 19 seconds, the Hawks missed three shots, including a closely guarded try by Doring from behind the arc as time expired.

While Grafton players slumped dejectedly on the court and sideline, fans on both sides joined Port team members in a standing ovation. The applause was for all the Hawks, including Davis-Joiner, whose absence was indelibly etched on everyone’s minds.

 
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