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Beat goes on for Nennig, Grafton PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Steve Ostermann   
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 17:31
Alex Nennig

Sophomore breaks own freestyle mark in leading team at Small School State Invite


The beat goes on for Alex Nennig and the Grafton boys’ swimming and diving squad.

Although the Black Hawks failed to win any events at the Small School State Invitational in Shorewood last Saturday, Nennig and his teammates turned in several solid performances.

Nennig, a sophomore, led the way by placing second in the 100-yard breaststroke (in 59.89 seconds) and fourth in the 100 freestyle (49.62). The latter time broke the Hawks’ team record he established in the same meet last year.

Nennig was also part of a fourth-place 200 medley relay team (1:45.91) along with seniors Josh Govek and Brandon Marshall and sophomore Brad Kempka.

Grafton scored 103.5 points to finish 10th in the 18-team meet, which included many of the state’s top Division 2 squads.

McFarland won the title with 323.5 points, edging runner-up Monona Grove (322.5). Madison Edgewood was third with 208 points.

Among other local teams, Port Washington was 15th with 38 points.

Grafton coach Mark Minz was pleased with his team’s showing, noting it placed in the top 10 despite the absence of senior freestyler Austin Schaut, who was sidelined due to illness.

Senior Mark Rosenberg replaced Schaut on a 400 freestyle team that capped the meet with a ninth-place time of 3:34.59. He was joined by Chris Rose, Kempka and Nennig.

“Mark really stepped up nicely in that event for us,” Minz said.

Grafton’s other scoring finishes were a 12th by the 200 freestyle team of Rose, Ben Helm, Stefan Lundgren and Rosenberg (1:40.96), 13ths by Zach Greenwood in diving (218.7 points) and Kempka in
the 50 freestyle (24.16) and 14ths by Kempka in the 100 freestyle (52.91) and Govek in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.73).

Port was led by 11th-place finishes from the 200 medley team of David Antoine, Alex Mehre, Blaze Nalezinski and Perry Schaefer (1:51.8) and the 200 freestyle team of Mehre, Stephen Nosko, Jake Verfuerth and Connor LaCosse (1:40.35).

Placing 12th for the Pirates were Zach Greenwood in diving (224.7 points) and Alex Mehre in the 100 butterfly (1:00.66).

Port’s other scoring finishes were a 14th by Antoine in the 100 backstroke (1:02.44) and 16th by Tim Walch in the butterfly (1:03.01).

Pirates coach Alex Kultgen was pleased with his team’s effort in its toughest meet of the season to date.

“We didn’t have a ton of high place finishes, but a number of our swimmers improved their times,” he said.

Kultgen singled out the work of LaCosse in the 200 freestyle, Walch in the individual medley and Nalezinski in the breaststroke.

Grafton 106, Port Washington 79

The host Hawks won 10 of 12 events to claim bragging rights in the final North Shore Conference dual meet of the season for both teams Jan. 27.

Grafton celebrated the Parents Night festivities by accepting a schooner-styled traveling trophy that goes to the winner of the annual showdown.

The Hawks were led by Nennig and Kempka, who both won two individual events and were on a pair of first-place relays.

Nennig won the 100 backstroke with a school-record time of 53.59 and was first in the 200 individual medley (2:07.14). Kempka won the 50 freestyle (23.75) and 100 freestyle (52.84).

Grafton swept the three relay races, including wins from the 200 medley team of Nennig, Govek, Lundgren and Rosenberg (1:51.31), the 200 freestyle team of Frankie Mercado, Rosenberg, Kempka and Rose (1:39.1) and the 400 freestyle team of
Lundgren, Kempka, Rose and Nennig (3:39.64).

The Hawks’ other victories came from Rose in the 200 freestyle (1:59.44), Govek in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.46) and Greenwood in diving (176.65 points).

Placing first for Port were Mehre in the 100 butterfly (1:00.79) and LaCosse in the 500 freestyle (5:46.99).

This week, Grafton and Port will participate in the conference meet at Cedarburg. Diving will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, followed by swimming at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Port will host the junior-varsity portion of the meet at 6 p.m. Friday at Thomas Jefferson Middle School.

 
Hawks stand tall in home mat challenge PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Steve Ostermann   
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 17:29
A pair of undefeated individual efforts set the pace for the Grafton wrestling team in its biggest home meet of the season last Saturday.


Senior Mike Van Langen and junior Josh Weissinger each went 5-0 to help the host squad place fourth in the annual Grafton Duals.

Van Langen scored three pins, had an overtime win and received a forfeit on his way to top honors in the 112-pound weight class.

Weissinger (125) had one pin, won once by technical fall and once by decision and received a forfeit.

Grafton posted a 2-3 team record. The Black Hawks defeated Racine St. Catherine’s (45-27) and Lake Mills (35-28) and lost to West Bend East (47-21), Elkhorn (58-17) and Valders (47-25).

Elkhorn won the title with a 5-0 mark. West Bend East (4-1) and Valders (3-2) took second and third, respectively.

“The Grafton Duals was a great day for our team,” said Hawks coach Mike Dodge, who was unable to attend the tournament due to a family matter.

“We won our 11th dual of the season. We haven’t won 11 duals in a season in five years or so.”

Each of Van Langen’s pins came in 23 or fewer seconds. His toughest match was a 6-4 overtime win over Danny Miramontes of St. Catherine’s.

In his closest match, Weissinger edged East’s Quinn Steinmetz, 10-8.

Grafton’s next-best individual effort came from senior Cody Bobholz, who went 4-1 at 140 pounds.

All four of Bobholz’s wins came on decisions, including a 6-5 squeaker over East’s Matt Driebel. He also scored major decisions over Lake Mills’ Mitch Lange, 17-4, and Valders’ Austin Scheffler, 18-7.

Other Grafton wrestlers with winning records in the tournaments were Jacob Brunnquell (119) and Matt Sieracki (160), who both finished 3-2.

The Hawks’ Justin Rapp (171) was 2-2. Finishing 2-3 were Gary Ross (130), Billy Depies (135) and Nick Bartz (285).

Pirates take 4th in Pulaski test

Bolstered by a pair of champions, the Port Washington wrestling team pinned down fourth-place honors at the Pulaski Invitational last Saturday.

Seniors Alex Dieringer (152) and Justin Meins (130) both took top honors for the Pirates, who also got a second place from Jake Maechtle (135).

The Pirates scored 139.5 points in the 14-team tournament, which was won by Luxemburg-Casco with 193.5. Coleman took second with 176.5 points, and Kaukauna was third with 157.

Dieringer had no trouble improving his season record to 31-0 by scoring three first-period pins. After receiving a first-round bye, he spent less than two total minutes on the mat.

In the final, Dieringer pinned Coleman’s Mike Mergener in 54 seconds.

“The guys Alex wrestled are not bad, but he’s just at another level,” Port coach Angelo LaRosa said. “He’s intense and focused and just going after it.”

Meins was also 3-0 after a first-round bye. After defeating Pulaski’s Zach Hendzel, 15-7, in the quarterfinals, he pinned Oconto Falls’ Mitch Friedman in 3:39 and defeated Jared Kust of Shawano, 10-3.

“Justin had an awesome tournament,” LaRosa said. “He beat some really good kids.”

Friedman has a 28-4 season record, and Kust is 30-4.

Maechtle, a senior, won his first three matches before losing, 12-8, to Seymour’s Alex Schramm in the first-place final. Besides scoring two pins, Maechtle edged Coleman’s Mason Mergener, 11-10, in the quarterfinals.

The Pirates’ other top efforts included a third by Noah Rosado (103), fourth by Calvin Harbaugh (112), fifth by Eli Rosado (125) and sixth by Josh Meins (160).

Port 71, Grafton 6

The visiting Pirates won all but one match on the way to an easy victory in the final North Shore Conference dual meet of the season for both teams Jan. 27.

Port got pins from Eli Rosado (125), Adam Dreikosen (130), Maechtle (140), Nate Schnell (145), Dieringer (152), Tyler Brown (171), Tyler Griswold (215) and Andy Fidler (285).

In the meet’s closest match, Josh Meins (160) edged Sieracki, 2-1, in double overtime.

The Pirates also got Tyler Madden’s 10-6 win over Depies (135) and three forfeits.

Grafton’s lone victory came from Brunnquell (119), who pinned Robby Anheier in 4:54.

Port finished 7-0 in NSC duals, and Grafton was 4-3.

On Saturday, both teams will participate in the conference tournament at Germantown. The Pirates will be going after their 10th consecutive NSC team title.

Matches start at 10 a.m.

 
Triple-double Josh: PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Steve Ostermann   
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 18:13
PORT WASHINGTON’S Josh Gasser has earned a starting role and turned in a record-setting performance during his freshman season with the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team.              Photo by David Stluka

Record-setting peformance for Badgers keeps Port’s Gasser on roll in surprise-filled rookie season


For a kid from Port Washington just hoping to contribute to the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team this season, Josh Gasser has done pretty well for himself.

The freshman guard continued his impressive rookie campaign by leaping into the UW record book last Sunday afternoon in Evanston, Ill.

Gasser highlighted his team’s 78-46 rout of Northwestern by posting the Badgers’ first-ever triple-double.

In 30 minutes of play, he had 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists — a feat that drew national media attention. He also joined another elite group by becoming the first Big Ten Conference freshman with a triple-double since Michigan State’s Magic Johnson in 1977.

“It was an amazing feeling. I felt pretty good early in the game, but I never thought I would do something like that,” said Gasser, who earned a scholarship to UW-Madison on his way to Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year honors his senior year at Port High School.

“I had a few rebounds in the first few minutes and hit my first three-point shot, and it just kept going from there.”

Gasser was one assist shy of reaching double figures in three statistical categories when he came out of the game with eight minutes left. But when his teammates began whispering that he needed one more productive pass to make history, coach Bo Ryan put him back in.

That was an unusual gesture from a coach not known for padding his players’ numbers.

“Coach Ryan is not about individual stats at all, but we were playing so well as a team and the game was pretty lopsided, so he agreed to do it,” Gasser said.

“It was the best 40 minutes of basketball we’ve put together all year.”

Gasser got his 10th assist on a three-point basket by Brett Valentyn with 2:56 to play.

Ryan was suitably impressed with the triple-double, which he told reporters was “a tremendous accomplishment.”

Gasser’s feat was especially eye-opening because he hasn’t been piling up prolific numbers this season. Through 18 games, including 14 as a starter, he’s averaged 5.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

Gasser is shooting 40% from the field and 83% at the free-throw line but averages only five field-goal attempts per game. That’s because, he said, his role isn’t as a scorer.

“We’ve got plenty of scorers on this team,” Gasser said. “My job is to go out, play defense and move the ball.”

Gasser has also done a solid job of protecting the ball, a major reason he’s become one of only three Wisconsin freshmen to ever start for Ryan. He averages less than one turnover per game.

Upon arriving in Madison, Gasser said, he quickly learned the cardinal rules to earn playing time in Ryan’s system: play hard on defense all the time, don’t get careless with the ball and don’t commit ticky-tack fouls.

“If you get lazy, you come out of the game,” Gasser said.

Gasser, who leads Big Ten freshmen in minutes played, made a big splash in his college debut, scoring a career-high 21 points against Prairie View A&M on Nov. 14. But he didn’t have another breakout game until last Sunday.

It came against the first high-major program that offered Gasser a basketball scholarship.

“Most of the teams we face play really tough defense, but Northwestern had a softer zone,” he said. “That gave me a little more chance to move around and get involved in the offense.”

There was also a little inspiration from the crowd of 7,100 attending the game.

Gasser’s parents Pat and Joan were among his family members in a group of several dozen Port Washington fans who rented a bus and traveled to Welsh-Ryan Arena. Dressed in Badger red, they arrived an hour before the game and made sure their favorite player knew they would
be heard.

“It was really exciting to be there,” said Pat Gasser, who’s missed only three or four of the Badgers’ games so far.

“Just to see Josh play is great, but then to see him get the first triple-double in team history was really cool.”

Pat Gasser, an assistant coach with the Port High boys’ varsity basketball team, is more than pleasantly surprised by his son’s quick emergence as a key member of the Badgers squad, which improved its season record to 15-4 with Sunday’s win.

“Our expectations were that he would get to play a few minutes each game,” he said. “To see him become a starter this soon and play well is beyond anything we could have imagined.”

The hometown backing isn’t lost on Josh Gasser.

“Each of the players gets four tickets for each game, and usually that’s not nearly enough for everybody who wants to be there,” he said. “The way everybody has supported me has been great.”

Just as important, Gasser added, has been the reception from his teammates. Standouts such as senior forwards Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil and junior guard Jordan Taylor made him feel welcome from his first day of practice — and are quick to acknowledge his contributions, he said.

“I’ve had my ups and downs, but they’ve always encouraged me,” Gasser said. “They’ve helped me learn from my mistakes and made me a better player.”

 
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