Written by Steve Ostermann
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 16:28
Grafton boys’ basketball team snaps 46-game skid on way to tournament title that helps chart new direction
If you’re going to end a long drought, you might as well as do it in style.
When the final buzzer sounded last Saturday night at Heritage Christian High School in Milwaukee, the Grafton boys’ basketball team celebrated not only its second win of the season, but a tournament title as well.
The Black Hawks, who the day before snapped a 46-game losing streak with a semifinal victory in the Christian Classic, emerged with top honors by outlasting the host team, 56-48.
“We had a great weekend,” said Grafton coach Kevin McKenna. “Every team sets goals, and our goal was to win this tournament.
“The execution of our game plan was stellar. The kids really bought into what we were trying to do.”
Those kids had also waited a long time to taste victory. Before it defeated Milwaukee Salam in Friday’s opening round of the four-team tournament, Grafton hadn’t won a game since Dec. 2, 2008, when it downed
University School, 62-55.
“It was great to finally get a win, especially for our seniors,” McKenna said. “But we told our players they still had another job to do, which was winning the tournament.”
In the championship game, the Hawks jumped ahead early and withstood a late rally by Christian. They built a 30-22 lead by intermission, maintained a 43-33 edge after three quarters and used free throws to hold the
Patriots at bay down the stretch.
Guard Robbie Doring scored a game-high 17 points for Grafton, including an 8-for-11 effort at the foul line.
McKenna said the Hawks got key contributions from sophomore forward Scotty Tyler, whose 11 points included a breakaway dunk, and seniors Ryan Hartwig and C.J. Koehler, who played well at both ends of the court.
Hartwig scored six points, and Koehler had five.
Grafton finished with a huge edge in free throws, hitting 23 of 37 attempts to Christian’s 4-for-12.
“We made some changes and started getting stuff to the basket,” McKenna said. “We kept the pressure on Heritage Christian, and it paid off with a lot of free throws.”
The Hawks also used an aggressive 2-3 zone defense that fueled a 9-0 run and kept them in charge, McKenna noted.
A primary focus for Grafton’s defensive effort was holding Josh Banks, Christian’s top player, in check. Banks finished with 10 points.
The Hawks, who play Division 2 basketball, won the tournament by defeating two Division 4 teams. However, McKenna said, both victories came against opponents that provided tough challenges.
“Our kids deserved to win this,” he said. “We play in a tough conference (the North Shore) that has taught us to never take anything for granted.
“I’m really proud of our players. We got a trophy, and now we have to build from here. This is a starting point for us.”
Grafton 70, Milwaukee Salam 21
The Hawks dominated play from start to finish in the tournament semifinals.
Doring equaled Salam’s output by scoring a game-high 21 points, and sophomore guard Jake Wilde had 10.
Eight other Grafton players contributed points, led by center Jon Adamaitis and forward Kevin Collins with nine and eight, respectively.
“Salam has a small, scrappy team that played hard,” McKenna said. “It took discipline on our part to stick with our game plan.”
This week, Grafton resumed play with a nonconference game Tuesday against West Bend East.
The Hawks will begin their NSC schedule with 7:30 p.m. games at Homestead on Friday and at home against Cedarburg on Dec. 14.
Written by Steve Ostermann
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 16:24
Three Port wrestlers go undefeated as team turns heads in Spartan Duals
Only one team stood between the Port Washington wrestling squad and perfection in the Spartan Duals at Luxemburg-Casco High School last Saturday.
Aside from a loss to the host team, the Pirates turned in a dominant performance. They got undefeated efforts from three wrestlers and finished second in the six-team tournament with a 4-1 meet record.
The Pirates opened the round-robin competition by flattening Mosinee, 65-3, and then fell to Luxemburg-Casco, 42-20. But they bounced back to handle Kewaskum (42-27), Sheboygan Falls (72-10) and Bay Port (43-29).
“We wrestled really well,” Port coach Angelo LaRosa said. “I think it’s the best finish we have probably ever had in this tournament, which always has some really good teams.
“We lost a couple of close matches against a strong Luxemburg-Casco team, so that could have been even closer.”
State-ranked Luxemburg-Casco took top honors with a 5-0 mark, followed by the Pirates, Bay Port (3-2), Kewaskum (2-3), Sheboygan Falls (1-4) and Mosinee (0-5).
The Pirates were paced by three wrestlers who finished 5-0— freshmen Noah Rosado (103 pounds) and Calvin Harbaugh (112) and senior Alex Dieringer (152).
Harbaugh, in particular, caught the eye of his coach by pinning all his opponents in a cumulative time of 10 minutes, 12 seconds. In his longest match, he needed 3:46 to defeat Sheboygan Falls’ Alex Fitzgerald.
Harbaugh’s big day improved his season record to 7-0, with all the wins coming by fall.
“Calvin has been a stud. He’s wrestling great,” LaRosa said. “He’s going to be a real force for us.”
Dieringer was nearly as overpowering, scoring three first-period pins along with a 17-4 major decision over Mosinee’s Jordan Roosa and a 19-4 technical fall over Luxemburg-Casco’s Matt Zellner.
Rosado received two forfeits and won three times by decision, including a 14-12 victory over Luxemburg-Casco’s Joe Mencheski.
The Pirates’ Ryan Stietz went 2-0 in limited action, scoring a pin and winning by forfeit.
Port wrestlers who posted 4-1 records were Robby Anheier (119 pounds), Justin Meins (135), Josh Meins (171) and Tyler Griswald (215/heavyweight).
Going 3-2 were Jake Maechtle (140/145), Nate Schnell (140/145) and Mark Strong (189/215).
Against Luxemburg-Casco, the Pirates won five of 14 matches. Besides the victories from Dieringer and Rosado, Harbaugh pinned Dylan Blemke in 2:21, Josh Meins defeated Ethan Peters, 11-9, and Griswald defeated Luke Destiche, 5-3.
Black Hawks pin down 4th at invite
An undefeated performance by Michael Van Langen helped the Grafton wrestling team open the season with a fourth-place finish at the Kiel Multi-Dual Invitational last Saturday.
Van Langen, a 112-pound senior, scored two first-period pins, won by technical fall and major decision and received a forfeit.
In his toughest match, he defeated West Bend West’s Tswryim Lor, 18-7.
Grafton posted a 2-3 record in the six-team tournament. The Black Hawks defeated Kiel (52-24) and Elkhart Lake (54-9) and lost to West Bend West (62-10), Denmark (49-24) and Germantown (63-11).
West went 5-0 on its way to the team championship, followed by Germantown (4-1), Denmark (3-2), Grafton, Kiel (1-4) and Elkhart Lake (0-5).
The Hawks’ Matt Sieracki posted a 4-1 match record at 171 pounds. The senior won once by pin and three times on decisions, including a 5-4 victory over Denmark’s Dalten Dworak.
Sieracki pinned Germantown’s Jon Trapp in 58 seconds.
Grafton wrestlers who went 3-2 in the tournament were Jacob Brunnquell (119), Cody Bobholz (140) and Brandon Lopez (103). Brunnquell’s wins included two pins.
Port wins pair of dual meets
The Pirates started the season with a 42-27 win over Random Lake in a nonconference meet Nov. 30 and overwhelmed Germantown, 55-19, in their North Shore Conference opener Dec. 2.
Against Random Lake, Port jumped ahead early only to have the Rams rally for a 15-15 tie. The teams then exchanged victories until the Pirates sealed the outcome by getting a decision from Maechtle (145) and a pin
from Trevor Schumacher (152).
Port’s other wins were pins by Josh Meins (171), Harbaugh (112), Eli Rosado (125) and Schnell (135), a decision by Bret Winker (189) and a forfeit to Quentin Lueck (160).
Against Germantown, the Pirates turned what was expected to be a close meet into a rout by winning six of the first seven matches. They won 10 of 14 matches overall despite missing Dieringer, who sat out due to an athletic-code violation.
“Our guys really stepped up,” LaRosa said. “A lot of toss-up matches went our way.”
Port got pins from Harbaugh (112), Tyler Madden (130), Justin Meins (135), Maechtle (145), Josh Meins (171), Strong (189) and Griswald (215).
Winning by decisions were Anheier (119) and Schumacher (152).
In their only meets this week, Port and Grafton will both host conference duals at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The Pirates will take on Nicolet while the Hawks face Cedarburg.
On Dec. 15, Port will travel to Whitefish Bay for another 6:30 p.m. dual meet.
TYLER MADDEN was one of six Port Washington wrestlers who scored pins in their team’s 55-15 win over Germantown in a North Shore Conference meet last week. Photo by Sam Arendt