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.
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
“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.”
Written by Steve Ostermann
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 18:04
A LOOSE BALL in a hard-fought North Shore Conference game last Friday sparked a scramble between Grafton’s C.J. Koehler and Port Washington’s Sawyer Mosley (left) and Joey Burbach.
Photo by Sam Arendt
Kennedy’s 3-pointer rescues Port boys from upset-minded Grafton in error-filled tussle
It’s not often a basketball team can miss 10 fourth-quarter free throws and still end up smiling about a one-point victory.
Number the Port Washington boys’ squad among the chosen few.
Surviving a hard-fought but ragged game marred by turnovers and errant shots, the Pirates outlasted upset-minded Grafton, 47-46, in North Shore Conference play last Friday.
Shane Kennedy’s three-point basket with 46 seconds left rescued Port, which trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half before launching a slow, steady rally that persisted through a few detours.
Host Grafton, which appeared headed for its first conference win since 2007, led most of the way before faltering in the closing minutes. However, the Black Hawks still held a 46-44 edge on a basket by Scotty Tyler with 1:30 to play.
After taking a timeout, Port ran the clock down before Kennedy got the ball at the top of the key. When the Hawks’ defense sagged off him, the senior forward launched a shot from behind the arc that swished.
“We were trying to run a pick-and-roll set, and (Grafton) doubled down on it, which left me open,” said Kennedy, who scored 10 of his team-high 12 points in the second half.
“It wasn’t something I was looking for, but I knew I could take it if it was there.”
In the frantic seconds that remained, Grafton missed a shot and turned the ball over on two possessions. However, Port kept the door open when Kennedy and Luke Schueller each missed a pair of free throws.
After grabbing a rebound on the Pirates’ last miss, the Hawks raced up court and got the ball to forward Ryan Hartwig, whose shot from the left corner bounced off the rim with two seconds left. When the ball was deflected out of bounds, the Pirates regained possession and ran out the clock.
The Pirates survived despite shooting just 54% at the free-throw line (14 of 26) for the game, including an 8-for-18 effort in the final period.
Port coach John Bunyan, whose team improved its NSC record to 4-3, was impressed with Grafton’s determined effort. But he was also happy to see the Pirates fight back after a poor first half in which they trailed, 21-17, after committing 15 turnovers.
“We were really struggling offensively and didn’t get anything going until the third quarter,” Bunyan said. “Grafton hit some big shots, and we were careless with the ball.
“But we found a way to pull it out at the end.”
The Hawks, who fell to 0-6 in the conference, put the heat on Port when they scored the first eight points of the third quarter to go up, 29-17. Hartwig and Tyler, who led both teams with 13 points, each hit three-point baskets during the run.
The Pirates answered with a 12-3 flurry of their own before the end of the third period. Guard Marcus Lackovic’s three-point basket in the closing seconds cut Grafton’s lead to 32-29 heading into the final eight minutes.
The Hawks rebuilt the margin to 43-36 midway through the fourth quarter. But Schueller scored four points during a Port rally capped by a Kyle Rismeyer tip-in that tied the game at 44-44 with 1:50 left.
“We were in control and let it get away,” Grafton coach Kevin McKenna said. “We played hard, but we didn’t make free throws and didn’t protect the ball.”
McKenna was pleased with his team’s defense in the first half, when it used a zone anchored by the 6-foot-5-inch Tyler and 6-8 Jon Adamaitis to control the interior.
“Our size bothered Port, and we were able to take Kennedy out of the game,” he said. “But we also got in foul trouble, which screwed up our player rotation. We had to change things, and that helped Port get back in the game.”
The Hawks shot 58% at the foul line (11 of 19), with seven of their misses coming in the second half.
Jake Wilde scored 12 points for Grafton, including seven in the fourth quarter.
Sawyer Mosley had 11 points for Port, and Rismeyer and Joey Burbach added eight and seven, respectively.
The Pirates’ win was their third in the last four games and sets the stage for a 7:30 p.m. rematch with conference leader Germantown this Friday in Port. The same night, Grafton will host Homestead at 7 p.m.
On Feb. 1, the Hawks will travel to Cedarburg for a 7:30 p.m. game as part of a coed varsity doubleheader. Port will host Nicolet at the same time.
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