Four Polar Bear grapplers are headed to the Kohl Center in Madison for the WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament after advancing from a Division 1 Sectional in Green Bay on Saturday, Feb. 21.
Jacob Barnett (113 pounds), Joe Cliver (145 pounds) and Elliott Luker (152 pounds) all took first place in their brackets at Sectionals, while Curtis Diedrich (126 pounds) took second place.
The top two wrestlers in each weight class earned a trip to State.
Barnett got off to a good start by pinning Ashwaubenon’s Kaiden Conrad in 1:38 during their first round match. In the second round, Barnett pinned Pulaski’s Waylon Clark in 4:21 to advance to the first place match. Facing Matrix Jisko of Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln, Barnett came up with a hard-fought 6-5 decision to capture first place in the bracket.
In his first match at State, Barnett will face Oshkosh North senior Brandon Green, who owns a 39-4 record. Barnett, a sophomore, holds a 29-8 mark.
Diedrich earned a pin over Shawano’s Austin Oreskovic in 4:43 to advance to the second round. In round two, he earned a 9-2 decision over Thomas Degeneffe of Green Bay West/Southwest to earn a chance to wrestle for first place. In the first place match, Diedrich lost a 5-0 decision to Bradley Prentice of Pulaski. Diedrich took second place by rule after Degeneffe wrestled back, and Diedrich will wrestle at State.
In his first match at State, Diedrich will face junior Andrew McIntosh of Oak Creek, who holds a 37-4 record. Diedrich, also a junior, owns a 31-14 record.
Joe Cliver pinned Shawano’s Jarrett Laatsch in 1:05 to win his first round match. In round two, Cliver earned a 3-2 decision over Matt May of Pulaski. Wrestling for first place in his bracket, Cliver posted a 7-2 win over Sam Rathburn of Bay Port, capturing first place in the bracket and punching his ticket to State.
In his first match at State, Cliver will face Menominee Falls senior Jake McMahon, who holds a 34-14 record. Cliver, a junior, boasts a 37-6 record.
Elliott Luker won his first match by pin in 1:54 over Curtis Waupoose of Shawano. In the second round, he earned a 10-0 major decision win over Daniel Balch of Green Bay Preble/East. In the championship match, Luker earned a 4-1 decision over Brock Benitz of Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln. Luker won his bracket and will compete at State.
In other Sectional action, Hortonville’s Noah Heimmermann (106 pounds) was pinned at the 3:19 mark of his first match.
In his first match at State, Luker will face Sevens Point junior Fritz Schierl, who owns a 35-5 record. Luker, a sophomore, owns a 37-7 record.
At 132 pounds, Hortonville’s Nathan Lichtfuss won a 4-1 decision over Pulaski’s Jack Heinz, but lost his second round match by a 2-1 decision to New London’s Scott Cook. Lichtfuss earned a chance to wrestle for second place after beating Zac Broullire of De Pere by a 4-3 margin, but Cook lost in the championship match. Cook took second place by rule, and Lichtfuss took third.
Cam Luker (138 pounds) wrestled for the Polar Bears but lost an 8-6 decision to Trevor Turriff of De Pere in the first round.
Brad Conger (160 pounds) lost his first round match by pin in 3:46 to Richy Sommers of Green Bay West/Southwest.
Michael Hills (182 pounds) lost an 8-0 decision in the first round to Casey Nelson of Green Bay Preble/East.
Jack Huebner (220 pounds) won a 7-6 decision in the first round over Nick Metoxen of West De Pere, but lost by pin in 0:30 to eventual champion Alec Ingold of Bay Port in the second round. In an attempt to wrestle back to the second place match, Huebner lost a 3-2 decision to Pulaski’s Taylor Brancefield.
WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament
The State Tournament will be held Thursday, Feb. 26, through Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Session 1 begins with Division 1 preliminaries at 3 p.m., followed by quarterfinals at about 5:15 p.m. Division 2 and 3 preliminaries begin at 7:15 p.m.
Division 1 consolation matches begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 27. Division 2 and 3 quarterfinals start at 11:15 a.m., followed by Division 1 consolation semifinals at about 1:45 p.m. Division 2 and 3 consolation semifinals begin at 2:45 p.m.
Division 1, 2 and 3 semifinals begin at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, Division 1, 2 and 3 consolation wrestlebacks begin at 11 a.m., followed by matches for fifth place and third place.
The march of champions begins Saturday night at 6 p.m. for Divisions 1, 2 and 3.