Wrestling: Panthers win regional meet
ELLSWORTH -- The No. 2 Ellsworth wrestling squad hosted and dominated its Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletics Association Division 2 regional tournament, winning with 287 points.
The next closest finisher, Melrose-Mindoro/ Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, finished with 177 points Saturday.
The Panthers advanced 11 wrestlers to Saturday's individual sectional meet at Osceola while the Ellsworth team will compete tonight in the team sectional at Somerset. The Panthers' semifinal opponent is Maple Northwestern. Amery and Chetek-Prairie Farm will meet in the other semifinal.
The Panthers won the school's 37th regional title and fifth in a row.
"We had good, solid meet," Ellsworth coach Jack Radabaugh said. "The strong competition we've faced all year paid off for us today in helping some of our kids get past some good wrestlers in our regional."
Ellsworth had six regional champions starting at 112 pounds with Sam Huppert. He pinned Black River Falls' Bradley Gartner in 1 minute.
D.J. Yarwood used a spinning takedown in the last few seconds of overtime to beat Baldwin-Woodville's Tyler Klund at 119.
Roarke Langer upset the higher seeded Andrew Hartmann of Durand 8-4 at 125. Taylor Boettcher blocked a reversal by M-M/G-E-T's Ben Rodenberg to win 2-0 at 130.
Hayden Hauschildt won a matchup of one-loss wrestlers over M-M/G-E-T's James Marker by fall in 5:05 at 145. Shawn Helmueller won 5-2 over Henry Darst of Black River Falls at 152 and Alex Hoyer pinned M-M/G-E-T's Jorey Dobbs in 2:25.
Those Panther wrestlers moving on to sectionals by placing second were Tyler Thoen at 103, Joe Kornmann at 140, Noah McLay at 160 and Jordan Borst at 171. Thoen, McLay and Borst all had to win wrestlebacks to move on and Thoen was a last minute addition to the Panthers' lineup when starter Ben Stockwell was kept out due to a skin rash.
"Tyler has been around for two years and while he doesn't have a lot of varsity experience, he keeps in shape by working hard in practice and he competes very hard as well," Radabaugh said.
Among the teams at the Division 2 Somerset team wrestling sectional, Ellsworth has the most seniors in its lineup.
The Panthers have eight seniors and that experience makes them the favorites at today's sectional. The semifinals begin at 6 p.m.
Ellsworth, 13-7 overall, will face Maple Northwestern, 16-2 overall, which is making its first appearance in team sectionals.
The Tigers' top wrestlers include 119-pounder Nathan Nelson (32-3), 130-pounder Wes Snow (32-6), William Pedersen (29-7) at 152, Dave Snow (26-8) at 140 and Ryan Miesbauer (26-5) at 215.
In the other semifinal, Amery, 15-6 overall, and Chetek-Prairie Farm, 18-5 overall, will square off.
Ellsworth defeated Amery 51-10 during the regular season. Chetek-Prairie Farm won the Heart O'North conference title and returns to the team sectional for the first time since 2006.
The finals are schedule for 8 p.m. The winner moves to the state team tournament March 6 and 7 in Madison.