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MADISON -- Jack Radabaugh will be one busy man this evening. But it will be a good kind of busy. The Ellsworth head wrestling coach will have four wrestlers in the finals of the WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament at the Kohl Center. Hayden Hauschildt will be back to defend his state title. He defeated Sugar River Co-op's previously unbeaten Kalvin York 8-5 at 145 pounds in Division 2. Sam Huppert will be back to the finals as well, looking to win his first state championship after beating Daniel Bahn of Clinton 4-3 at 112. New finalists for the Panthers are D.J.
MADISON - It's difficult being a prep wrestler trying to focus in on a match along with trying to deal with all the sights and sounds of the WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament. But having familiar opponents helped Ellsworth's Sam Huppert and Jordan Borst advance to today's quarterfinal round with wins Thursday evening. Huppert had wrestled Portage's Ryan Hayes at the Bi-State Classic last December and lost by a point. This time Huppert scored the early advantage with a takedown and three-point nearfallk on a cradle that put him ahead 5-1.
ELLSWORTH - On its way to victory, leading by nine points midway through the third quarter, Ellsworth collapsed Thursday evening against Amery. The Warriors outscored the Panthers 31-6 for the duration of the game and won the Middle Border Conference contest 53-37. Foul trouble hurt a Panthers squad that led 31-22. But a lack of leadership also hurt when things started to go wrong. "Give Amery credit for playing physical defense against us on the perimeter and clogging the penetration lanes," Ellsworth coach Cory Brathol said.
SOMERSET, Wis. -- Ellsworth easily dispatched of its two opponents at Tuesday evening's Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2 Somerset Team Sectional. With the wins, the Panthers claimed their fifth straight title and a berth in the state team tournament March 6-7. The No. 2-ranked Panthers beat Maple Northwestern 68-3 in the semifinals and Amery 56-11 in the finals. Ellsworth, 15-7 overall, will take on No. 8 Pewaukee in the state semifinals in Madison. The other semifinal pits No. 1 Lodi vs. No. 4 Oconto Falls. Ellsworth recorded five pinfalls in under a minute.
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.
PLUM CITY -- Six Plum City High School girls basketball players were honored during Senior Night festivities before the Blue Devils' contest with Elmwood Thursday. Those seniors then proceeded to dismantle their Pierce County rivals 69-37. Ashley Hinrichs led Plum City scoring with 21 points, and fellow senior Amanda Daleiden finished with 19 points.
ELLSWORTH -- The Ellsworth High School boys basketball team missed all kinds of baskets Friday night against Pierce County rival Prescott. Easy shots, off-balanced shots, three-pointers, mid-range jumpers, shots right under the basket, layups, you name it and the Panthers missed it. Ellsworth head coach Cory Brathol attributed the poor shooting partly to plain bad luck; many went in and out or bounced off the rim. But he also attributed poor defense to why the Panthers struggled to score.
PLUM CITY -- If only the Plum City boys basketball team could have played all four quarters the same way it did the second quarter -- where the Blue Devils outscored Spring Valley 20-9 and held the Cardinals' leading scorer, Corey Blaedorn, to just two points. But Blaedorn was unleashed in the second half to score 21 of his game-high 31 points in at 77-73 Spring Valley win Thursday. Blue Devil head coach Wayne Radle said his ballclub didn't do anything special to keep Blaedorn in check in the second quarter. "We did switch to a man-to-man defense, but nothing more than that," Radle said.
The Hager City Skeeters are the newest team in the St. Croix Valley League.
PLUM CITY -- Pepin High School's girls basketball team used a spread zone defense to force Plum City to shoot from the outside, allowing them to stay competitive with the Blue Devils in Tuesday's Dunn-St. Croix Conference contest. Plum City countered by attacking the gaps in the Laker zone, which allowed them to outscore their rivals 35-22 in the second half for a 59-42 victory. The Blue Devils struggled shooting in the first half and had post player Ashley Hinrichs on the bench with two fouls. Pepin's Tasha Heit scored 10 points to keep the score close.