Kaukauna, Ellsworth, Coleman Wrestling Champs

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Kaukauna, Ellsworth, Coleman Wrestling Champs

The State Team Wrestling finals produced champions in each of the three division held Saturday at the UW Field House in Madison, Wis.

Last year’s Division 1 runner-up Kaukauna (21-0) won the championship with a 39-22 victory over Bay Port. It was the Galloping Ghosts’ first State title after finishing runner-up on four previous occasions. The Ghosts took control of the match early, winning six of the first seven bouts to build a 24-3 lead. With a 24-16 lead, they clinched the State title by winning three of the final four matches.

Ellsworth (15-5) won its fifth team championship in the last six years and its sixth title overall with a convincing 41-12 decision over Pewaukee in the Division 2 final. By winning seven of the first eight bouts of the match, the Panthers owned a commanding 26-3 lead. After Pewaukee narrowed the deficit to 26-12, the Panthers won the final three matches, including pins by Gabe Mancino and four-time State individual wrestling champion Jens Lantz.

Last year’s runner-up Coleman (15-4) won the Division 3 championship with a 39-22 victory over Spring Valley/Elmwood. It was the Cougars’ 10th team championship, including the fourth since the inception of the duel-match format. They broke open a 3-3 tie with four straight win in the middleweight classes, including a pin and three decisions.

Semifinal Recaps

Ellsworth rolled in its Division 2 semifinal to advance to the final to face Pewaukee. The Panthers recorded five pins and won 12-of-14 weight classes to trounce Evansville/Albany 65-6 in their semifinal. Pewaukee won its semifinal over Wittenberg-Birnamwood 28-19. Eleven matches resulted in decisions.

The best match of the Division morning session came in Division 3 with Coleman advancing to the final on criteria with a 29-28 decision over Random Lake. The Cougars were awarded a criteria point at the end of the match that ended 28-28 based on having won the most bouts in the match. Spring Valley/Elmwood extended its 9-7 advantage though the first four matches with six straight wins in its semifinal against Riverdale, ultimately scoring a 37-16 triumph.

Kaukauna and Bay Port have advanced to the finals in Division 1 Friday evening, defeating Burlington in its semifinal 40-21. The Galloping Ghosts will duel Bay Port, which downed Merrill 28-25. It marks the first time a program from the Wisconsin Valley Conference has not advanced to the final in Division 1 since the inception of the team tournament in 1992.

In their quarterfinal, the Galloping Ghosts cruised past Menomonee Falls 59-3, winning all but the first match of the dual. The Pirates doubled-up on Stoughton to win its semifinal 42-21.  In other quarterfinal action, Burlington edged Sauk Prairie 33-32, and Merrill defeated Mukwonago 49-24.


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