By Keith Skenandore
Shiocton Wrestling Coach Eric Clausen was hoping to get two or three to advance from the Bonduel Sectional this past Saturday
Unfortunately only senior Billy Reif was able to punch his ticket to the WIAA Individual State Wrestling Tournament in Madison to be held this Thursday through Saturday.
Reif (41-3) would win a 3-1 decision in his 160-quarterfinal match over Ty Gruden of Edgar.
In his semifinal, Reif had some redemption on his mind as he faced Tyler Blanchard of Coleman. Blanchard defeated Reif last year in the sectional and Clausen was hoping for a different outcome.
Reif would lose a 9-8 decision and have to wrestleback to place in the top three to advance to state.
“I had to refocus and wrestle to my ability,” Reif said. “I was happy to make it to state and now had to focus for a higher seed.”
Reif would take Blanchard to his back for a 2-point takedown at 1:14 in the first period and almost got backpoints. Blanchard would get a reversal and three backpoints with a cradle to take a 5-2 lead going into the second period.
Blanchard would get an escape to increase his lead to four points before Reif was able to get a takedown to cut the lead to 6-4.
Going into the final period, Reif would score a reversal to close within one. With 41 seconds remaining in the match, Blanchard would score another takedown for an 8-5 lead. Reif would score a 2-point reversal 13 seconds later then cut Blanchard to attempt another takedown to tie the score. That would not happen and lose the 9-7 decision.
Clausen was disappointed in the outcome.
“We just didn’t work our offense the way we should have today,” he said.
“We’re not taking shots.
“We did not open up at all. We got tied up in the upper body stuff locking in underhooks and that is not our style.”
Reif would wrestleback and get a pin at 1:07 in the first period over Trysten Sanderfoot of Three Lakes/Phelps.
In the third-place match, Reif would pin Isaac Groshek of Rosholt in the second period to earn his trip to state. To top off his day, Reif would defeat Devin Denee of Stratford in the second place match by a 4-2 decision to earn a higher seed in Madison.
Senior Ethan Flannery would lose his 126 quarterfinal by a 6-5 decision to Ryle Bemis of Crivitz. Clausen was surprised by Flannery’s outcome.
“It was a close match but unfortunately he took us down early right away for points and put us on our back for two,” said Clausen. “In sectionals you can’t give up backpoints. We did and it ended up costing us in the end.”
Flannery would wrestle tough and get within one point but in the end his season was over.
“Not that we overlook anybody but we were expecting a better match out of that one,” Clausen said. “We just got caught in a few things.”
At 152, Brady Volkman lost his quarterfinal match to Bryce Karban of Coleman by a 5-2 decision.
“It was a good match,” Clausen said. “He wrestled a good match and left nothing out there and put everything into it.
”It’s Karban. These guys are used to this level. They’re state qualifiers. That’s the way they handle themselves.”
Sophomore Jared Jahnke would lose a 9-4 decision to Jacob Heiden of Stratford in their 138 quarterfinal. Jahnke fortunately would get the opportunity to wrestle back and still possibly place for a chance to wrestle at state.
Jahnke would win an exciting 6-4 overtime match over Jacob Horton of Coleman.
Horton would take an early 2-0 lead with a takedown but Jahnke was able to get a reversal to tie the score going into the second period.
The score would remain tied going into the third period. In the down position, Horton would get a 1-point escape for a 3-2 lead. Jahnke would get a 2-point takedown with 31 seconds left. Horton, however, would be granted one point for a questionable back point as he was trying to escape to tie the score and send the match into overtime.
Jahnke would get a takedown 16 seconds into OT for the win.
Jahnke was surprised by the 1-point call.
“I thought I had it won,” Jahnke said of the earlier back point. “You never know. The refs are all different and he made that call.”
Jahnke would lose his third-place match to Sam Lemmens of Gillett/Suring by a 7-5 decision.
“He’s a senior and a big wrestler,” Clausen said. “We wrestle a small 138 and we could not get the leverage.”
Clausen likes his sophomore’s potential with two years remaining in his high school career.
“We definitely think he’s going to be a force to deal with,” he said. “He has to get a little stronger.”
Senior Tyler Hess would pin Connor Kincaid of Three Lakes in their quarterfinal with 11 seconds left in the second period.
In the 220 semifinal, the tables would be turned on Hess and he would be pinned 27 seconds into the match by Ethan Heil of Edgar.
Hess would have to wrestle back to punch his ticket to advance. He would pin Hunter Connahvichnah of Menominee Indian at the 1:14 mark of the first period.
However, in the third place match, Hess would face Spencer Karban of Coleman and lose by a 4-2 decision.
“There were a couple of nearfalls that I thought were questionable and they gave it to him (Karban),” Clausen said. “It was a good match. The only difference was those backpoints which I thought were questionable.”
Hess would end up placing fourth.
Clausen is disappointed by not advancing more wrestlers but he said, “It is what it is. We’re used to sending more kids. It’s a tough sectional. A lot of good kids didn’t get through. It was disheartening. I thought more would get through, but we didn’t get that. A lot of guys we had were on the bump.”
He likes the draw that Reif has in the 160-bracket at state.
“We got a good draw” Clausen said. “The kid from Cadott (Brady Spaeth) is on the other side of the bracket. That works out best for us. We got some big names but those are people we can run with.”