The Warhawks will roll into this Saturday's WIAA sectional at West Allis Central with high hopes, as among their 10 qualifiers coach Casey Gabrielson sees potential for quite a few advancing to the individual state tournament Feb. 24-26 in Madison.
"Our ultimate goal is six," he said. "The bare minimum is three and on a good day, we could (get) four or maybe a school record of five."
Leading the group will be undefeated three-time state champ Jesse Thielke (42-0) at 130 pounds. Others with strong opportunities include fellow regional champs Cody Szohr (35-5) at 119, Joel Multerer (36-8) at 285 and Danny Krause (27-13) at 152.
The top two in each weight class will advance to the team tournament at the Kohl Center in Madison. The sectional begins at 10:30 a.m.
The sectional advancers came out of a heady regional effort that saw the Warhawks take a strong second (201 points) to powerful Arrowhead (238).
"This was definitely one of our best regional efforts ever," said Gabrielson. "The kids are really wrestling tough. This is the last third of the season and our strength of schedule is really coming around to help us."
Other sectional qualifiers included the following: 103: Tyler Cosgrove, third (26-11); 112: Brandon Goesch, third (14-24); 125: Tyler Palzkill, third (25-15); 135: Brian Kuhlenbeck, second (30-13); 171: Jon Trapp, fourth (17-20); and 215: Hunter Higginbotham, third (5-6).
"The team has really been there for each other all season long," said Gabrielson, "and we have the loudest fans and friends out there. … The guys have been disciplined, working together and really buying into the team concept."
Menomonee Falls wrestling
The rebuilding Indians will send nine qualifiers to the sectional at West Allis Central on Saturday.
Falls earned the berths with their fourth-place finish in the WIAA regional at Homestead. The Indians scored 132 points as Hamilton was third (180) behind leaders Arrowhead and Germantown.
From the sectional, the top two in each weight class will advance to the WIAA State Individual Tournament in Madison on Feb. 24 to 26.
Leading the way for the Indians will be 103-pounder Jeff Kleser (21-6), who was second after recording wins over Homestead (pin) and Germantown (decision) grapplers before he lost to an Arrowhead foe on a pin in the final.
Also earning sectional berths were the following: 112: Dan Stark, fourth (24-13); 125: Austin Meyer, fourth (14-22); 152: Bill Steinke, fourth (15-20); 160: Justin Bayer, third (25-16); 171: Ayoola Olapo, third (9-8); 189: Dominic Thomas, third (27-12); 215: Yaphay Harvey, fourth (21-19); and 285: Cam Greene, fourth (4-10).
Menomonee Falls boys basketball
It remains one step forward and two steps back for the Indians, as after surviving a razor-thin decision with Oconomowoc (51-50) on Feb. 8, they turned around and lost to a lesser West Allis Central squad, 67-50, on Friday.
"They made all their free throws and we missed all our shots," said Falls coach Ben Siebert. "Again, it was a situation where we weren't consistent with our effort."
The split left the Indians at 6-4 in GMC play and 9-9 and the loss to Central broke a three-game winning streak. Falls will be at GMC co-leader Wauwatosa East (10-2, 14-6) on Friday and then visit border rival Sussex Hamilton (3-8, 6-13) on Monday with both games starting at 7:30 p.m.
Against Central (4-6, 5-12), the Indians trailed by three at the half and could never put together a consistent effort in the second session. Jalen Ramey had what Siebert felt was his best game of the year as he scored 20 points.
In the Oconomowoc game, Falls had an 11-point lead at the half but then had to hang on for dear life at the end. The Indians had a four-point lead late, but then the Raccoons hit a 3-pointer with seconds remaining to cut it to one. The Indians then missed a front-end of the bonus and Oconomowoc's prayer at the buzzer was off the mark.
J.P. Tokoto had 14 points, while Steve Ross had 13 and Ramey 11 for Falls.
"The kids are frustrated," said Siebert, "but they keep looking forward to the next game."
- Steven L. Tietz
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