Germantown finishes second at conference tourney
Thielke sets aim on third straight state title
Germantown — Championships from Cody Szohr at 119 and Jesse Thielke at 125 weren't quite enough to help hoist the Germantown wrestling team over perpetual North Shore Conference champ Port Washington, as the Warhawks had to settle for a satisfying second place finish.
"At the end of the day, we finished right where we were seeded," said Warhawks coach Casey Gabrielson. "We really felt we had a chance to win going into today and we wrestled well overall. Where Port Washington beat us was in the little things the first few rounds. Everything seemed to go their way and not ours. Congratulations to Port."
The Warhawks will now ready themselves for WIAA regional competition at Sussex Hamilton at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The top four wrestlers in each class will advance to the sectional tournament at Hartford on Feb. 20.
Thielke will begin his road for a third straight state championship at the meet.
Life was a little more interesting for the undefeated Thielke than he may have wanted it to be on Saturday, as flu symptoms limited his practices Thursday and Friday.
That was not an issue in his semifinal pin of a Cedarburg opponent (1:31), but was against Port's highly-regarded Justin Meins. Thielke took a big early lead and then had to hang on for a 9-5 decision to earn his third straight league title.
"It was pretty evident in the match against Meins that Jesse really had no energy," Gabrielson said "… Not to take anything away from Meins, he came out there to win and he wrestled for the full six minutes. This wouldn't surprise me if this was a possible finals matchup at state.
Szohr also pinned a Cedarburg foe in his semifinal (0:47) and then edged Port's Adam Dreikosen, 5-4, in the final.
"The score was much closer than the match," said Gabrielson. "Cody controlled the top position very well and has a great shot at qualifying for state if he continues to wrestle the way he is."
With those two titles to lead the way, the Warhawks scored 198 points as Port won with 238.
Germantown was helped along by three runner-up finishes, including Danny Krause at 140, Eric Bloedorn at 189 and Joe Multerer at 285. All lost on pins to either state champions or state-ranked opponents.
Earning thirds were Cody Falls at 130, Brian Kuhlenbeck at 135, and Tyler Baran at 145, while John Wills was fourth at 152.
On the plus side for the Warhawks, nine of their 14 wrestlers won their final matches.
"They (the Pirates) eventually pulled away in the final round (with more finalists)," said Gabrielson, "but it did not come easily for them this year."
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