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Matmen fare well against state's elite squads

Dec. 17, 2012

Pewaukee was missing two starters and a third wrestler who did not make weight, but the Pirates still threatened perennial powerhouse Wisconsin Rapids in a dual tournament at Rapids on Saturday, 33-21. Coach Ed Kurth knows this is the year to beat Rapids, which graduated a boatload of top-flight talent last year, but he was still encouraged by the result.

Nick Manriquez opened the dual with a pin, and Jake Roseland avenged a previous week loss to Darren Jackson with a last-second escape for a 1-0 win at 220 pounds.

It was Rajiv Geffert (106 pounds) who delivered the biggest match of the day, topping Patrick Spray - ranked No. 7 in the state in Division 1. Geffert reversed Spray to his back with 10 seconds to go, breaking a tie and emerging with a 9-4 victory.

Jason Berg added a pin, and Alex Owens notched a late takedown for a 3-2 victory. Garret Shibilski, who lost a 3-2 match in double overtime, was among the Pirates showing well in defeat.

"Clearly, even without our best possible lineup, we had our chances to knock off Wisconsin Rapids," Kurth said. "If losing this meet means we learned enough to win some bigger ones down the road, then I guess I can accept it."

The day began with a 35-26 loss to state-ranked Freedom. Kyle Knutson's pin at 182 was cited as the biggest win of the match, and other wins came from Shibilski (145 pounds), Jake Paget (pin at 1160), Geffert (pin at 106) and Isaac Lodise (tech fall at 126)

The Pirates then defeated Brookfield East, 52-15, with Berg and Paget recording pins and Owens pulling out a 2-1 win in triple overtime. Against the No. 1 ranked team in Division 1, Holmen, Kurth said his team did not wrestle well and fell by a 53-14 score. Freshman Brett Danner won via tech fall at 113, a big accomplishment for a wrestler closer to 100 pounds.

"He never expected to be moved up but he handled it well," Kurth said.

The Pirates finished the day with a 55-15 win over a team of reserves from Rapids, Holmen and Freedom.

"It was those first two losses that we will remember the most for what could have been but also for the reminder of what we are capable of accomplishing in future big meets," Kurth said.

Geffert, Lodise and Shibilski all finished 4-1.

Pewaukee 44, New Berlin 22

In a Woodland Conference battle with New Berlin on Wednesday, the Pirates won the first five matches to take a 28 point lead. Kurth said that was anticipated, with New Berlin boasting strong upper weights from flights 170 to heavyweight.

"While we didn't win any of them, I'm shocked to say we had a great chance to win each of them," Kurth said. "Each match was close, and it was frustrating to watch these inexperienced young guys lose when victory was right at their fingertips. I was frustrated and proud all at the same time, although I think the fans only saw the frustration."

Pewaukee wrestlers at those flights were Matt Fritchen (3-0 loss), Kyle Knutson (pinned with 3-2 lead), Giovanni Guarnero (4-3 loss), Jake Becker (overtime loss) and Christian Dischler (5-0 loss).

"I am very pleased with how close our upper weights were to winning their matches," Kurth said. "A lack of discipline in sticking to what is taught and practiced is what cost us each of these wins. The fact that four of these wrestlers are sophomores with very little varsity mat time, though, does leave me pretty satisfied and optimistic about where we will be with our technique a month from now."

Geffert, Lodise, Berg and Paget dominated in winning matches.

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