West Allis Central wrestling catches Hale for second at Greater Metro Conference Tournament
Bulldogs avenge dual defeat to rival
Although the ultimate goal of a Greater Metro Conference championship evaded the West Allis Central wrestling team on Friday night, the Bulldogs achieved something almost as satisfying - they beat rival West Allis Hale.
Central tallied 218 points for second place in the GMC Tournament at Marquette High School, topping Hale's third-place total of 204 points. Both local teams trailed champion Menomonee Falls' 246½ points.
"To beat Hale is like winning conference," Central head coach Jon Nelson said. "It would have been nice to catch Falls at the end, but they (the Indians) wrestled well. We wrestled well too and were happy with the outcome. Anytime we can beat Hale, it is a huge win."
The victory over Hale was revenge for the Bulldogs, who had lost to the Huskies, 42-23, in a GMC dual back on Dec. 20.
Nelson said his team has come a long way since that early meet.
"Not only did we not have our full lineup when we wrestled Hale (the first time), but we were not at top performance," Nelson said. "We train our athletes to be at their best performance at the end of the long season."
Locals win titles
Both West Allis teams claimed a pair of individual championships.
Central's winners were Tere White at 113 pounds and Dylan Diebitz at 160 pounds.
White took a first-round bye, then posted a pin in 2 minutes, 56 seconds and an 8-1 decision over Jerott Holz of Falls in the title match.
Diebitz, with just one loss on the season, had a bye, then pinned his first foe in 1:38 before blanking Taylor Tomczak of Hale, 11-0, in the final match.
Hale's titles were taken by Dallas Wanta at 220 pounds and Ryan Vankerkvoorde at heavyweight.
Wanta had a bye, then pinned his next opponent in 21 seconds and downed P.J. LeClaire of Brookfield East, 10-4, for the title.
Vankerkvoorde also had a bye, then pinned Robert Torres of Central in 4:42 before dropping Trayvon Handy of Falls in 1:13 in the title match.
Taking second for Central were Mark Choinski at 132, with a 3-2 loss to powerful Gabe Grahek of Marquette in the final; Alan Silva at 138 with a 4-2 decision to Josh Dempsey of Brookfield East and Tong Vang at 195 with a pin in 3:19 at the hands of John LeClaire of East.
Taking second for the Huskies were John Baltz at 106 with a 4-1 loss to Aaron Daly of Falls in his final; Jake Gruichich at 152 with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Nick Knoebel of Sussex Hamilton; Tomczak at 160 with his 11-0 loss to Diebitz and Andrew Buelow at 182 with an injury default in the final.
Central captured six third places: Tyus White (106), Dave Anich (120), Chris Helm (152), Jason Alvarez (170), Bobby Reyes (182) and Troy Evans (220).
Taking third for Hale were Jeffery Schubert (132) and Josh Petrovich (138).
Coming in fourth for Central were Jose Ramos (126) and Torres (heavyweight), while the Huskies collected four fourth places: Simo Gruichich (120), Maurice Beck (145), Logan Mocco (170) and Jordan Plantiko (195).
Luke Ellis of Hale took fifth at 126, while Ryan Ulbrich of Central placed sixth at 145.
They meet again
Now both teams are focusing on WIAA Division 1 tournament action, as they take part in a regional meet at 10 a.m. Saturday at Central. The top four in each weight class move on to a sectional Feb. 16 at Waukesha West.
"We need to beat Hale again, along with watching out for Waukesha South for the regional title," Nelson said.
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