Upper weights help OHS top Orioles
The big boys made the difference in Oconomowoc wrestling's 47-26 dual meet win over visiting Hartford on Thursday night.
After starting the night at 120 pounds, a back-and-forth dual showed a 20-14 advantage to Hartford heading into the match at 170 pounds. Oconomowoc then swept through 285, including four victories via pin.
Oconomowoc head coach Steve Olson singled out a few of his standout upper weights.
"I think the only thing that helped us tonight were our upper weights," he said. "It ended up being a forfeit at 106 and 113. I know they had a wrestler that could have gone. My heavyweight (Michael Mohr, ranked No. 7 in the state) is a good senior. Brett Samson is our 220 and he's a freshman. The neat thing about Brett is he's wrestled at those lower weights where there are shots taken, there's points scored, it's not just get a throw and get a pin. He brings a different element to 220. Joe Netteshiem (170) took his licks for us last year as a freshman, but he's come back, he's worked and he's given us some pretty good results."
The most anticipated match of the night took place at 152 pounds, where Oconomowoc junior Logan Ballering, ranked No. 14 in the state in Division 1, squared off against Hartford freshman standout Beau Breske, ranked No. 2.
A scoreless first period included Ballering getting deep on two shots, but Breske was able to defend both. With 30 seconds left in the second period, Breske scored the only points of the match with a two-point reversal and rode Ballering for the entire third period.
"Logan got in on two good shots, but Beau has some very good counters," Olson said. "He's quick with his feet, quick with his counters. Logan has to make split-second decisions, 'Am I going to go through with this, or back out and not give up points?' Logan wrestled a smart match. Beau did a great job of riding him at the end. It was a good match. That's a state match and everybody got to see it here. Logan was good; Beau was just a little bit better."
It was another hard-fought win for Breske, who is fresh off a fourth-place finish at the Cheesehead Invitational in Kaukauna last weekend. Breske lost to Minnesota's Jake Short, the eventual champion and the top-ranked 145-pounder in the nation, in the semis.
He then dropped a third-place match to Apple Valley, Minn. freshman Mark Hall, the top-ranked 152-pounder in the nation.
"The Cheesehead is really tough," Hartford head coach Steve Best said. "It's training and learning for the rest of the season. The other things in the season are more important, but he wrestled two kids who are ranked No. 1 in America. It won't get much tougher. The kids who aren't as talented as Beau and haven't wrestled as long as he has, they get to be there and watch him and realize what a really high level of wrestling looks like. You hope they see that and start working and training and get there someday."
Breske also benefits from daily sessions with teammate Nick Hahn, the No. 8-ranked 160-pounder in Division 1. Hahn, a senior, scored a technical fall over Cooney junior Allen Dowe.
"To have two kids that are solid, certainly top 10 in the state, in back-to-back weight classes, it's a big help," Best said. "They're both good kids, they both work hard, and they like each other."
Winning by fall for Oconomowoc were No. 12-ranked Eric Lease (145), Netteshiem, Nick Gomez (195), Samson and Mohr. For the Orioles, Kevin Pulvermacher scored the only pin at 132 pounds.
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