Bonduel’s Banker takes Brawl in the Falls title
Chris Caporale, firstname.lastname@example.org
For the second time in as many weeks, Bonduel’s Jacob Banker and Oconto Falls’ Mac Winkler locked horns in the 182-pound division of a major tournament.
After sneaking out of the Lourdes On the Water Classic in Oshkosh on Dec. 28-29 with a one-point victory, Banker faced Winkler again Saturday at the Brawl in the Falls in Oconto Falls.
Despite giving up points in the final period, Banker emerged with an 8-4 victory.
“That was probably Jacob’s best match of the year. He wrestled very sound,” Bonduel head coach Chris Rank said. “He was in control. He gave up a reversal at the end, but that was a very good match Jacob wrestled there. Very proud of what he did there.”
Banker was the only local athlete to win an invitational title, but both Bonduel (five) and Menominee Indian (six) were well-represented on the final podium. Bonduel finished in seventh at the 14-team tournament with 80 points, and the Eagles followed in eighth with 75.5 points.
Oconto Falls (254) won the meet, and Reedsville (180.5) finished second.
Bonduel’s Jordan Boldt advanced to the championship match before dropping a 7-5 decision to Ashwaubenon’s Fernando Coronado.
“He just didn’t seem to be himself today. Wasn’t as sharp as he normally is, and that ultimately cost him a chance for a third title here,” Rank said. “That was a little tough for him. He was a little disappointed in himself, but this is all a learning experience. We want those tough matches, and that’s why we’re here.”
Joining Banker and Boldt on the podium were teammates Darren Tippett (120 pounds), who took fourth; Adrien Keiler (190 pounds), who took sixth; and Collin Wussow (220 pounds), who finished in fourth.
“I guess our team seemed a little flat with our younger guys,” Rank said. “We’ve got to change that. We’ve got to get that fixed.”
Meanwhile, Menominee Indian put three wrestlers in the top three and another in each the fourth, fifth and sixth positions just one year after having two place-winners at the invitational.
“This is probably our toughest challenge of the year, and we had our chances to get two maybe even three kids to the finals today,” Menominee Indian head coach Kirk Bahr said. “We’ve been off since before Christmas and just kind of healing up. I thought it was a great showing for just coming back off of break and coming to a tough tournament like this.”
The best chance for a title for the Eagles was heavyweight Alenex Warrington, who held a late lead against Oconto Falls’ Dan Ausloos in the semifinals before losing, 12-9. Ausloos went on to win the title match.
“He’s in there with him. He’s just as good as him, if not better,” Bahr said. “I think it just shows them that we can beat bigger teams. It doesn’t matter your population. It matters how hard you work.”
Menominee Indian also got top-three finishes from seniors Antonio Mahkimetas (145 pounds) and Leander Moon (195 pounds).
Junior Elliott Miller, who wrestled at 170 pounds, controlled Green Bay Preble’s Wyatt Stenson in the quarterfinals, 6-0, to advance to face top-seeded Dalton Smerchek, of Luxemburg-Casco. Miller lasted 5 minutes and 37 seconds before getting pinned in the semifinals, and then lost to Oconto Falls senior Brice Delzer in the third-place match.
Bahr called the 170-pound weight class the toughest flight at the tournament.
“He had a very good match in the beginning to get him into the semifinals, and then he had two state-ranked kids to get where he was,” Bahr said. “Top four for Elliott — I hope he holds his head high on that one.”
Brawl in the Falls
Oconto Falls High School
Team scores: Oconto Falls, 254; Reedsville, 180.5; Ashwaubenon, 174.5; Luxemburg-Casco, 97.5; Green Bay Preble, 94; New London, 83.5; Bonduel, 80; Menominee Indian, 75.5; Florence/Niagara, 65; Wabeno/Laona, 60; Gillett/Suring, 47; New
Holstein, 29; Bay Port, 16; Lena/STAA, 11.
Local top-6 finishers:
113: 4, Darren Tippett, Bonduel.
120: 2, Jordan Boldt, Bonduel.
160: 3, Antonio Mahkimetas, Menominee Indian.
170: 4, Elliott Miller, Menominee Indian.
182: 1, Jacob Banker, Bonduel; 6, Darius Wayka, Menominee Indian.
195: 3, Leander Moon, Menominee Indian; 6, Adrien Keiler, Bonduel.
220: 4, Collin Wussow, Bonduel; 5, Kyle Komanekin, Menominee Indian.
285: 3, Alenex Warrington, Menominee Indian.