The Knights, in their prelude to a run at a WIAA regional title, earned individual titles from Ryan Kuesel at 113 pounds and Parker Keckeisen at 170, en route to a third-place finish in the North Shore Conference Tournament on Feb. 3.
"It was a really good tourney for us," said coach Gus Kaufmann. "I really can't remember the last time we felt that good about a conference tournament. The team focus was very good. We talked about beating our team score from last year (123 points) and seeing how high we could get."
The Knights will take a run at an elusive WIAA regional title in the meet they will host Saturday, Feb. 11. The meet will likely come down to them and Marquette out of the Greater Metro.
"The focus for us is the regional," Kaufmann said. "We think if we can score around 200 points, we have a chance. We'll have 14 guys out there, and they'll all have a role. Confidence and mental toughness are what we need right now."
The winner of the regional will advance to a state team dual sectional final dual against the winner of the Menomonee Falls regionals on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at Pewaukee. In addition, the top four finishers in each weight class will advance to the individual sectional at Oconomowoc on Saturday, Feb. 18.
The Knights earned their third-place finish in conference with 180 points, as Port Washington won with 249.5 and Germantown was second (217).
Kuesel earned his first league title in a sound way, as after a first-round bye, he pinned a Germantown opponent (2:43) and then edged Homestead's tough Messi Elgin, 3-1, in the final. "I was proud of Ryan; that was some smart, hard wrestling," Kaufmann said.
The second-ranked Keckeisen cruised to his second league title by scoring technical falls over Homestead and Grafton opponents.
Earning seconds were Peter Driscoll at 160 and Collin Shea at 182, while thirds went to Kazi Wynn-Beavers at 106 and Cameron Cooper at 285. Fourths were taken by Robert Lagerman at 126, Alex Riedijk at 132 and Will Dietrich at 195.
NICOLET GIRLS GYMNASTICS
The Knights swept all events and turned in a state-level season best of 141.2 points in beating the Menomonee Falls/Germantown co-op in a dual meet on Feb. 1.
"What a great night," said coach Chris Dempsey. "Tonight was a night to remember."
Ellen Liang won the all-around with a 36.95 score, while Abbe Hansen was second (35.2) and Cailin Mahoney third (34.75).
Liang also won all four individual events, including the vault (9.35), uneven bars (9.05), balance beam (9.5250 and floor exercise (9.025).
Taking seconds were Mahoney on vault (9.05), beam (9.15) and floor (9.05) and Hansen on bars (8.85). Hansen was third on vault (8.95) and floor exercise (8.75), while Mahoney was third on bars (8.5) and Lauryn Wagner the same on beam (8.725).
"We would not be a team without the efforts of seniors Jenna Koshakow and Rylee Callahan, Alia Maamouri and Rachael Reidijk," Dempsey said. "So proud of all the girls for achieving a great team score. It would be fun to beat the school record for the team score. They have already made strides with incredible achievements."
BROWN DEER/USM BOYS SWIMMING
Ben Hayes won both the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 breaststroke, as the Falconcats finished ninth in the Woodland Conference meet on Feb. 4 in Greenfield.
Hayes, a two-time WIAA D2 state place winner, will lead the local co-op into WIAA D2 sectional competition at Whitefish Bay at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11. The winner of each event, plus all those whose efforts are among the 12 best times out of all sectionals statewide, will advance to the WIAA D2 state meet in Madison, Feb. 17.
The Falconcats prepped with their 136-point effort in the Woodland meet, as the Greenfield/Greendale/Pius XI co-op won with 447.
Hayes won the 200 IM by more than six seconds in a time of 1:56.62 and then took the breaststroke by four seconds in 1:00.0. He also led the 200 free relay team that included TJ Davis, Bobby Albrightson and Caleb Saffold to a third-place finish in a season best of 1:39.28.
Other good efforts for the Falconcats included the following: 100 free: Saffold, 14th (personal best 56.81); 100 breaststroke: Saffold, sixth (PB 1:07.73); and 400 free relay: Davis, Hayes, Saffold and Matthew Lepine, ninth (season best 3:47.6).
Caleb Henry had huge time drops in the 100 backstroke and 200 free and Cassius Henry a 22-second drop in the 100 free.
NICOLET BOYS SWIMMING
Riccardo Romersi won the 50-yard freestyle and Collin Siverhus and Dylan Hall went one-two, respectively, in the 200 individual medley in leading the Knights to a fourth-place finish in the North Shore Conference meet on Feb. 4.
"I thought the meet went really well," said coach Bill Shuster. "Our guys who were rested completely swam lights out, and even those who were not fully rested threw down faster times than we thought they were going to and really opened their eyes and got them excited for the next couple weeks."
The senior-laden Knights will start their run toward a strong WIAA D2 state conclusion when they take part in the WIAA sectional at 1 p.m. Saturday at Whitefish Bay. The winner of each event plus all those whose efforts are among the next 12 best efforts out of all sectionals statewide will advance to the D2 state meet in Madison, Feb. 17.
The Knights prepped for that with a 363-point effort in the North Shore meet; Grafton won its first title with 455.
Romersi, a multi-time state place winner, won the 50 in 21.74 seconds and was also second in the 100 free (48.56). He also anchored the all-senior 200 medley relay team of Hall, Siverhus and Ben Cook to a second-place finish (1:43.59). The same group was also second in the 200 free relay (1:31.87).
Siverhus won the 200 IM in 2:06.64, and Hall was second in 2:07.89.
Other good efforts included the following: diving: Max Sorin, seventh (266.4 points), Noah Sucher, eighth (252.35); 50 free: Cook, third (23.55); 100 butterfly Cook, fourth (57.1); 500 free: Alex Malsch, seventh (5:30.11); 100 breaststroke: Siverhus, second (1:04.25), Daniel Zaydman, eighth (1:09.98); and 400 free relay: Ben Vuchetich, Brady Mandella, Sam Fedderly and Malsch, seventh (3:43.8).
WHITEFISH BAY WRESTLING
Freshman 152-pounder Dajun Johnson made history and took one of his first major steps toward greatness when he won his class to lead the Blue Dukes to a seventh-place finish in the North Shore Conference tournament they hosted on Feb. 3.
"Dajun is the first freshman conference champion we’ve had," said Blue Duke coach Dale Loebel. "Luke Davey was the only other freshman to make the finals in the 11 years I’ve been at Bay ... (he's) wrestled well. He’s been in the big moments before, so wrestling these big matches in February aren't an issue. Yes he’s a freshman, but he’s wrestled hundreds of matches in his career. You can see an improvement on his mat wrestling from the beginning of the season, and there’s a greater confidence on his feet."
Johnson will lead the Blue Dukes to the WIAA regional meet at Nicolet on Saturday, Feb. 11. The first four finishers in each weight class will advance to the individual sectional at Oconomowoc on Feb. 18.
Behind Johnson's title, Bay scored 68.5 points in the North Shore meet; Port Washington won with 249.5.
Johnson beat a Cedarburg opponent on a technical fall and then pinned a Port foe in 1:41 for his title.
The other four Bay wrestlers taking part all had their moments. Caleb Heidmann was fourth at 120 (2-2 on the day), Nolan Fergus was fifth at 132 (1-2), Jonah Nelson was third at 138 (3-1) and Max Hummer was fourth at 160 (2-2).
Loebel saw positives in all the performances and noted Fergus has been an excellent team player all season and has really led by example
"I was happy with the way we wrestled on Friday," Loebel said. "Of all the matches we wrestled, I thought we only let one slip away that we could have won."
NICOLET SIGNING DAY
The Knights will send four 2017 graduates on to play collegiate football.
They include Dakari Williams to the Saint Cloud Huskies (Minnesota), Cameron Cooper to the Rochester Community Technical College Yellow Jackets (Minnesota), TJ Miller to the Rochester Community Technical College Yellow Jackets (Minnesota) and Jaron Williams to the UW-Stout Blue Devils.
SHOREWOOD BOYS SWIMMING
Lucas Barry won the 100-yard freestyle as the Greyhounds used a balanced effort to take fifth in the Woodland Conference meet on Feb. 4.
They will take part in the WIAA D2 sectional meet at Whitefish Bay on Saturday, Feb. 11. The winner of each event, plus all those whose efforts are among the next 12 best of all sectionals statewide, will advance to the D2 state meet in Madison, Feb. 17.
They scored 229 points for their spot in the nine-team Woodland meet; Greenfield/Greendale/Pius won with 447.
Barry edged a Greenfield swimmer by just 0.02 for the 100 title in 51.47 seconds.
The 200- and 500-yard freestyles were also very helpful in the Greyhound efforts.
In the 200, Charlie Phillips was third (1:51.97), and Evan Szablewski was fourth (1:53.08), while in the 500 free, Szablewski was third (4:58.05) and Phillips sixth (5:09.57).
The 200 medley relay team of Szablewski, Peter Rath, Phillips and Lucas Barry was third (1:50.08), and Barry was third in the 50 free (23.3).
Other good showing included the following: 200 individual medley: Micah Sweet, sixth (2:17.8); 200 free relay: Joey Boldoc, Sweet, Georgy Federov and Phillips, sixth (1:43.56); 100 breaststroke: Sweet, ninth (1:11.26); and 400 free relay: Szablewski, Boldoc, Sweet and Barry, fourth (3:40.51).
WHITEFISH BAY BOYS SWIMMING
The Blue Dukes earned fifth in the North Shore Conference meet at Nicolet on Feb. 4.
They scored 252 points for their spot; Grafton won with 455.
They will host a WIAA D2 sectional meet on Saturday, Feb. 4. The winner of each event plus all those whose efforts are among the next 12 best out of all sectionals statewide will advance to the D2 state meet on Feb. 17 in Madison.
Mike McMahon's third in the 500 free (5:11.85) was the best individual finish for the Blue Dukes.
Other good performances included the following: 200 freestyle: McMahon, sixth (1:53.48); 200 individual medley: Adam Stollenwerk, fifth (2:16.93); 50 free: Wilson Tarpey, fifth (23.63); 100 butterfly: Henry Fetzer, fifth (58.38); 100 free: Tarpey, sixth (52.7); 200 free relay: Phil Flejsierowicz, Matt Swietlik, Tarpey, and McMahon, fifth (1:37.27); 100 backstroke: Stollenwerk, eighth (1:04.32); 400 free relay: Flejsierowicz, Stollenwerk, Tarpey and McMahon, fifth (3:33.72).
WNS STORM CO-OP HOCKEY
The Storm earned the fourth seed in the WIAA Janesville sectional and will host the Kettle Moraine co-op in a regional final at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at the Kern Center. If they win, they will visit top sectional seed the Waukesha North co-op in a sectional semifinal on Feb. 21.
They will close their regular season on Friday, Feb. 10 at Waukesha.
They improved to 12-9-2 overall with a 9-1 nonconference victory over Kenosha on Feb. 4.
No details were available from the game.
WHITEFISH BAY GIRLS GYMNASTICS
Behind Aly Yurkowitz's school-record 9.625 on balance beam, the Blue Dukes competed well against the Brookfield co-op, recording a fine score of 138.4.
"The girls did a fabulous job on senior night," said coach Mary Liniewski. "Senior Julia Patek was rested due to knee and ankle issues. With her back in the lineup, she will add one point. We also rested Abby (Timm) on vault, which she is our second highest scorer. Therefore, we could have hit 140 when you add their scores in which is where they should be. They will both be ready to go (this week)."
The Blue Dukes will host their annual 18-team Bradley Invitational at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, with Arrowhead, Madison Memorial and Homestead among the featured teams.
Against Brookfield, Yurkowitz also tied her personal best on floor exercise with a 9.65 and turned in an all-around best of 37.8 in winning the event. Liniewski also praised the efforts of Ava Fleming, Jess Fetting and Abby Timms.
SHOREWOOD GIRLS GYMNASTICS
The Greyhounds turned in a solid effort in a quadrangular North Shore/Greater Metro Conference meet last week.
"It was another great night for the JV team," said coach Samantha Sullivan. "Aleah Johnson placed second all-around, third on vault, third on bars; Jayce Todryk was second; and Madison Heindl was third on floor. Mira Soldon was first on beam and second on vault.
"The varsity team lost to a full-strength, tough squad from Grafton/Cedarburg. Despite that, Izzy Tasse placed second all-around, first on floor, second on bars and third on beam. Matia Williams was third on vault."
WHITEFISH BAY GIRLS BASKETBALL
The Blue Dukes coupled their victory over rival Nicolet on Feb. 2 with a 49-41 North Shore win over Port Washington on Jan. 31.
Bay (12-7 overall) had to use a strong 29-15 second-half surge against the Pirates after falling behind, 26-20, at the break. They used a tremendous advantage at the foul line to beat the host Pirates, as they were 23-of-37 from the line and Port only 1-of-6. Sam Loyda led the way for Bay with 15, Ellie Clements had 13 and Elise Whitmoyer 11. Clements was 7-of-9 from the line.
See separate story for details on the Nicolet game.
NICOLET BOYS BASKETBALL
The Knights paired up their thrilling triumph over Whitefish Bay on Feb. 2 with a 59-53 win over Grafton on Jan. 31.
The Knights (11-7 overall) had to use one of their patented rallies to win this one, as they fell behind the Black Hawks, 28-19, at the half. They outscored Grafton, 40-25, in the second session.
Jamari Sibley led the way with 13 points, while Jeremy Ninham had 12, Jack Brahm 11 and Jayden Hardy 9.
See separate story for details on the Bay win.
WHITEFISH BAY BOYS BASKETBALL
The Blue Dukes outscored Port Washington, 48-36, in the second half and cruised to an 84-60 North Shore victory on Jan. 31.
Bay (8-8 overall) hit eight 3-pointers in the game. Xavier Johnson had 17 points; Tommy Vellon and Harry Grams 13 apiece; Cade Garcia 10; and Gunnar Stock 9. Vellon hit three 3-pointers
NICOLET GIRLS BASKETBALL
Alexis Haupert scored 14 points and Jaya Williams eight in the Knights' 61-32 loss to Grafton on Jan. 31. Nicolet entered this week at 0-18.