Saturday Sports: Dennis brothers win tournament titles
Strong production in the lower weights led the New Richmond wrestling team to a third place finish at the 2019 Chippewa Falls Invitational on Saturday.
The Dennis brothers, Brandon and Tyler, both won tournament titles. Tyler Harris and Cayden Henning also reached the finals as the Tigers got stellar performances from all of their lower weight wrestlers. Ten of the 11 Tigers who competed in the tournament ranked in the top five in their weight classes. There were 11 teams competing in the tournament.
Brandon Dennis won the championship at 132 pounds and Tyler Dennis won the title at 138 pounds. Brandon Dennis beat two ranked opponents, including topping Stanley-Boyd’s Russel Dorn 10-0 in the finals. The wins raise Dennis’ record to 23-6. Tyler Dennis improved to 19-10 with his championship. He pinned all three of his opponents, including Verona’s Cael Wozniak at 4:53 into the finals.
Harris (12-17) came up with one of the nicest wins of his season in the 120-pound semifinals, beating Glenwood City’s Thomas Moede (12-9) by a 15-5 score. Henning (16-14) was the sixth seed in a deeply talented 126-pound class, but he knocked off the third and second seeds to reach the finals. Henning and Clear Lake standout Matt Anderson put on an excellent battle in the finals. Anderson took a 5-0 lead, but Henning battled back to tie the score before Anderson won on a late five-point move.
Jake LaVenture and Ryan Muller were third place finishers for the Tigers. LaVenture’s only loss came in a tight defensive battle against Spring Valley’s Kenny Fesenmeier in the semifinals. Fesenmeier got a takedown in the final 10 seconds to win 3-1.
The Tigers return to action this Thursday when they wrestle at Middle Border Conference leading Ellsworth at 7 p.m.
The Spartans continued their progressive play, taking Bloomington Kennedy to overtime in Saturday’s game at the Bloomington Ice Garden. Kennedy was able to get a 2-1 win over the Spartans.
The game was scoreless until there was six minutes left in regulation, when Kennedy scored. The Spartans kept pressuring and it paid results. Senior Cody Anderson scored the tying goal with 63 seconds left in regulation off an assist from AJ Simpkins.
Unfortunately for the Spartans, the overtime didn’t last long. Kennedy got the deciding goal 22 seconds in to the overtime period.
Somerset goalie Kaleb Bents made 38 saves in the game. Kennedy has an enrollment of 1,539 students, compared to Somerset’s enrollment of 463 students.
St. Croix Central wrestling
The annual SCC Hall of Fame Duals was a big event for dual reasons for the 2019 Panthers. Not only did they induct Jason Heinbuch into the team’s Hall of Fame, but the Panthers won two of the three dual matches they wrestled in the event on Friday night.
The Panthers earned wins over Durand and Luck-Frederic-Grantsburg. The drama of the night came in the match against LFG. The Panthers trailed 34-24 with two matches remaining. Garret Hafele kept the Panthers alive by pinning Logan Czech in 1:23, cutting the margin to 34-30. Central junior Erik Collins took the mat for the final bout at 126 pounds. Collins was able to pin Gavin Fredericks at 2:48, giving the Panthers the team victory.
“The look on his face was priceless,” Central coach Brad Holzer said of Collins’ reaction to giving his team the victory. “That’s what this sport is all about.”
Ryan Larson also got a pin during the match, winning in 21 seconds in the 220-pound bout.
Getting wins on the mat for the Panthers in the 48-24 win over Durand were Charlie Magee, Devin Wasley, Logan Shackleton and Nate Berends. Holzer said the pin by Shackleton gave the 152-pound validation.
“As hard as he’s working, and coming into the sport late, he’s starting to see some of the positives,” Holzer said.
Heinbuch was honored because he was a Dunn-St. Croix Conference individual champion in 1999 and 2000. He placed fourth at 189 pounds in the WIAA Division 3 state tournament in 2000.