REEDSBURG — Whether it was the opponent’s pep band, the raffle giveaways, or simply the conference rivalry, there was plenty of hoopla surrounding Friday night’s wrestling dual meet between Baraboo and Reedsburg.
But the Thunderbirds ignored all those distractions and took care of business, defeating the Beavers 43-27 to improve to 4-2 in the Badger North.
“It’s one you mark on the calendar,” Baraboo coach Joe Bavlnka said. “Being a rivalry, there’s always a lot of emotions and intensity, which makes it fun. Makes it fun for the fans and for the wrestlers.”
A couple of upperclassmen got to work right away to give the T-Birds a 12-0 lead. It started with a pin from junior Pablo Ramirez over Reedsburg’s Angelo Willey in the 138-pound match, with Ramirez forcing Willey’s shoulder blades to the mat at the 1:29 mark.
Senior Malaki Ringelstetter meanwhile, went back and forth against Noah Klingbeil in the early stages at 145. Klingbeil recorded a takedown to take the 2-0 lead, but Ringelstetter answered with a reversal and a takedown of his own. After an escape from Klingbeil, Ringelstetter had a 4-3 lead and started down in the second period but flipped around for a reversal, which led to a pin at the 3:30 mark.
Reedsburg came within one point of Baraboo after winning the next three matches. Reedsburg senior Bryce Bierman gave the Beavers their first win of the night with a 5-1 decision over freshman Carlos Chavez at 152. Chavez held his own as Bierman only led 2-0 after the opening two periods but Bierman showed his experience in the third to take the match.
It was a similar story at 160, as Reedsburg’s Kaden Reuterskiold and Braydon Scarborough entered the third period tied at 2. Reuterskiold earned an escape and an ensuing takedown in the third period, however, to take the match by a 5-2 decision. Reedsburg senior Brady Fry followed with a dominant performance over Caleb Porter in the 170, ending the match early with a 16-0 major decision to bring the team scores to 12-11.
Baraboo took over from there however, winning the next five matches to take a commanding 39-11 lead. Two of those matches were won by forfeit, with Aiden Estes winning in the 182 and Tyson Fry winning in the 220. The only win by forfeit for Reedsburg meanwhile, was in the 113.
Baraboo senior Jacob Kimpfbeck made quick work of Tristan Honor in the 195, grabbing a couple of takedowns before recording a pin at the 40 second mark. Joe Schick had a similar match in the heavyweight match, as the junior pinned Reedsburg’s David Finkel at the 1:01 mark to improve to 21-9 on the season.
“Finkel gave him a match at Richland Center, so I like how Joe came out there and just got after it right away,” Bavlnka said of Schick’s match. “Got his double-unders and it was game over so it was nice to see.”
The closest match of the night came soon after, as freshman Carter Stapleton took on freshman Kaiden Otto in the 106. Stapleton earned a takedown in the first period, but the 2-0 score held until the start of the third, a rare sight for a lightweight match. An Otto reversal to start the third knotted the score, but a technical violation on Otto gave Stapleton a 3-2 lead. Stapleton earned an escape to grab another point and was penalized for a violation of his own soon after, but went on to record another takedown with 20 seconds left to seal the win.
“I really like how he battled; gutted it out,” Bavlnka said of Stapleton. “That was a battle; it came down to the wire. He had a takedown right at the edge of the mat at the end of that third period to kind of seal it so that was a fun one.”
Freshman Brandon Jesse capped things off for Baraboo with an 11-3 major decision win over Brayden Judd in the 120, before Reedsburg took the final two matches. Mason McMillen won by a 13-4 major decision over John Gunderson in the 126, while Caden Fry pinned Eli Davidson in the 132. Davidson’s exited the match with an injured left shoulder.
“He might have separated his shoulder, we will kind of have to wait and see,” Bavlnka said of Davidson. “They got some ice on it, it will be day-by-day. It’s back in, it’s not like there’s anything broken but he might have separated it a little bit. Good thing is, he might have to sit (Saturday) but we got a little time (before) conference and regionals so he will have some time before then to rest up.”
Baraboo, which travels to Stevens Point today for the SPASH Duels, will next host Beaver Dam on Jan. 19 for its final conference duel of the season.
“That’s the big thing. We’ve got one conference match left against Beaver Dam at home and that’s senior night, and that will wrap up the conference season,” Bavlnka said. “To go 5-2 would be great for the kids.”