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When it comes to dual meets, every point counts and teams need to capitalize on their chances.

The Sauk Prairie wrestling team made to make sure to do just that Friday night as the Eagles rolled to a 57-10 win over Portage in a Badger North Conference dual meet at Sauk Prairie High School.

“Our kids respond well to the dual meet atmosphere especially at home; they like fighting for each other and working for those bonus points,” Sauk Prairie coach Adam Brager said. “Portage has some really good, young talent coming up but we wrestled well tonight.”

The teams split the first six matches of the night, first by trading decisions at 285 and 106 pounds. Sauk Prairie seized control by winning the next two, starting with a first period pin from Dawson Enge at 113 pounds.

The junior scored a quick headlock on Portage’s Riley Hibner before stacking up the Warriors freshman for a pin in 33 seconds. The Eagles were awarded a forfeit at 120 to take a 15-3 lead, but Brager credited Enge’s quick pin for giving Sauk Prairie a jolt.

“Dawson is an exciting wrestler to watch and a lot of times, he’s able to hit a big move, put the kid on his back and finish it off,” he said. “That feeds the rest of the team from that point on, it gets them ready for the rest of the match and it was big.”

Portage showed some signs of life by taking the next two matches to pull within 15-10, but that was a close as the Warriors got. Sauk Prairie responded by winning the final eight matches of the night to put things away.

Senior Jesse Huerth kicked things off by picking up a pin at 138 before sophomore Devin Fitzgerald earned a 7-0 decision at 145. Seniors Jo Smet and Bryant Schaaf, and junior Simon Patterson kept things going with three consecutive pins before senior Sawyer Ladd earned a decision win at 182 for a 45-10 lead.

From there, junior Marcus Haskins and senior Reece Bierstaker finished things off with consecutive first period pins at 195 and 220 to deliver the final blow. While the match quickly turned after the consecutive Warriors’ wins, Brager was pleased in the fact that the Eagles didn’t take the foot off the gas.

“In duals we always preach that every team point matters,” he said. “It’s always important to either save an extra team point, or to get that extra team point by getting a major, tech fall or a pin. They feed off each other when they do that and it’s good to see them continue to work towards that.”

Along with capitalizing on their chances, the Eagles made things difficult for the Warriors as each of the three Portage wins could have been worse. Sauk Prairie wrestled well defensively, limiting Portage to pair of decisions and a major decision.

On top of that, the Eagles prevailed in the majority of the scramble opportunities on the night, something Brager credits with the team’s work in the practice room.

“We encourage them to try those scrambles, try the more funky stuff in practice so that when they get on the mat, they’re more comfortable with it,” he said. “We just tell them to keep wrestling. Don’t give up the points and as long as you’re not going to get yourself in trouble, keep scrambling and they did a really good job of that tonight.”

Brager praised the Eagles, most notably the trio of varsity replacements with three normal starters out, for their ability, but knows that if they want to contend for the Badger Conference title, health is vital.

“We have some injuries that kids have been battling throughout the season and it’s kind of hit a peak right now where they just need to take some time,” he said.

SAUK PRAIRIE 57, PORTAGE 10

106: Beckett, Po, dec. Uselman, 7-0. 113: Enge, SP, pinned Hibner, 0:33. 126: Williams, Po, dec. Caygill, 10-5. 132: Tijerina, Po, mdec. Nolden, 9-1. 138: Huerth, SP, pinned Arnold, 1:19. 145: Fitzgerald, SP, dec. Andrews, 7-0. 152: Smet, SP, pinned Willis, 3:33. 160: Schaaf, SP, pined Gayton, 2:40. 170: Patterson, SP, pined Bleich, 1:44. 182: Ladd, P, dec. Angeles, 8-2. 195: Hankins, SP, pinned Steines, 0:42. 220: Bierstaker, SP, pinned Stout, 0:42. 285: Warren, SP, dec. Miller, 7-3. 120: Sauk Prairie received forfeit. Matches started at 285.

106: Beckett, Po, dec. Uselman, 7-0. 113: Enge, SP, pinned Hibner, 0:33. 126: Williams, Po, dec. Caygill, 10-5. 132: Tijerina, Po, mdec. Nolden, 9-1. 138: Huerth, SP, pinned Arnold, 1:19. 145: Fitzgerald, SP, dec. Andrews, 7-0. 152: Smet, SP, pinned Willis, 3:33. 160: Schaaf, SP, pined Gayton, 2:40. 170: Patterson, SP, pined Bleich, 1:44. 182: Ladd, P, dec. Angeles, 8-2. 195: Hankins, SP, pinned Steines, 0:42. 220: Bierstaker, SP, pinned Stout, 0:42. 285: Warren, SP, dec. Miller, 7-3. 120: Sauk Prairie received forfeit. Matches started at 285.

Follow Sean Davis on Twitter @SDavis_PDR or contact him at 608-745-3512.

Regional Sports Reporter

Regional Sports Reporter