Six hours of eight-mat excitement resulted in three individual titles and a second-place finish for the Menomonee Falls wrestling team in the Homestead Highlander Scramble on Jan. 20.
That the Indians lost to third-ranked Oak Creek was no shame, said Indian coach Jim McMahon.
"We had a meeting with the kids before the meet, and we tried to figure out a plan to beat Oak Creek," McMahon said, "but we were missing a few kids, and it's just so tough to beat them right now."
Falls will try to close out an unbeaten run through the Greater Metro Conference dual-meet schedule when it hosts archrival Sussex Hamilton on Thursday, Jan. 26. They will then take part in the Sheboygan South Redwing Dual Meet Invite on Saturday, Jan. 21.
"It would be a great accomplishment to go undefeated in duals," McMahon said. "The kids have been so mentally strong and flexible, helping us put the best lineup possible out there."
Oak Creek won its third major tournament in as many weeks with a 488.5-point total, Falls took second in the 20-team field with 390.5 and Kimberly was third with 337.
Freshman Ethan Pogorzelski at 106 pounds, Eric Wunsch at 138 and Logan Fallon at 285 all won individual titles for the Indians.
Pogorzelski went 5-0 on the day to improve to 27-5 on the season, defeating a Catholic Memorial wrestler, 8-0, in the final for his crown.
"Ethan has just gotten better and better as the season goes along," McMahon said.
Wunsch (26-4), a 2016 WIAA state runner-up, has put a shaky start to his season completely behind him, also going 5-0 with three pins and a sound 7-0 victory over Creek's Joey Colla (26-5) in the final.
"All these kids are really competitive," McMahon said, "and Eric took some lumps early on, and he lost a little confidence, but he's healthier right now, and he hasn't lost since December. Just a great leader for us."
Fallon (29-4), a junior, had a breakthrough day. He recorded four pins and then beat 2016 state meet qualifier Liam Arnold of Milwaukee King (23-3), 8-7, in a tiebreaker for the title.
"Logan's really improved his mental preparation," McMahon said. "We're really happy for him; this is just a huge feather in the cap for him."
Fallon will likely see Arnold again with a state tournament berth on the line in the WIAA sectional tournament in mid-February.
Matt Anderson at 126 (29-3) and Austin Lasanske at 132 (27-5) both earned seconds, losing to Oak Creek wrestlers in the process. Anderson lost, 6-4, to the Knights' Matt Berlin in one of the best finals of the night, while Lasanske was pinned by state-ranked Veliko Kochiu in his final.
What McMahon was most pleased about with the meet is that the Indians were able to bring extra wrestlers because of the scramble format, and all but one of them won at least three matches.
Other good efforts included Alec Lind third at 113 (4-1, 19-14), Noah Dakouras at 145 (4-1, 25-8), Josh McMahon fourth at 152 (3-2, 23-7) and Donald Eruchalu fourth at 195 (3-2, 19-5). Eruchalu had a great day, coach McMahon said, as he lost his semifinal to undefeated Adam Mischka of Kimberly by just a 5-2 count.
McMahon also praised Kevin Staron at 145 (4-1, seventh), Henry Hansen at 152 (3-2, sixth) and Ryan Callan at 182 (3-2, 13th).
Coach McMahon said Homestead did a great job in running the tournament and that it was a very enjoyable evening.
"Our best kids all got great competition," he said.