Just how close was Wauwatosa wrestling's Woodland Conference dual meet with Whitnall/Greendale?
It took to the eighth tiebreaking criteria — most near-fall points — to bust a 36-36 tie and award Whitnall/Greendale a one-point victory on Dec. 1.
"I thought our lack of varsity experience showed," Wauwatosa coach Kent Morin said. "With nine of our starters having either no varsity experience or very little, we wrestled kind of tentative. We will work to correct that, but really just some additional competitions should help."
The match began at 160 pounds, and Whitnall/Greendale took a 15-0 lead with two pins and a win by decision.
Jared Taylor pinned Zach Harebo in 40 seconds at 195 pounds, and Lawrence Thomas earned a fall over Brandt Hausch in 1 minute, 7 seconds to pull Wauwatosa to within 15-12. After Whitnall/Greendale received a pin at 285 pounds, Dayton Lewis pinned Dominic Wichgers at 106 pounds to make it 21-18.
A decision at 113 pounds made it 24-18, but Ben Acker tied the dual meet at 24 by pinning Matt Roat in 2 minutes at 120 pounds.
Wauwatosa took a 33-24 lead with a 6-2 decision by Lathan Hay over Sebastian Iverson at 126 pounds and a Griffin Granberry pin of Jacob Blanco in 2 minutes, 55 seconds at 132 pounds. Whitnall/Greendale recorded a pin at 138 pounds to pull to within 33-30, but Cole Acker made it 36-30 with a 4-2 win over Gabe Lewis at 145 pounds.
Needing a pin in the final match to tie Wauwatosa, Whitnall/Greendale received one in 3 minutes, 5 seconds from Riley Nugent over Brian Mahan at 152 pounds.
Neither team had any team or individual penalty points, which were the first two tiebreakers. The third tiebreaker was matches won, but the teams split the dual meet with seven wins each. Each team also had five pins in the match and there were no tech falls or major decisions. That sent the dual meet to the eighth tiebreaker of near-fall points, which gave Whitnall/Greendale the extra point and the win.
Wauwatosa finished the week by taking fifth place at the 16-team Gunslinger Invitational held Dec. 3 at Slinger High School.
Oak Creek won the invitational with 400.25 points, followed by Slinger (363.75), Fort Atkinson (349.25), Arrowhead (343.75) and Wauwatosa (284.25).
"I thought our guys wrestled much better than they had in our Wednesday dual," Morin said. "We were much more aggressive and much tougher. I think some of our young guys are starting to figure out what level they are going to have to compete at to be successful."
Granberry was Wauwatosa's top finisher on the day, taking fourth place with a 3-2 record at 132 pounds. Lewis (3-2 at 113 pounds), Van McNulty (4-1 at 182 pounds) and Ian Carroll (4-1 at 220 pounds) each placed fifth, while Andrew Radtke (113 pounds), Hay (126 pounds), Acker (138 pounds), Michael Pook (152 pounds) and Taylor (195 pounds) came in sixth. Sam Barta went 3-2 to take seventh place (170 pounds).
"I was most impressed with Van McNulty, who really wrestled tough," Morin said. "His one loss was a close 9-6 decision. I think he really is starting to figure what his strengths are. Ian Carroll, who was filling in for Lawrence Thomas, who was out for a funeral, also had a really nice day. His one loss on the day was a 6-5 decision.
"Overall, most guys wrestled five matches, which is a lot of matches in one day this early in the season. But they were up to the task and gained some really good experience that hopefully we will build upon."