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Cheesemakers finish 5th in Badger tourney
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MONONA - The Monroe wrestling team had four wrestlers finish in the top four at the Badger Conference Tournament Saturday.

Stoughton crowned six champions en route to winning the overall Badger Conference tournament for the third straight year, outdistancing Sauk Prairie 361-293. Monroe racked up 172 points and finished sixth. Milton took third (256), followed by Waunakee (251) and then Reedsburg in fifth (179.5), which was 7.5 points ahead of the Cheesemakers.

"The Badger Conference tournament is one of the toughest tournaments around," Monroe coach Tom Witt said. "With the conference we are in there is a lot of competition all around. One of our goals was to finish ahead of Fort Atkinson for third in the Badger South and we did that."

Monroe junior Sam Kind at 160 pounds and senior Hayden Arneson at 195 each finished second place. Kind and Arneson both went 3-1.

Monroe junior Dempzy Foley (170) took third and senior Kyle Walter (heavyweight) placed fourth.

After a first-round bye, Kind (22-5) defeated Fort Atkinson's Ryan Golich 3-0. In the semifinals, Kind pulled out a 3-1 overtime win over Sauk Prairie's Bryant Schaaf. Stoughton's Tyler Dow pinned Kind in the championship match in 28 seconds.

After a first-round bye, Arneson (27-6) pinned Monona Grove's Reese Barker in 43 seconds. In the semifinals, Arneson pinned Milton's Jerry Lipke in 7 minutes. Arneson didn't get a chance to wrestle for the title and forfeited.

The Cheesemakers wrestled without three starters in David Andrews (126), freshman Alex Witt (132) due to illness and senior Isaac Allen (182) due to a separated shoulder.

"If we would have had them, we probably would have beat Waunakee which tied Sauk Prairie in the Badger North," Witt said.

Foley (27-8) went 4-1 at the conference tournament. He pinned Milton's Hunter Pernot in 48 seconds in a first-round match. Sauk Prairie's Isaac Pape then pinned Foley in 4:23 in a quarterfinal match. Foley bounced back edging Stoughton's Trevar Helland 3-2. He then pinned Waunakee's Preston Webster in 3 minutes. In a third-place match, Foley avenged the earlier loss to Pape and pinned him in 4:03 to take third.

"It was nice for him to come back see the kid and turn the tables to pin him," Witt said.

Walter went 3-2 in the tournament. After a first-round bye, Walter defeated Milton's Tom Rakestraw 5-2. Waunakee's Alan Olkowski then edged Walter 2-1 in overtime. Walter rode out Olkowski, but was called for locked hands and lost on a penalty point. Walter rebounded by pinning Baraboo's Colin Marquardt in 2:17.

In the third-place match, Rakestraw avenged an earlier loss to Walter knocking him off 6-0.

"He wrestled better," Witt said. "He has to get a little more aggressive on his feet. He's still trying not do too much to get scored on. He's used to winning matches in overtime. He has to get back to getting after people."

Monroe senior Cole Murray (138), junior Travis Wolf (145) and freshman Bodie Minder (220) each finished fifth. Sophomore Gabe Witt (113) placed sixth and freshman Patrick Rielly (152) took seventh.

Murray (27-9) defeated Milton's Levi Garrett 10-3 in a fifth-place match. Wolf edged Fort Atkinson's Nick Chapin 7-6 for fifth and Minder (20-8) took fifth after Baraboo's Avery Estes had to forfeit due to an injury.

Monroe will wrestle in the WIAA Division 2 Beloit Turner regional Saturday in Beloit.

Witt said the favorite to win the team regional and advance to the sectional is Evansville-Albany. He considers Evansville-Albany, Monroe and Beloit Turner contenders.

"We will try like heck to win it," he said. "We're hoping to have everyone back."