Melrose-Mindoro/G-E-T's Pete Peterson

Co-coach Pete Peterson instructs a Melrose-Mindoro/G-E-T wrestler during a nonconference dual meet against Holmen at UW-La Crosse this season. The eighth-ranked Titans qualified for their first WIAA Division 2 team state tournament by beating Evansville/Albany and fifth-ranked Lodi in sectional duals in Viroqua on Tuesday.

WESTBY — The Melrose-Mindoro/G-E-T co-op wrestling team had little trouble winning a Coulee Conference championship on Saturday.

The Titans scored 345 points and had seven individual champions to easily hold off second-place Viroqua (246) — last year’s champ — for the title.

Black River Falls/Lincoln was sixth with a score of 63.5.

The Tigers were led by second-place finishes from Sean Johnson at 195 pounds and Ethan Osley at 220.

Johnson (25-8) had three pins, but he was pinned by Melrose-Mindoro/G-E-T’s Bryce Burns (26-5) in the first period of what amounted to the championship match in the five-round format. Osley (23-8) also won four matches before finishing second to Melrose-Mindoro/G-E-T’s Sam Jansen (27-6) in an 11-1 match.

Saturday was much more about the dominant performance of the Titans, who had four second-place finishers to go with their champions.

Jack Marley (120 pounds), Julian Purney (126), William Johnson (160), Landon Lockington (182) and Josh Marciulionis (285) all joined Burns and Jansen as winners, while Colton Sime (113), Sam Johnson (132), Jacob Summers (138) and Jaden Anderson (152) all placed second.

Marley (34-6) gave the Titans their first championship by sweeping through all five of his matches and picking up a pin against Arcadia’s Tanner Klar (27-11) along the way. Purney (33-5) received two byes — most brackets had one — and had two first-period pins among his three wins.

Johnson (22-14) wrestled five times and won five times, finishing with three pins. His most significant victory was an 8-3 decision over West Salem/Bangor’s Joe Wopat (20-16) in the final round. Lockington (27-11) had four pins after a bye in the first round and pinned Viroqua’s Paul Nickelotti (26-14) in 5 minutes, 19 seconds to win the bracket.

Burns had three pins and Jansen one to with their weight classes. Burns pinned Johnson in 1:54, and Jansen beat Osley by major decision.

Marciulionis (26-12) only had to wrestle two matches, but he finished those opponents off in a combined time of 1:59.

The season continues for both teams in WIAA Division 2 regionals for both teams. Black River Falls/Lincoln travels to Medford, while the Titans head to Adams-Friendship.

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Assistant Sports Editor

Todd Sommerfeldt has covered sports for the La Crosse Tribune since 2003 after doing the same previously in the Fox Cities and Rock County.