The Westby Norsemen won the first and the last bouts of the night in the Coulee Conference wrestling match with Viroqua, Tuesday, Jan. 16, but the Blackhawks won all 12 matches in between, en route to a dominating 67-9 victory.
The win strengthened the Blackhawks’ hold on second place in the conference team standings, improving the Coulee mark to 3-1, with one conference match remaining versus Black River Falls Jan. 25 in Viroqua.
The competition started at 160 where Justin Erdman outscored Viroqua junior Colton Fox 14-9, giving the Norsemen a 3-0 lead. Over the next dozen individual matches, the Blackhawks stormed to a 67-3 lead before Ryan Knight earned a third-period pin over Ben Froiseth in the 152-pound bout, resulting in the lopsided winning margin.
After Erdman gave Westby the early 3-0 lead, Tyler Hannah put the Blackhawks on top for good at 6-3 with a late third period (5:48) fall over Conor Vatland at 170. Hannah had built a commanding 14-2 lead, on four takedowns, a pair of near-falls and an escape, before the pin with 12 seconds left in the final period.
Paul Nickelotti (182), Dalton Hardy (195), Braxton Cary (220) and Ben Sherry (285) picked up consecutive forfeit wins for the visiting Blackhawks, in the match wrestled in the Westby High School Fieldhouse.
Cale Anderson (106) won his match over Trevor Lemke with a sudden pin just 1:05 into the first period. In the most lop-sided match of the night, Josh Frye (113) rolled to an 11-1 win over Logan Turben. Jay Lind (120), back on the VHS varsity following an early season injury, picked up a hard-earned 6-5 win over Dallas Geier.
Lucas Oldham (126) followed with a fall in 5:18 over Westby’s Dakota Bakkestuen. Oldham’s pin came after grabbing a 9-2 advantage on a pair of takedowns and near-fall criteria.
Casey Leer (130) bolted to an 11-0 lead on the strength of an eight-point first period, with a takedown and a pair of three-point near-falls. Leer then turned a second period take-down into a pinning combination at 4:53 of the match in his win over Gus Klum.
Aaron Dobbs (138) added to the VHS lead with a 4:53 fall over Austin Mowry, after rolling to a 10-3 lead prior to the pin time, with an explosive eight point second period flurry. Ryan Hannah (145), closed out the Hawks scoring, turning a 13-0 lead into a 3:46 pin over Bjorn Leum.
The end of season Coulee Conference tournament is scheduled for Feb. 3 at Westby and the WIAA Division 2 regionals begin Feb. 10 hosted by Adams-Friendship.