It was another short night of wrestling at the VHS gymnasium, Tuesday, Jan. 23, as the Blackhawks routed the Black River Falls Tigers 72-12. The win insured a second-place finish in the Coulee Conference for the Viroqua mat-men this year with a 4-1 record and sent the team into the tournament season with solid momentum.
Only five of the 14 scheduled matches were actually wrestled, with the Blackhawks winning three, all by pins. All of the wrestled bouts occurred in the middle to upper weights. The home team was awarded forfeit victories in every bout from 106 through 152 and at 285.
Viroqua coach Eric Anderson elected to move Ryan Hannah up from his normal 145 slot to 160, where the senior wasted little time slapping a pinning combination on Noah O’Brien just 55 seconds into the first period.
Not to be outdone by his older brother, Tyler Hannah followed with a 35-second fall over his opponent Silas Cleveland at 170. Paul Nickelotti made it three wins in a row for the Hawks with a third-period pin over Kaleb Dobson at 185. The Tigers’ only victories came in back-to-back matches where Sean Johnson defeated Dalton Hardy at 195 with a fall and Etan Osley downed Braxton Cary in similar fashion at 220.
G-E-T/Melrose Mindoro captured the regular season Coulee title with a perfect 5-0 mark, Viroqua was next at 4-1, followed by West Salem/Bangor 3-2, Westby 2-3, Arcadia 1-4 and BRF 0-5. The end-of-season conference tournament is set for Feb. 3 and will be hosted by Westby High School, with matches set to begin at 10 a.m. WIAA Division 2 Regional competition begins Feb. 10 hosted by Adams-Friendship.