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Six Panthers to wrestle in semifinals

Jens Lantz grabs the wrist of Wittenberg-Birnamwood's Bobby Uttecht.3 / 8
Tristen Mueller has Little Chute's Bryce Zdaonvec all tied-up on the mat.4 / 8
Gabe Frandsen throws himself into East Troy's Jeremy Dedick.5 / 8
Logan Kemmerer takes the low shot on Wrightstown's Stetson Burmeister.6 / 8
Dennis Schutz has the ankle of Brodhead-Juda's Kevin Baade.7 / 8
The decisive moment of Brock Steldt's win over Berlin's David Meza, a five-point throw in the second period.8 / 8

MADISON - Ellsworth's remaining six wrestlers in the 71st WIAA State Wrestling Tournament all advanced into the semifinal round from the Division 2 quarterfinals wrestled this morning at the Kohl Center.

Senior Jens Lantz (39-1) won his first match of his final state meet with a pin of Wittenberg-Birnamwood's Bobby Uttrecht (40-7) in 2:50 at 126 pounds. Tristen Mueller (31-10) scored five near-fall points in the third period to defeat Little Chute's Bryce Zdanovec (41-5) 8-3 at 138. Gabe Frandsen (51-1) opened the defense of his state championship with a pin of East Troy's Jeremy Dedick (33-15) in 3:58 at 160. Logan Kemmerer (42-5) won a hard-fought quarterfinal match over Wrightstown's Stetson Burmeister (40-11) 10-4. Dennis Schutz (24-3) handed Brodhead-Juda's Gavin Baade (40-2) just his second loss this season with 4-1 win and Brock Steldt (41-13)  edged Berlin's David Meza (34-10) 6-4, holding on to a 5-1 lead gained in the second period gained off a throw and three-point nearfall.

EHS head coach Chad Steldt credits all these wins to more offense from Panther wrestlers.

"Getting those first period leads really help. They put you in the mindset to open your offense up," Steldt said. "If we took chances at least we were looking to score instead of holding back. I thought was a problem for us during the prelims, especially in some of the close matches and we did a better job on offense today."

Lantz will take on Sparta's John Roddick (42-8) in his semifinal match this evening, which will begin at 7 p.m. Mueller will face Sparta's Brock Polhamus (41-7); Frandsen will go up against New London's Austin Wyngaard (29-9); Kemmerer will face Dodgeville's Brady Wetter (43-6); Schutz has to face Wittenberg-Birnamwood's August Peplinski (47-6) in his semi and Steldt will take on Two Rivers' Scott Skornicka (47-5).