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Ellsworth wrestling to have four in state finals

Dennis Schutz grabs Wittenberg-Birnamwood's August Peplinski's from underneath.2 / 7
The referee counts three nearfall points for Jens Lantz as he has Sparta's John Roddick down on the mat. Photo by Ann Turner.3 / 7
Gabe Frandsen eyes a potential scoring opportunity against New London's Austin Wyngaard.4 / 7
Logan Kemmerer works on the back of Dodgeville's Brady Wetter.5 / 7
Trsiten Mueller tries to break the single-leg lift of Brock Pelhamus of Sparta.6 / 7
Brock Steldt tries to step in on Two Rivers's Scott Skornicka.7 / 7

MADISON - After bad draw Thursday, the Ellsworth High School wrestling team drew four of a kind by Friday evening.

The Panthers will have four wrestlers on the Division 2 state final mat right in the middle of the Kohl Center Saturday evening.

Ellsworth advanced four out of six wrestlers it had competing out of the semifinal round Friday evening.

Jens Lantz, trying for four of a kind when it comes to state championships, won 18-3 technical fall over Sparta's John Roddick (42-9) at 126 pounds.

Lantz, 40-1 overall,  didn't score his first takedown until late in the first period but once he did the points came fast to him in the second and third periods.

"To be honest, I was frustrated because he was wrestling a defensive style match," Lantz said. "Once I got that first takedown I knew I could be able to work in some offense against him."

Fellow defending state champion Gabe Frandsen (52-1) made the finals again after shutting out New London's Austin Wyngaard (29-10) 8-0 at 160. Like Lantz's match, Frandsen didn't start scoring until midway through the match but once he did he kept the pressure on until the end.

By contrast, fellow senior Logan Kemmerer (43-3)  did his scoring early, a five-point throw in the first period, and held on to beat Dodgeville's Brady Wetter (43-7) 6-1 at 170. This will be Kemmerer's first state finals appearance, the same for senior Dennis Schutz (25-3) , who edged Wittenberg-Birnamwood's August Peplinski (47-7) 6-4. Schutz broke a 4-4 tie in the third with takedown.

Ellsworth's other two semifinalists, Tristen Mueller (33-11) and Brock Steldt (41-14) , both were defeated and will wrestle in placement matches Saturday afternoon. Mueller came back from a 4-1 deficit in the third against Brock Polhamus (42-7) of Sparta but couldn't get a last-second takedown and lost 4-3 at 138. Steldt held Two Rivers's Scott Skornicka (48-5) scoreless after one period but Skornicka scored plenty of times afterward for an 18-3 tech. fall at 195.

In tomorrow's match-ups in the state finals: Lantz will face Sage Soppa of Abbotsford/Colby (42-7); Frandsen will take on Sheboygan Falls's Mitchell Lambrecht (38-6); Kemmerer has a tough assigningment going up against Mauston's Justin Dolata (32-0) who had one of the fastest pinfalls in the semifinal round in 1:04, while Schutz will square off against Two River's Bobby Geiger (46-7).

In the placement matches, Mueller's first match will be against Mike Chadwick of Neillsville/Greenwood/Loyal (33-6) while Stedt will take on Jake Reiter (42-6) of Clintonville.