You would think first-year Brookfield East wrestling coach John Veal had plenty to smile about after the Greater Metro Conference Tournament on Friday at Sussex Hamilton.
The Spartans finished a strong second with 193.5 points behind powerful West Allis Central (242.5).
He had five individual champions, two second-place finishes and two fourth-place finishes.
"No, not really," Veal said when asked if he was surprised by his team's performance. "I also expected Casey (Dentino) and Andy (Wanta) to win. Andy will not let that happen again. He is really improving and gaining the mentality that is needed.
"I also expected John LeClaire to be in the finals, but he is just a frosh, but I have high expectations for him and hope he has higher for himself."
Justin Wolfenden at 125 received a bye and then pinned Max Schaffer of Marquette (0:26) in the semifinals. He then earned a major decision over Scott Hancox of West Allis Hale to win the title (11-3).
Kevin Dentino at 130 received a bye, then won by pin over Marshall Lund of Menomonee Falls (1:29) in the semifinals. He then topped off his day by winning the title by a major decision (12-1) over Alex Schwid of Hamilton.
"Wolf was dominant and physically thrashed his kid," Veal said. "Kevin Dentino controlled his match from start to finish and did what he needed to do all day."
Joey Woppert at 145 received a bye, won by technical fall (19-2) over Tommy Bucholtz of Brookfield Central in the semifinals and then took first place by winning a major decision (19-7) over Tyler Bauer of West Allis Hale.
"Joey Woppert was dominant against a two-time state qualifier," Veal said. "He is starting to find his gear."
Larry Watson at 160 received a bye and then won in overtime (11-9) over Aaron Fiss of Hamilton. He then went into overtime again in the title match before beating Matt Pawlowski of West Allis Central (10-8).
"Larry beat two state qualifiers en route to his first championship," Veal said. "He had two comebacks in the third period."
The fifth first-place finish came from Tyler Lecher at 215, who also received a bye to open the day. He won by decision (11-8) over Jesse Rodriguez of West Allis Central in the semifinal and then beat Matt Blackwell of Hamilton in the title match by a 6-4 decision.
Casey Dentino at 103 received a bye, won by major decision (14-4) and then lost the title match (4-1). Wanta at 140 won by pin (1:28), won by injury default and was then pinned (4:40) in the title match.
LeClaire at 135 won by a by pin (3:06), lost in the semi-finals (4-1), won by pin (0:47) and lost the third-place match in overtime (8-4).
Joe Wahhab at 189 won by a pin (3:05), lost an 8-1 decision in the semifinals, won a decision (4-2) in the consolation semifinals and lost the third-place match by major decision (9-1).
Bryce Gilbert captured the Brookfield Central Lancers' only championship, winning the 285-pound title. Gilbert pinned all three of his opponents: Tom Wiegele of West Allis Hale (0:47), Marco DeGuire of Marquette (1:45) and Lucas Gritzmacher of West Allis Central (1:27) in the title match.
"It was a great accomplishment for Bryce to win a conference title and pinning his way through the tournament too," Central coach Chris Demos said."
The Veling brothers each took second place, Keith Day took third and Tommy Bucholtz fourth.
Nic Veling at 171 won over Menomonee Falls on a major decision (10-2), beat Marquette with a pin (1:21) and then lost a major decision (11-1) in the title match.
Tyler Veling at 152 won by pins twice (2:46, 1:21) and then lost a major decision (9-1) in the title match.
Day at 140 won by a pin (1:38), lost a decision (3-1), won the consolation semifinals on a technical fall (16-1) and then won his third-place match with a technical fall win (16-0).
Bucholtz at 145 pinned his foe (1:56), lost on a technical fall (19-2), pinned his foe (3:25) in the consolation semifinals and then lost the third-place match because of an injury default with the score tied at 3-3.
Feb. 5, at Sussex Hamilton
Team scores - West Allis Central (242.5 points), Brookfield East (193.5), Hamilton (180), West Allis Hale (144), Marquette (127), Menomonee Falls (124), Brookfield Central (106)
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