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Deep Oak Creek wrestling team rolls to title in Belcher Invite

At Homestead Invite on Friday

Oak Creek’s Ben Hakes (right) takes down Franklin’s Kevin Salgado in a recent 160-pound match. Hakes’ individual title helped the Knights win the Belcher Invite Saturday at Milwaukee Hamilton. It was the team’s second major tournament title of the season.

Oak Creek’s Ben Hakes (right) takes down Franklin’s Kevin Salgado in a recent 160-pound match. Hakes’ individual title helped the Knights win the Belcher Invite Saturday at Milwaukee Hamilton. It was the team’s second major tournament title of the season. Photo By Peter Zuzga

Jan. 21, 2014

The Oak Creek wrestling team continues to roll, as it rallied from some early-round deficits to claim its second major tournament victory of the season in the 18-school Craig Belcher Invitational last Saturday at Milwaukee Hamilton.

"We wrestled well on Saturday," said Knights coach Matt Sommerville. "It was mostly a varsity reserve tournament with a few varsity squads. I expected us to win the tournament, but some of our guys had tough matches."

The Knights, who remained red-hot in Southeast Conference duals with a 51-12 rout of Racine Park on Jan. 16, scored 251 points at the Belcher. Mukwonago was second with 227 and the Pewaukee varsity reserves team was third with 210.

Winning titles for Oak Creek were Andrew McIntosh at 113 pounds (22-4 on the year), Isaiah Robinson at 120 (21-5) and Ben Hakes at 160 (27-1).

Sommerville was impressed with Robinson's effort. He scored wins over West Bend West, Pewaukee and Brookfield Central wrestlers, but it was his 6-2 second-round win over a state-ranked opponent from Oakfield that caught Sommerville's eye.

"(He's) ranked in the top 10 in Division 3," said Sommerville of Robinson's opponent. "It was the best match he (Robinson) has ever wrestled. He looked good on his feet but more importantly he looked good on top.

"Sometimes Isaiah tends to hang out on top and not work to turn his opponent; he will settle for sitting on the lead. In this match he went to work on top turning the kid from Oakfield in the first period, which turned out to be huge. He really looked good in his match."

McIntosh won his title with victories over opponents from Dodgeland (pin), Milwaukee Pulaski (pin), Pewaukee (major decision), Oakfield (injury default) and Brookfield Central (7-1).

Hakes, who remains ranked ninth in his class in state polls, beat wrestlers from Mukwonago (major decision), West Bend West (8-2), Bay View (pin) and Brookfield Central (injury default).

The Knights had great depth as seconds went to Matt Berlin at 106 (21-8), Sean LaBodda at 138 (18-8), Nate Mlodzik at 145 (18-9), and Jake Regazzi at 195 (18-8).

"Jake Regazzi wrestled really well, he beat some really tough opponents," Sommerville said. "He has been working on top as well and the results are paying off."

Other good efforts included thirds from Mitch Landgraf at 106 (12-8) and Nick Gottfried at 220 (14-11), a fourth from Ross Agg at 182 (16-10), fifths from Elijah Paez (4-1) and Kevin Bohigas at 285 (8-16) and a sixth from Emilio Paez at 170 (10-15).

Sommerville said the team should be improving soon.

"We returned two guys to our lineup from last year's team that are helping us tremendously — Elijah Paez at 182 and Dominic Alicea 132," he said. "Those guys are going to make this team much better than it was in the beginning of the year. They provide us with some experience at two weight classes we needed to solidify.

"Ross Agg wrestled extremely well as well. He was really good on his feet, which he has been putting extra work in on. Ben Hakes looked great as usual."

The Knights will be at the Homestead Invitational on Friday.

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