Sussex - Hamilton went a sparkling 3-2 at the Hartford Duals, nearly taking down the perennially tough host school in a nail-biter and finishing in third place Saturday.
The squad fell to eventual champion Germantown, 46-27, but knocked off Grafton (66-18), Kenosha Tremper (44-30) and Valders (58-21) before falling to Hartford (39-38).
In the close call against the Orioles, Vince Pascale - who finished the day 5-0 - recorded a pin at 106 pounds, and Brad Biswell added a pin at the other end of the spectrum, taking down his man at heavyweight. Other victories came from Frank Boyle (major decision) and Ryan Hernandez (major decision).
"I am very happy with the development of the team," coach Doug Pulvermacher said. "Each of these duals, we were wrestling five freshmen and each came up with some big wins."
Brett Neverman, who received one of three forfeit victories against Hartford, also finished the day 5-0 at 120 pounds. Trevor Wittman, Ryan Hernandez and Nick Knoebel each finished 4-1, while Chase Riojas, Trevor Wittman and Try Gardipee each recorded their first varsity wins.
Against Valders, the Chargers recorded five first-period pins.
In the Greater Metro opener against Marquette, Hamilton scored a 47-25 victory. Jake Macaluso started the match on the right foot, registering a fall in 21 seconds, and Pascale made the score 12-6 with a fall at 106 two rounds later.
Neverman won a tight 3-2 decision, Boyle followed with a win, and Hernandez later added a pin at 145. Knoebel recorded a tech fall, John Abel finished with a pin, and Gardipee capped the match with a 7-4 win at 195.
In a JV tourney at Port Washington, Tyler August took first, and Ben Sciontino took second.
Boys top flu, Bulldogs
Hamilton's boys basketball team had all kinds of challenges Friday at West Allis Central.
Not only were the visiting Bulldogs in the way of a 5-0 start, but three players on the team suffered from the flu, including leading scorer Brady Ellingson, Aaron Konop and Mitch Geszvain.
But the Chargers found a way, even without Ellingson finding the box score, and claimed a 68-55 victory.
The Chargers got excellent production from point guard Mark Gryszkiewicz, who played 31 minutes handling the ball. He had just three turnovers in the span, scoring 15 points while grabbing seven rebounds and six assists.
"Mark was simply outstanding for us on Friday; he had all kinds of pressure on him and he handled it the whole night," Hamilton boys basketball coach Andy Cerroni said. "Brady is our backup point guard, and he played just three minutes because he was so ill."
Konop was 5 for 6 from the field, scoring 10 points while grabbing seven rebounds.
"Aaron was very sick also but he was able to go, and he was active," Cerroni said.
Tony Gumina managed just 11 minutes due to foul trouble, but Austin Kendziorski and Kyle Rouse also stepped in and played major roles.
"Getting 16 points from Austin and 10 from Kyle was obviously huge," Cerroni said. "I thought we handled adversity very well and beat a pretty good team."
Jake Knueppel finished the game with 9 points for the winners, which included 6 for 6 shooting accuracy at the free throw line.
Hamilton shot 22 for 46 (47.8 percent) from the field and went 20 for 24 (83.3 percent) at the free-throw line.
The only thing disturbing was 20 turnovers.
"That was disappointing," Cerroni said. "We got too careless with the ball at times."
The Chargers look for another victory on Dec. 14 with a home game against Wauwatosa East.
Girls clamp down on WAC
Hamilton's girls basketball team left no doubt in its Greater Metro Conference opener against host West Allis Central on Friday, drilling the Bulldogs by a 64-10 count.
The Chargers led 20-2 after the first quarter and 39-5 at halftime, giving coach Dan Carey a chance to rotate his full roster into the game.
"We were able to dictate - that's a word we use a lot in our defensive terminology - with our ball pressure and forced some shots that led to the fast break," Carey said. "We have to get better at defending without fouling, and that's something we have to clean up, but I'm happy with how hard we played. It would have been easy to not play with an edge, but our kids did."
When the starters were in, they oozed efficiency. Mackenzie Latt went 12 of 13 from the field and finished with 25 points in 18 minutes. Taylor Klug scored 15 points in 15 minutes.
"She's playing with a lot of confidence, and her outside shot is getting better and better," Carey said of his freshman guard Klug.
Senior Nikki Fuerstenberg knocked down a pair of 3-pointers, and Carey lauded the defensive play of Nicole Pena and Katie Pollari.
"We really value everything they give us, and it was nice for them to get out there and play," Carey said. "Every win in our conference counts the same, and I'm really happy with the focus and intensity."
In an 81-42 win over nonconference foe Germantown on Dec. 4, Latt scored 27 points and Jenny Shernell added 18.
"They're a unique challenge because they run a very high-octane style offensive and defensively and sub five at a time and really try to bring fatigue into the game," Carey said. "I thought our kids handled it well."
Despite the high point total, Hamilton still turned the ball over 27 times.
"We never felt like we were completely under control," Carey said. "Whether we won or lost, we have to look at these games with the same eye, and the kids are really focused on the fact that 27 turnovers is not championship basketball. We understand we didn't play nearly as well as we could have."
Now 4-0, Hamilton entered the week ranked No. 2 in the state in Division 1.
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