A touch short-handed, the North Shore Conference relays champion Highlanders came up just short of taking the NSC meet title on Feb. 4, settling for third.
"We had a good meet," said coach Mark Gwidt. "However one of our best swimmers, James Guskov, was at his brother's wedding and Chris Eckhardt has been very sick so he did not swim a full lineup. No excuses, but things could have played out differently. But we did the best we could, moved some JV boys up who helped score points, no DQ's and a surprise conference champ in the 100 breaststroke."
The Highlanders will now turn their attentions to the WIAA sectional meet they will host on Saturday, Feb. 11. The winner of each event plus all those whose efforts are among the next 18 best out of all sectionals statewide will advance to the WIAA state D1 meet Feb. 18 in Madison.
Homestead scored 402.5 points for its spot in the North Shore, as Grafton won its first title with 455 and Cedarburg was second with 434.5.
Phillip Zuccaro was the surprise winner in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:03.85.
Other solid finishes for the Highlanders included the following: 200 medley relay: Eckhardt, Zuccaro, Zach Teplin and Gonzalo Morales, third (1:44.44); 200 free: Zach Teplin, third (1:51.87); Drew Horter, eighth (1:59.82); 200 individual medley: Zuccaro, seventh (2:18.17); 50 free: Morales, fourth (23.62); 100 butterfly: Teplin, second (55.09), Tyler Gao, seventh (58.81); 100 free: Morales, seventh (53.04); Joey Pietrowiak, eighth (53.66); 500 free: Horter, fifth (5:23.87); Danilo Rosich, sixth (5:29.61); 200 free relay: Teplin, Gao, Pietrowiak, and Morales, fourth (1:34.43); 100 backstroke: Eckhardt, second (57.63); Tyler Brown, seventh (1:03.88); and 400 free relay: Pietrowiak, Gao, Joshua Churchill and Eckhardt, third (3:33.03).
Easy victories over Milwaukee Lutheran on Jan. 31 and Port Washington on Feb. 3 boosted the Bulldogs to 10-0 in the North Shore Conference and maintained their three-game lead over Nicolet (7-3).
Cedarburg met Nicolet on Feb. 7 and a triumph there would clinch the North Shore crown for the Bulldogs, who will play at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at Germantown.
John Diener collected 29 points with four 3-point field goals against Port Washington. Jordan Johnson added 13 points, Jared Short 10 and Mitchell Stroebel 8 for the Bulldogs, who hit 18-of-21 free throws.
"We were able to play everybody, all 13 players, and that was a lot of fun for our team," coach Tom Diener said. "We had great shot selection and teamwork by all."
Against Lutheran, Johnson tallied 28 points with six 3-point shots and Diener added 25. For the season, Diener was averaging 22.2 points and Johnson 21.3.
"We played well on both ends of the court from start to finish," the coach said.
The Black Hawks, led by Hannah Belanger's 23 points, battled North Shore Conference leader Germantown before falling, 64-56, on Feb. 3.
"We were down 33-16 at the half, but with three minutes to play, we were within four points," coach Mike Grzesiak said. "We scored on 50 percent of our possessions in the second half (20 of 40). We were patient and made more than one pass, and we set screens."
Lizzy Huettner and Chloe Doring added 8 points each and Madison Tomashek 7 points.
Sam Boerner and Andrew Temmer both secured championships for the Bulldogs at the North Shore Conference Tournament on Feb. 3.
Boerner won at 132 pounds and Temmer at 220 pounds. Boerner posted a 15-0 technical fall over Eric Abel of Germantown in his title match and Temmer did the same against Jack Pluta of Germantown.
Taking second were Jake Roden (106), and Jason Miller (heavyweight). Earning third were Turner Daley (152), Jacob Steidinger (182) and Caleb Drake (195).
Coming in fifth were Luke Meyer (145), Brendan McInerney (160) and Cooper O'Keefe (170), and Max Grudzinski was sixth at 138 for Cedarburg, which scored 171 points for fourth place.
Ellis Pfleger (126 pounds), Nick Rapp (170) and Alec Davis (195) all claimed second places for the Black Hawks in the North Shore Conference Meet on Feb. 3.
Jonathon Duran came in third at 145 pounds and fourth places went to Cody Case (182), Nick Franzen (220) and Connor Ramsey (heavyweight). Cielo Pagan was fifth at 106 and Bobby Olmr sixth at 160 for the Hawks, who were fifth with 125 1/2 points.
Cooper Hunt won the 120-pound title to lead the Highlanders to a sixth-place finish with 99 points in the North Shore Conference Tournament on Feb. 4.
The Highlanders will now turn their attentions to the WIAA regional meet Saturday, Feb. 11, at Menomonee Falls. The top four finishers in each class will advance to the sectional tournament Saturday, Feb. 18, at Oconomowoc.
Hunt earned a first-round bye and then pinned a Germantown wrestler (3:26) and then overpowered a Port Washington opponent (8-0 major decision) for his NSC title.
Taking a second was Messi Elgin at 113, while Jessie Zupke was fourth at 138 as was Luke Wolfram at 152. Jacob Zupke was third at 170.
The Highlanders came up with a pivotal 4-3 nonconference win over area rival University School on Tuesday, Jan. 31. They lost to powerful nonconference foe Waukesha, 7-1, on Feb. 4, but still earned the second seed in the WIAA Arrowhead sectional. They earned a first-round bye and will host the winner of Brookfield and Fond du Lac in a regional final on Friday, Feb. 17, at the Ozaukee Ice Center.
Homestead (18-4 overall), got third period goals from Jackson Katz and PJ Quale to earn the win over USM. Quale and Pierce Stastney scored first period goals to give Homestead a 2-0 lead. Ty Barnhill made 31 saves.
The Highlanders did well in a meet against Port Washington on Feb. 2, turning in one of their best score of the season at 128.225.
Emma Fox won the all-around for varsity and Katey VanVooren won the junior varsity all-around title.
PORT WASHINGTON GYMNASTICS
The Pirates fell to Homestead, 128.225 points to 117.75 points, in a North Shore Conference dual meet on Feb. 2.
Kaylyn Garant took second in the all-around with 32.075 points. She finished second on floor exercise (8.4) and balance beam (8.5) and third in vaulting (8.0). Carmen Hoag came in third on the beam (8.25).
"She (Hoag) probably had the best day," coach KC Moore said. "She has great skills on beam and fell once, but landed all her most difficult skills and got her first 8-plus on beam."
The Highlanders went 1-2 last week, including a tough 62-59 loss in their own Chekouras Classic on Feb. 4.
Included was a 69-62 loss to rival Germantown on Jan. 31 (see MyNorthwestNow.com for more details) and harrowing 57-54 win over Milwaukee Lutheran on Feb. 3.
Homestead entered the week at 7-11 overall.
Ryan Waddell had the game-winning 3-pointer for the Highlanders against Lutheran as Greg Foster Jr. had 23 points, and Taejuan Johnson 12.
Against Brown Deer, a similar 3-point try at the buzzer to tie the game was just a little off the mark as Foster Jr. had 19 points, Johnson 13 and Garrett Mitman 10. Homestead will entertain Nicolet on Friday, Feb. 10.