Muskego sends Quartullo, Price to state mats
Pair of juniors seek titles at Kohl Center
Muskego - Austin Quartullo of Muskego will get another shot at the WIAA Division 1 State Wrestling Tournament.
One year ago, as a sophomore, Quartullo placed sixth at 113 pounds in the individual event at Madison, compiling a 3-3 record.
Now he is back for another try at 113 pounds after finishing second in a sectional meet at Waukesha West High School on Saturday.
He will be joined on the Kohl Center floor by teammate Connor Price, who won his bracket at 152 pounds at that sectional.
Both Muskego entrants, who were sparring partners in practice last week, will begin state competition at 3 p.m. Feb. 21. Quartullo (42-2) will take on Bradley Prentice of Pulaski (35-7) in his opening match, while Price (42-5) will meet Nick Knoebel of Sussex Hamilton (35-4).
The second round of competition is set for tonight, with semifinals at 7 p.m. Feb. 22 and championships at 6 p.m. Feb. 23, all at the Kohl Center.
"Neither (Quartullo or Price) will be just happy to be there," head coach Sean Fortmann said. "Both of them have goals of winning a state title and both have trained for this. This week, we will just focus on doing the things that have gotten us to this point. The work has been done; now it's time for the payoff."
Quartullo goes 3-1
Quartullo competed at 120 pounds most of this season, winning the crown in the Classic 8 Conference Tournament, before dropping to 113 for the WIAA event.
He opened his sectional Saturday with pins in 2 minutes, 27 seconds over Malcolm Vetter of Brookfield East and 2:47 over Dan McGilvary of Waterford.
The Muskego junior then faced rival Bill Prochniewski of Waukesha South (43-2) in the title match but lost a 3-0 decision. He had beaten Prochniewski, 7-6, earlier this season.
Quartullo bounced back with a pin in 1:56 over Thomas Welch of Greendale (35-11) in a second-place match. He had also pinned Welch to win a regional crown the previous week.
"Austin started his day out with two dominating performances and took a tough loss in the finals against (Prochniewski)," Fortmann said. "Sometimes after a loss in the finals, it can be tough to bounce back and wrestle well in the second-place wrestleback. Austin did an excellent job of refocusing and taking care of business."
As the draw works out, Quartullo would not have to face 113-pound favorite Ben Thornton of La Crosse Central (46-0) until the semifinals. Prochniewski is in the other bracket, so Quartullo would not meet him until the final.
"I really think that the loss will help refocus Austin and get him ready to accomplish his goal this weekend," Fortmann said. "He is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead at state."
Price posts three pins
Price, a junior, breezed through his sectional at 152 pounds with pins of 1:41 over Julien Selby of Brookfield Central, 3:24 over Tyler Dorfner of Greenfield and 45 seconds over Ryan Olson of Whitnall in the final.
Price is in the same bracket as Travis Hettinga of Wausau West (43-2) and Beau Breske of Hartford (46-2).
"Connor has really been wrestling well," Fortmann said. "He has done an excellent job of just keeping the pressure on his opponents and forcing them into making mistakes. He had three dominating matches."
Taking fourth for Muskego in the sectional were Jack Sarnowski at 106 pounds (22-17) and Brady McFarland at 145 pounds (26-18).
Marty Alivo lost his first match at 220 pounds to eventual champion Dallas Wanta of West Allis Hale (43-4).
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