As Menomonee Falls wrestling coach Jim McMahon likes to point out, there's been a lot of high-octane noise and excitement made in the old West Allis Central field house — a fair amount of it made in the last 19 years or so when the Indians and the host Bulldogs have met in pivotal Greater Metro Conference dual meets.
The final such dual occurred on Dec. 8, as the visiting Indians used a fast, four-pin start and then a strong finish to get a big leg up in the GMC race with a 48-28 victory. It is the final match between the two teams, as Central will move to the Woodland Conference next year.
"It was a great win in a great place to wrestle," McMahon said. "A lot of history has been made here."
The Indians won despite having to forfeit two weight classes and juggle a few classes in the upper weights.
Need to avoid pins
Central coach Jon Nelson was pragmatic about the loss but noted the Bulldogs, who suffered eight pins on this night, need to do a better job of staying off their backs.
"We're still putting things together," he said. "We keep telling ourselves that we're in these duals, but we can't give up as many pins as we are."
Falls improved to 2-0 in GMC duals with the victory. West Allis Central edged the Indians last season to secure the GMC dual meet title with Falls coming back to win the tournament title.
The Indians started the match right in their wheelhouse, as state tournament qualifier Austin Lasanske at 132 pounds (3:04) and state meet runner-up Eric Wunsch at 138 (1:56) recorded pins. Noah Dakouras at 145 (1:11) and McMahon's son Josh at 152 (4:11) got sticks of their own, as Falls went up 24-0.
The Bulldogs weren't about to go under without a fight, as they won five straight bouts. Joe Gerhartz recorded a 9-1 major decision at 160, while Jake Schultz pulled out a 3-1 decision at 170. Dustin Diebitz picked up a forfeit at 182, and Julien Rivera recorded a pin (1:12) at 195.
When the Bulldogs picked up another forfeit at 220, they were up, 25-24, on the Indians, but it was a short-lived advantage.
After some tense early moments, Logan Fallon put Falls back up for good with a pin in 3:57 at 285, while freshman 106-pounder Ethan Pogorzelski pinned in 3:15 to make it 36-25.. Alec Lind all but clinched the match for Falls with a stick of his own in 1:35 at 113.
Edwin Jimenez pulled out a 3-1 decision for Central at 120, but then Matt Anderson closed the meet out on a satisfying note for Falls with one last pin at 126.
Wait for improvement
Nelson said it's still early for his team, and a breakthrough may come any day.
"We're a big family (over 40 athletes on the team), and we're sticking together," he said. "We're just waiting for somebody to step up and lead the way. Help us turn the corner."
The Bulldogs will host the annual E.H. Stech Invitational at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, and 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at the field house.