Sophomore Riley Nilo won his second straight Badger Conference Tournament title and the Milton wrestling team placed second at the Badger Conference Meet Saturday, Feb. 8, at Watertown High School.
The Red Hawks finished with 240 points, while Stoughton won the conference meet with 326 points.
Last season Milton placed sixth at the tournament.
“We had a pretty good day on Saturday,” Milton head coach Pat Jauch said. “We’re not ever going to celebrate getting second place, but I will celebrate the effort we showed. We got a lot of bonus points, and everybody scored team points.”
Milton collected a tournament-high 23 pins/tech falls and had the best seed versus actual placement at the meet — with the Red Hawks out-placing their seeds by 12 places overall.
“I’ve been preaching that we need to score bonus points in the tournament season, because those all add to your point totals in tournaments,” Jauch said. “I’m very proud of our guys for those stats.”
Nilo won his second 106-pound championship with a 9-7 sudden victory over Portage’s Chase Beckett.
Beckett is the No. 1 ranked wrestler at 106 pounds in Division 2.
The win moved Nilo to 35-4 on the season.
“Riley Nilo is a two-time Badger Conference champion, and that’s tough to accomplish,” Jauch said.
Freshman Matt Haldiman lost in the 113-pound championship versus Watertown’s Oscar Wilkowski with a fall 5 minutes, 12 seconds into the match.
Fellow freshman Royce Nilo also was defeated in a championship bout. Wauankee’s Kolby Heinz bested Nilo with a 7-3 in the 120-pound championship.
Senior Jordan Stivarius took third at 160 pounds. In the third-place match, Stivarius pinned Fort Atkinson’s Eli Koehler 4:42 into the match.
For the second straight year, sophomore Kade Desormeau finished fourth at 160 pounds. He lost to Waunakee’s Kaden Hooker via a 16-4 major decision in the third-place bout.
The Red Hawks also had three wrestlers finish fifth: Sophomore Hunter Kieliszewski (126), Zak Shore (132) and senior Jordan Hergert (220).
Junior Justin Sanchez took sixth at 152 pounds and senior Brody Reed placed seventh at 285 pounds.
Up next for Milton is a WIAA regional Saturday, Feb. 15, at Beloit Memorial High School. Last year the Red Hawks took second at the regional, with Janesville Craig taking first.
“We had a great overall team effort, and we want to continue that as we go to regionals this week at Beloit Memorial,” Jauch said.