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Cadott wrestling invitational 1-6-18

Cadott's Brady Spaeth hooks a pinfall victory over Prescott's Brett Nelson during their matchup at 152 pounds on Saturday in Cadott.

BRANDON BERG, The Herald

It has been a strong season for Cadott’s Brady Spaeth so far, and the rest of the state is taking notice.

The Cadott wrestler is ranked No. 1 in Division 3 at 152 pounds in Wisconsin Wrestling Online’s latest rankings released on Wednesday. Spaeth took first place in his weight class at Cadott’s home invitational last Saturday, which was his third tournament title of the season—he won at the Tomahawk Invitational and the Husky Invitational as well. He also took second place at the Ellsworth Invitational and third place at the Northern Badger Wrestling Classic.

Spaeth isn’t the only Chippewa County wrestler recognized in the rankings. Cadott has four other wrestlers ranked: James Pfeiffer is No. 3 at 160 pounds, Andrew Gunderson is No. 7 at 138 pounds, Bailey Gillett is ranked 10th at 132 pounds and Nelson Wahl is an honorable mention at 126 pounds. Cornell/Gilman’s Sam Pickerign is No. 6 in Division 3 at 120 pounds, and teammate Zach Person is No. 12 at 152 pounds. Thorp’s Quade Webster is an honorable mention at 145 pounds in Division 3.

In Division 2, Bloomer/Colfax’s Sawyer Best is No. 6 at 120 pounds and teammate Mitchel Harmon is No. 8 at 138 pounds. Stanley-Boyd/Owen-Withee’s Dalton Smith and Ben Turner are honorable mentions at 152 pounds and 182 pounds, respectively.

Most county teams will be in action this Saturday. Chi-Hi hosts its home invitational, which will see Stanley-Boyd/Owen-Withee come to town. Bloomer/Colfax and Cornell/Gilman will be at an invitational in Ladysmith, while Thorp heads to Clintonville.

Conference races heating up

Conference title chases are starting to take shape on the basketball court in the Big Rivers and Western Cloverbelt conferences.

The Chi-Hi boys are right in the thick of things in the Big Rivers. River Falls defeated the Cardinals on Tuesday to take a half game lead over Chi-Hi, Eau Claire North, Eau Claire Memorial and Rice Lake.

The Cardinals (8-4, 3-2) have another matchup with a top Big Rivers team on Friday when they head to Eau Claire North (7-2, 3-2). Chi-Hi has already defeated the other two teams it’s tied for second place with this season (Memorial and Rice Lake).

Like the Big Rivers, the Western Cloverbelt is filled with parity on the boys side this year. All but two of the conference’s eight teams are within two games of the top spot in the standings. Altoona and Osseo-Fairchild hold a one-game lead over McDonell, Cadott and Eau Claire Regis. Thorp is just two games behind.

There will be some big games in the conference next week, with Cadott (7-2, 3-2) hosting McDonell (5-5, 3-2) on Tuesday while Osseo-Fairchild (7-3, 4-1) hosts Altoona (7-3, 4-1) in a battle of conference leaders. The Hornets also host Eau Claire Regis (7-3, 3-2) on Thursday.

Bloomer boys crack top 10

The undefeated Bloomer boys basketball team is ranked No. 10 in Division 3 in the WisSports.net state coaches poll this week.

The Blackhawks (9-0, 6-0) are one game ahead of Hayward in the Heart O’ North Conference stadings. They take on the Hurricanes on the road on Friday in a game with that could be important down the stretch in the push for the conference crown.

Bloomer picked up a quality nonconference win this season, beating Western Cloverbelt-leading Altoona in overtime on Dec. 29.

Payton Dachel leads the team with 16.9 points per game, while Johnny Bleskacek is averaging 10.7 PPG.

Leading the way

Thus far this winter, county basketball players have delivered a number of high-scoring games.

The highest-scoring game of the winter thus far came from Chi-Hi’s Caelan Givens, who scored 33 points in her team’s 77-68 defeat at Stevens Point on Dec. 2. The top scoring game among boys came recently from Bloomer’s Dachel. The Blackhawk senior scored 32 points in his team’s 68-53 win at Spooner on Jan. 4. For Dachel, it was a performance all the more impressive considering he scored just three points in the first half before exploding for 29 after the break.

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