Tauchen keeps family wrestling tradition alive

A lot of young brothers emulating the older siblings they look up to might wear similar clothes, or listen to the same music.

Dan Tauchen had a more novel approach.

The Bonduel High School senior punctuated his stellar year on Feb. 7 by defeating Rosholt’s Tony Kontney 8-2 to win the 160-pound division of the Central Wisconsin Conference-8 meet. Afterward he learned that he was named the conference’s Wrestler of the Year, becoming the third member of his family to do so.

The shadows cast by the older brothers were long ones: Joe Tauchen went 45-4 en route to a second-place finish in the 220-pound weight class at state two years ago, and Ben Tauchen was a two-time state champion, also at 220 pounds, four seasons ago. Both earned CWC-8 Wrestler of the Year honors under coach Chris Rank.

Dan Tauchen’s fate at the state meet will be determined over the next two weeks, but for the time being, going where his brothers went is a satisfying validation.


Bowler runs past Menominee Indian

Photo by Jen Kuhn Bowler High School freshman guard Reanne Kietlinski knifes her way between Menominee Indian defenders Monae Waukau (32), Ania Smith (center) and Taylor Mahkimetas (22) as teammates Taylor Matsche (10), Kenedie Malone (45) and Kristina Koenig (23) head upcourt during Bowler’s 64-56 CWC-10 victory Tuesday night.

Photo by Jen Kuhn Menominee Indian High School guard Taylor Mahkimetas (22) is met with pressure from Bowler’s Reanne Kietlinski during Bowler’s 64-56 CWC-10 victory Tuesday night.

Playoff hoops aren’t set to get under way for another week, but the intensity was already ramped up full burn in Tuesday night’s Central Wisconsin Conference-10 showdown between two of the area’s hottest teams.

Bowler played a game that its coach characterized as an all-timer, and Menominee Indian got off the deck repeatedly to keep it interesting, and in the end the host Panthers had ended Menominee Indian’s perfect run in the Central Wisconsin Conference-10 with a sensational 64-56 victory.

“It was one of the biggest wins in history of the school,” Bowler coach A.J. Miller said. “To play like we did and knock off a great team like Menominee Indian is a really good night for our program.”


Soper, Shawano seek big finish to record-breaking season

Zach Soper set the bar so high at last year’s WIAA Division 2 swimming finals that it was hard to imagine what he could possibly do for an encore.

Yet, here he is, preparing for the final meet of an illustrious career at Shawano Community High School, in position to write his name in the record books again.

Soper, the defending state champion in the 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard backstroke, advanced to Friday night’s state finals by posting the best qualifying times in both events Feb. 14 at the Stevens Point Sectional. He swam 51.65 to win the 100 fly and won the 100 backstroke going away, as his 50.38 was a whopping five seconds faster than the next-fastest qualifier.


Shawano qualifies 5 wrestlers to sectional

Five wrestlers from Shawano Community High School ran the gauntlet Saturday at the Green Bay/Preble WIAA Regional and survived to compete another day.

Wyatt Welch (106 pounds), Danny Darling (113), Austin Oreskovic (126), Jarrett Laasch (145) and Damon Braatz (285) all finished in the top four to advance to the Green Bay West/Southwest Sectional, which begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

“We’re very happy with getting five into the sectional,” Shawano coach Michael Homan said. “We’d had a two-week layoff before the regional, so we weren’t sure if we’d qualify that many, but a lot of our wrestlers beat guys who’d beaten them earlier in the year. The kids really turned a corner and wrestled well.”

The top four finishers at Division 1 regionals advance to sectional competition, and the top two finishers at the sectionals continue onto the state finals.


Marion fishing derby features $10K in cash prizes

More than $10,000 in cash prizes will be awarded Feb. 28 at the 53rd annual Marion Lions Fish Derby at Lions Point.

First prize will be $5,000 in cash and second prize will be $1,000. More than 200 merchandise prizes also will be given away. You do not need to be present to win. The grand prize drawing will take place at 5 p.m. Tickets are $2 each or three for $5.

The fishing contest will include prizes for the largest fish in each species. Catch-and-release is encouraged. Fish registration runs from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. A kids fishing derby on ice will run from 12-4 p.m.

Six free bicycles will be given to children 12 and younger. To register, a child must be accompanied by a parent. The child must be present to win. The drawings start at 11 a.m. and continue each hour until 4 p.m.

Kitty Cat snowmobile races will be held on the ice. Mid-State ice races begin at 1 p.m.


Bonduel advances 6 to wrestling sectional

In what could be termed a qualified success, six competitors from the talent-heavy Bonduel High School wrestling team advanced Saturday from the Coleman Regional into the WIAA sectional tournament that the Bears will host Saturday at Shawano Community High School.

Pushing through to wrestle another day for Bonduel were freshman Jordan Boldt, juniors Garrett Siolka and Bennett Gunderson, and seniors Travis Wollenberg, Dan Tauchen and Mitch Sokolski.

Boldt ran his record to 34-3 by knocking off Oconto’s Aiden Wusterbarth in the 106-pound title match 10-7, while Tauchen improved to 38-2 with a pin in the semifinal and a 3-2 win over Shiocton’s Garrett Gunderson for the 160-pound regional championship.

Bonduel’s Bennett Gunderson (30-11) also claimed a regional title in the 285-pound class with a pin at 2:59 of his match with Coleman’s Donovan Salewski.


Bonduel girls bounce back, trounce Peshtigo

It didn’t take long for the Bonduel High School girls basketball team to find out how it would react to adversity.

Days removed from a gutting one-point loss at Wittenberg-Birnamwood that snapped their 19-game winning streak, the Bears found themselves tangled in another clash with a quality opponent Monday night, this time a non-league showdown with Marinette & Oconto Conference power Peshtigo.

Bonduel was aware that the visiting Bulldogs didn’t happen upon their 17-2 record by accident, but when the spirited, agile visitors broke out to a 6-0 lead in a game where points were hard to come by, there hovered an uneasiness not usually felt inside the gym where they had run the table throughout the 2014-15 season.


Girls basketball tourney brackets announced

The girls basketball teams from Bonduel and Menominee Indian high schools will enjoy a day off on the first day of the WIAA playoffs.

Bonduel (20-1) is the top seed in its sectional bracket of Division 4 play, which begins Tuesday. The Bears will open the postseason at home Feb. 27 against the winner of Tuesday’s Rosholt (11-9) vs. Amherst (9-12) game.

In another Division 4 encounter, Menominee Indian (19-1), the No. 2 seed in its bracket, also plays at home on Feb. 27, versus the winner of the Crandon (16-6) vs. Crivitz (9-11) matchup Tuesday.

In Division 2, fourth-seeded Shawano (8-12) plays at home Tuesday against No. 5-seed Waupaca (1-21), with the winner earning the right to play Feb. 27 at top-seeded Hortonville (18-3).


High School Highlights


Menominee Indian 57

Bowler 40

Dominic Caldwell had 12 points and 16 rebounds for Menominee Indian (11-8, 9-7 Central Wisconsin Conference-10) Tuesday, and Mike Pecore chipped in 16 points.

Cody Monteg led Bowler (8-12, 4-12 CWC-10) with 13 points.

Menominee Indian 48

Tri-County 43

Justin Waupoose led Menominee Indian (10-8, 8-7 Central Wisconsin Conference-10) with 15 points as Tri-County fell to 6-13 overall and 5-10 in the league Friday.


Shawano 45

Merrill 33

For Shawano (9-12, 6-9 Bay Conference), Courtney Vomastic had a game-high 16 points Tuesday, Sara Hokenstad had 12 and Briana Boda added 11. Megan Klitzke pulled down 12 rebounds.


Bonduel defense is enough to hold off Wittenberg-Birnamwood

The fabled bad luck of a Friday the 13th doesn’t usually refer to shooting a basketball, although for Bonduel High School, it was a good thing their defense showed up.

Bonduel clawed, deflected and scrapped its way to a 48-34 win over visiting Wittenberg-Birnamwood for its fourth consecutive victory, one that kept the Bears’ faint hopes alive for a Central Wisconsin Conference-8 boys basketball title.

They sent the Chargers to their ninth loss in 10 games on a night when the buckets weren’t dropping for either team. Tough defense prevailed at both ends, allowing the Chargers (3-16, 2-9 CWC-8) to cut a 15-point second-half deficit to eight at the end of the third quarter.


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