Just about ready to start the District 1 finals here at Mount Olive. Just came down from District 3 at Kittatinny, where the Cougars advanced 10 to Region 1 and beat High Point by one-half point for the team championship -- the closest team race since Jefferson beat Kittatinny by one point in 1994.
Here are the D1 finals matchups (starting weight at 170):
1-Sr. Ryan Harrington, Mendham, tf. 2-Jr. Dan Ryan, Mount Olive, 21-6, 5:51.
Harrington gets the first takedown and adds two backs for a 4-0 lead. Mendham advanced six to Region 1 and has four in the finals. Phillipsburg advanced a tourney-best 12 and West Morris is second with seven wrestlers moving on. Harrington cuts Ryan loose and leads 4-1 after one period.
Harrington out quickly and adds a takedown to go up 7-1 in the second period. Another takedown for the state champ and he's up 9-3, playing let him up, take him down here. Two more takedowns makes it 13-4 with 19 seconds left. Harrington taking injury time, but appears OK. Two backs at the buzzer and he leads 15-4 after two periods.
Another takedown and an escape makes it 17-5 and I can sense a technical fall coming on. Harrington in total control. That's it as Harrington locks up his second district title.
1-Jr. Evan Bray, Belvidere, d. 2-Sr. Shaun Maloy, Phillipsburg, 11-6.
Good one here as both wrestlers seek their first titles. Bray, second two years ago and third last year, is one of four County Seaters in the finals. Bray gets the first takedown for a 2-0 lead 40 seconds in. Stateliners essentially wrapped up the team title last night -- their fifth in six years. Bray leads 6-2 after one.
Maloy escapes to start the second, but Bray immediately converts his fourth takedown for an 8-3 lead. Bray cuts Maloy loose, 8-4 approaching 1 minute. Technical violation for fleeing the mat on Bray makes it 8-5 final 20 seconds. That's how we stand after two.
Bray escapes to start the third period. Maloy almost hits a cement job, but Bray counters for a takedown -- 11-5 with 20 seconds left. Maloy escapes, but it's not enough as Bray wins his first district title.
1-Sr. Dan Hauck, North Warren, d. 3-Sr. Derek Pierson, Phillipsburg, 4-2.
Scoreless first period, not much action in this one so far.
Pierson takes bottom to start the second period. Pierson gets out for a l-0 lead, could be a big first point the way it's looking now. End of two it's still 1-0, Hauck takes down to start the third. He escapes and we're all tied at 1.
Both wrestlers banged for stalling again, this one is lulling me to sleep because I completely missed the first set of warnings -- it's 2-2. Hauck gets a takedown in the final 10 seconds to win it.
1-Sr. Brandon Hull, Phillipsburg, p. 3-Jr. J.B. Lawson, Belvidere, 1:50
Hull gets the opening takedown for a 2-0 lead. After an escape, Hull takes Lawson down to his back for the PIN! He wins his second title. I've gone on the record this week that Hull will end P'burg's state champion drought -- no winners since Tim Moore and Marc DeFrancesco in 1996.
2-Sr. Anthony Pare, Phillipsburg, p. 1-Sr. Zach Krulan, West Morris, 2:24.
Pare gets the first takedown and leads 2-0. Pare was the runner-up at 189 last year. Pare leads 5-0 after oe period after a three-point nearfall.
Pare down to start the second. Reversal for Pare and the FALL! Justifies the P'burg coaches' bid to get him the top seed on Wednesday.
3-Fr. Steve Friedman, Phillipsburg, d. 1-Fr. Max Nauta, Warren Hills, 10-6
Pair of talented freshmen meeting for the third time this season. Nauta won both, 4-1 at HWS and 11-3 in the dual. Friedman counters for the opening takedown and a 2-0 lead. Friedman dominating on top, gets two backs for a 4-0 lead -- WOW!
Friedman on bottom to start the second. Reversal for Friedman and he's up 6-0 -- P'burg faithful going nuts. Think Nauta is caught in the moment here. Friedman has been in plenty of big matches this season. Second period ends with Friedman in control.
Nauta takes bottom to start the third and has lots of work to do. Nauta escapes, 6-2, and a takedown to make it 6-4. Escape for Friedman -- 1 minute to go. Takedown for Nauta, he trails 7-6 -- oh boy. Nauta cuts him with 34 seconds left. Friedman converts the takedown to ice it. First big upset of the night.
2-Jr. Zach Fisher, Phillipsburg, d. 1-Jr. Cory Fleming, West Morris, 7-6
Fisher gives up the opening takedown and gets one of his own to go ahead 3-2. Fleming gets a reversal to up 4-3 after one period.
Fisher reverses to start the second and goes up 5-4, both guys tough on the mat. Fisher, the hero in the Group 4 title win, finishes on top.
Fleming down to start the third. Reversal and he leads 6-5 and gives it right back, Fisher up 7-6. And that's how it ends, Fisher on a roll and has his first title. Big mistake not cutting Fisher loose after that reversal. Live and learn.
1-Jr. Andrew Kaluzny, Phillipsburg, d. 2-Fr. David Migliaccio, West Morris, 3-2
No score after one. Interesting note, Migliaccio's uncle, Steve, lost to Gary Osborne of P'burg in the 1972 finals -- 40 years ago folks. End of two, both trade reversals -- 2-2.
Kaluzny on bottom to start the third period and escapes for a 3-2 lead. That's it, 3-2 win for Kaluzny and his first title -- P'burg's fifth of the night.
1-Jr. Joe Kratochvil, Warren Hills, d. 2-Fr. Max Elling, Phillipsburg, 4-3
Third time for these two after splitting a pair of bouts earlier this season. Elling won 8-4 at HWS and Kratochvil got him in the rematch, 4-2.
Scoreless first period. Elling on bottom to start the second and escapes, 1-0. Elling get the takedown with 39 seconds to go, 3-0. Kratochvil gets a huge escape with 15 seconds left, 3-1 after two. Great scramble at the end of the period, Elling nearly had two.
Kratochvil down to start the third. He's out quickly and it's 3-2. Takedown with 54 seconds and Kratochvil goes up 4-3. Great exchange but no points and Kratochvil hangs on for the win. Kid was 4-17 as a freshman. Great job.
1-Sr. Dylan Thorsen, Belvidere, d. 2-Sr. James Rivera, Mount Olive, 5-3
Thorsen going for bragging rights here as a second district title would put him one up on his dad, Chris, a district and region champ for Warren Hills in 1981. Dad also was a district runner-up in 1980. Dylan is a four-time finalist, finishing second twice.
Thorsen gets the opening takedown. The two trade reversals at the end of the period and Thorsen leads 4-2 after one. Thorsen down to start the second period and is out in a blink, 5-2. End of the second.
Rivera down to start the third. Escapes and it's 5-3. Thorsen nearly has a takedown at the edge but it doesn't matter. He's a two-time champ with his 128th career win.
2-Jr. Nick Matthews, West Morris, d. 1-Jr. Tyler Kozimor, Hackettstown, 5-2
Battle of returning champs here. Kozimor going for three and Matthews eyeing his second. Matthews gets the first takedown. Kozimor recently pinned Matthews in a dual meet.
Matthews down to start the second. Kozimor's brother, Corey, won four district titles, one of 14 in this district to do so. Matthews gets an escape and takedown to lead, 5-0. Kozimor escapes and it's 5-1 after two periods.
Kozimor escapes to make it 5-2 with a minute to go. That's it. Matthews gets his revenge and a second district title.
2-Sr. Jacob Aloia, Mendham, d. 1-Sr. Dylan Offerding, Mount Olive, 1-0
Matchup of Morris County guys. Scoreless first period and Offerding on bottom. Aloia nearly turns Offerding twice but no points. We go to the third period scoreless.
Aloia escapes in the third with 35 seconds left to go. Offerding nearly hits a double-leg with five seconds left, but Aloia hangs on for his first title.
2-Sr. V.J. Delmonico, Phillipsburg, d. 1-So. Sam Button, Mendham, 5-4
Button gets the opening takedown, 2-0. Both wrestlers finished third last year, Button at 145 and Delmonico at 152. Delmonico escapes and we end the first, 2-1.
Delmonico down to start the second. Escape and takedown and Delmonico leads, 3-2. Button gets out with 30 seconds left to tie it.
Button down to start the third. He's out 36 seconds in and has a 4-3 lead. Delmonico hits a takedown with 4 second left to win it as the P'burg faithful roars with approval! Stateliners go 6-3 in the finals.
1-Sr. Kevin Button, Mendham, d. 2-Sr. Nathan Dow, Belvidere, 10-5
Good one here. Dow picked up his 100th win in the semifinals by decking 2011 champ Joe Moyer of P'burg. Dow gets the first takedown and leads 2-0. End of the first period.
Dow goes down to start the second period. He escapes for a 3-0 lead. Takedown at the edge with 59 seconds left gives Dow a comfortable 5-0 lead. He's pressing the action. Button very defensive. Not going to get it done against Dow.
Button takes neutral to start the third. Button lat drops for a five-spot with 1:10 left! Catches Dow for another set of two backs and a 7-5 lead. Wild one!
Button slaps on a cradle for three more and he wins it 10-5. Wow. Dow in total control for two periods. What a turn of events.
Stay tune for team scores!
Here are the final team advancement numbers:
Phillipsburg 6+3+3=12; West Morris 1+3+3=7; Mendham 3+1+2=6; Warren Hills 1+1+4=6; Belvidere 2+2+1=5; Mount Olive 0+3+0=3; North Warren 1+1+0=2; Hackettstown 0+1+0=1.
Final team scores:
Phillipsburg 251.5; West Morris 136.5; Mendham 131; Warren Hills 102; Belvidere 98; Mount Olive 78; North Warren 74; Hackettstown 18.
OW goes to Phillipsburg's Brandon Hull and Coach of the Year is Dave Post -- a P'burg sweep.
Thanks for tuning and see you all at Wallkill Valley!