Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wrestling: Lions move Straight past Blue Streaks

Wrestling is a great sport for someone to become an unlikely hero -- be it in the first or final bout of the night.

Senior Brad Straight was the man who delivered a clutch win for North Hunterdon -- it just so happened to be the third bout in -- as his victory at 220 pounds sparked the Lions to a surprisingly lopsided 34-15 win over host Warren Hills on Wednesday in a Skyland Conference Raritan Division clash in Washington.

"I had to do it for the team," said Straight, who improved to 3-7 with a 4-2 win over Warren Hills senior Tyler Bridygham. "The team was counting on me. I've been working a lot in the [practice] room and [my teammates] have been helping me a lot."

North Hunterdon (5-3 overall, 3-2 division) won 10 of 14 bouts and dominated from the neutral position -- winning the takedown battle, 29-7. Warren Hills (12-6, 2-3) managed just one win with bonus points -- a pin from Andrew Pacheco at 285 pounds after the Blue Streaks fell behind, 9-0, early on.

"We were very reluctant to shoot takedowns," said Warren Hills coach Jarrett Hosbach, who did not want to use his missing three starters as an excuse in the loss. "We spend an hour in practice on setups and finishes. We get out here and don't try things. It's very frustrating as a coach."

In a number of cases, North Hunterdon wrestlers opted for the neutral position to start periods when given the option.

"We did not want to be on the mat with them," said North Hunterdon coach Tim Flynn, now 2-1 all-time against Warren Hills in four seasons. "They are good on top. We wanted to be on our feet and it worked out for us."

Seniors Kevin Bundschuh (138) and Xavier Adetula (160), along with junior Justin Pidoto (132), did not weigh in for Warren Hills. Bundschuh and Pidoto are nursing injuries, while Adetula missed the match due to personal reasons.

"Our 14 guys were on the mat and North outwrestled the Warren Hills kids," Hosbach said.

Liam Korbul (182) and Dan Pepe (195) got the ball rolling for North Hunterdon with decisions in the first two bouts. Korbul racked up four takedowns in an 8-4 win over Steve Cleaver, while Pepe bested Ryan Witner for the second time this season, 6-1. Pepe won, 5-3, in the Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament on Jan. 11.

Straight's victory -- on the strength of a takedown with 16 seconds left in the third period -- was an early turning point before Pacheco's pin of Anthony Bugyi snapped North's early string of wins. Sophomore Paul Robinson also came through for the Lions -- converting a takedown with seven seconds left for a 3-1 decision over Austin Pidoto at 106. It was a rematch of their John Goles final -- won by Robinson, 8-7.

"When we sent those first two guys [Korbul and Pepe] out, we expected to be up," Flynn said. "A guy like Bradley, we weren't even sure he'd be the guy to go out tonight. We have some guys pushing each other in the room. Brad didn't know [anything about Bridygham] and didn't care. He put in a lot of time in the offseason and he capitalized on a couple of mistakes."

The match did not start at an ideal place for Warren Hills, but Hosbach put things in perspective when asked about not being able to seize the early momentum.

"We only won four bouts. Where was a good place to start?" said Hosbach, now 2-5 against North.

Max Nauta used a late four-point move in a 7-0 win over North freshman Derek Ciavrro at 113, but the Lions won the toss and were able to control the matchups at 120 and 126 -- with Matt Moncourtois and Ryan Pomrinca both weighed-in at 120.

Moncourtois worked Region 1 qualifier John Fluck for a 10-2 major at 120, before Pomrinca stretched North's lead to 20-9 with a 13-5 major of Tai Adetula at 126. Region 1 runner-up Joe Kratochvil took the mat with Warren Hills desperately needing bonus points and managed only a 3-0 win over Eric Martin at 132.

North Hunterdon won four of the last five bouts, as junior Mike Ciavarro sealed it with a technical fall win over sophomore Brendan Stewart at 152. Flynn also bumped freshman Brian Smolinsky up to 138 -- avoiding Kratochvil -- and he earned a 2-0 win over Tom Rush.

"We're starting to come together as a team after a rough start to the season," said Straight, whose squad is behind the 8-ball with very few dual meets to date.

North Hunterdon now leads, 34-21, in all-time in this series dating to 1957. The Lions have won two straight, posting a 38-19 victory in the previous meeting in 2011. The schools did not meet last season. Warren Hills' last win was 35-23 in 2010. The Hunterdon County school has won 17 of the last 23 meetings dating to 1990, including a 40-26 victory in the North 2, Group 3 sectional semifinals in 2005.


182 -- Sr. Liam Korbul (15-5), NH, d. Jr. Steve Cleaver (12-11), 8-4.
195 -- Sr. Dan Pepe (12-6), NH, d. Jr. Ryan Witner (12-12), 6-1.
220 -- Sr. Brad Straight (3-7), NH, d. Sr. Tyler Bridygham (11-9), 4-2.
285 -- So. Andrew Pacheco (20-4), WH, p. Jr. Anthony Bugyi (5-9), 3:02.
106 -- So. Paul Robinson (12-5), NH, d. So. Austin Pidoto (14-8), 3-1.
113 -- So. Max Nauta (18-4), WH, d. Fr. Derek Ciavarro (11-7), 7-0.
120 -- Sr. Matt Moncourtois (11-9), NH, md. So. John Fluck (11-9), 10-2.
126 -- So. Ryan Pomrinca (18-2), NH, md. Jr. Tai Adetula (11-9), 13-5.
132 -- Sr. Joe Kratochvil (21-2), WH, d. Jr. Eric Martin (3-6), 3-0.
138 -- Fr. Brian Smolinsky (10-6), NH, d. Sr. Tom Rush (5-18), 2-0.
145 -- So. Michael Sicola (5-6), NH, d. Fr. Anthony Roessner (1-6), 6-2.
152 -- Jr. Mike Ciavarro (18-3), NH, tf. So. Brendan Stewart (2-1), 17-2, 4:00.
160 -- Jr. Evan Butka (14-10), WH, d. Jr. Joe Guzzo (10-9), 4-2 SV.
170 -- Sr. Brandon Loftus (9-8), NH, d. Jr. Ryan Ostir (12-11), 6-4.
Records -- North Hunterdon 5-3, 3-2; Warren Hills 12-6, 2-3.
Official -- Joe Benvenuto.

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