Monday, February 18, 2013

Wrestling: High Point decks LB to win Group 2 title

High Point's wrestling team used the bonus plan during a championship run on Sunday -- racking up a total of 10 pins in two victories -- as the Wildcats benefited from five falls en route to a thrilling 33-30 win over nemesis Long Branch to claim the NJSIAA Group 2 title at Toms River North High School.

High Point (20-4) claimed its third state championship -- the first in Group 2 -- to go with two Group 3 crowns in 2008 and '11. Earlier in the day, coach John Gardner's team posted a 37-28 win over Delsea in the semifinals.

Group 2 champion High Point Wildcats (courtesy HP Wrestling FB)
"We talk about team all the time at High Point and I couldn't be happier with the coaches and guys in our program," said Gardner, now 268-73-2 overall in 15 seasons. "Everybody today contributed. It's special. Anytime you can come down here and win -- it's a special group."

Sophomore Mike Derin, at 132 pounds, capped a four-bout pinning spree that helped the Wildcats rally back from a 21-6 deficit through seven bouts. Chris Auer's clutch 9-2 upset-win at 138 gave the Sussex County school a 33-27 lead with one bout to go. That took a lot of pressure off sophomore Jason Gaccione, who dropped a 3-0 decision to Nick George at 145. All Gaccione had to do was not give up six points -- which would have tied the score and given Long Branch, which won eight bouts, the victory on criteria.

"Auer's win was absolutely tremendous for the team," Gardner said.

"It's amazing. It's one thing to watch your team win [as a fan in 2011] but to be on the winning team is the greatest feeling ever," said Derin, a state qualifier last year as a freshman. "We were confident because we beat them [36-25 on Jan. 5] and when we started to get bonus points that was big. We didn't expect them to get that big of a lead."

Things started badly for High Point, which dropped the first four bouts and six of seven as it fell into an early 15-point hole. Jake George and Luke Balina opened with decisions at 152 and 160, before Nick Pappayliou decked Brien Alvino at 170. High Point junior Antonio Porraspita dropped a 3-0 decision at 182 before junior Kyle Stoll, who got the 'Cats' first takedown, stopped the bleeding with a much-needed pin at 195.

Down 15-6, Gardner made a bold move that backfired as he opted to swap wrestlers at 220 and 285 from the last time these teams wrestled in the regular season. Gunny Wassong dropped a 5-2 decision to Joey Guidetti and Bobby McDonnell couldn't get a takedown in a 4-1 loss to Gianni Augustin at 285.

Last time, McDonnell pinned Guidetti, while Wassong lost, 3-2, to Augustin.

"We tried to win two there -- that was our plan," Gardner said. "Unfortunately for us, someone forgot to tell the Long Branch kids what our plan was. We wrestled hard in both, but we came up a little short."

Sophomore Dom Gallo, who also pinned in the Delsea win, started the comeback by decking Mike Jones with a cradle in 52 seconds at 106. Long Branch came back with a pin at 113, before freshman Jared Kobis pulled High Point within nine by tossing Danny Rios to his back for the fall at 120. Kobis (32-1) built an 11-2 lead after two periods and nearly had the pin twice with cradles.

Senior Connor McHugh needed just 1:32 to deck Andy Hernandez at 126, and suddenly High Point trailed, 27-24, with three bouts to go. Derin's first-period pin gave the 'Cats a 30-27 lead they would not relinquish. High Point has won three in a row over Long Branch since a tough 28-27 criteria loss to the Green Wave -- who won Group 2 titles in 2008, '09 and '10 -- at Rutgers on Jan. 24, 2009.

Against Delsea, High Point trailed, 25-19, with four bouts left before registering pins in three of the last four to advance to the final. Kobis' 57-second fall at 120 started things and McHugh needed just 48 seconds to flatten Jordan Boullion at 126. Needing to win one of the last two, Gardner inserted Ryan Cullen at 132, where he dropped a 4-1 decision, and bumped to Derin to 138 to close things out with a pin in 2:27.

Delsea was without Region 8 qualifier John Pierson (23-8 at 132), who was observing a Jewish holiday and unavailable to wrestle. His absence allowed Gardner to make the move up top to secure the win.

(Championship)

HIGH POINT 33, LONG BRANCH 30
152 -- Sr. Jake George (28-4), LB, d. Jr. Tommy Hooker (21-10), 7-3.
160 -- Sr. Luke Balina (20-5), LB, d. Sr. Moses Yasin (11-20), 9-3.
170 -- Sr. Nick Pappayliou (28-6), LB, p. Jr. Brien Alvino (4-10), 2:40.
182 -- Sr. Chris Pappayliou (28-4), LB, d. Jr. Antonio Porraspita (20-9), 3-0.
195 -- Jr. Kyle Stoll (27-5), HP, p. Sr. Vincent Roselli (19-11), 1:41.
220 -- Sr. Joey Guidetti (18-8), LB, d. Jr. Gunny Wassong (17-10), 5-2.
285 -- Sr. Gianni Augustin (24-9), LB, d. Jr. Bobby McDonnell (26-6), 4-1.
106 -- So. Dom Gallo (29-3), HP, p. So. Mike Jones (23-8), :52.
113 -- So. Tommy Flannigan (17-6), LB, p. So. Leo Haines (2-12), 2:24.
120 -- Fr. Jared Kobis (32-1), HP, p. Fr. Danny Rios (5-12), 5:30.
126 -- Sr. Connor McHugh (23-9), HP, p. So. Andy Hernandez (17-12), 1:32.
132 -- So. Mike Derin (10-3), HP, p. Fr. Danny Mullan (7-17), 1:25.
138 -- Jr. Chris Auer (13-9), HP, d. Jr. Nick Menkin (22-11), 9-2.
145 -- Sr. Nick George (30-3), LB, d. So. Jason Gaccione (31-3), 3-0.
Records -- High Point 20-4; Long Branch 15-6.

(Semifinals)

HIGH POINT 37, DELSEA 28
145 -- So. Jason Gaccione (31-2), HP, md. Fr. Dominick DeMarco (12-7), 12-3.
152 -- Sr. John Hennelly (29-4), D, md. Jr. Tommy Hooker (21-9), 13-4.
160 -- Sr. David Gresk (27-6), D, d. Sr. Moses Yasin (11-19), 5-3.
170 -- Jr. Antonio Porraspita (20-8), HP, d. So. Victor DeFrance (24-9), 5-3.
182 -- Sr. Erik Porch (20-7), D, d. Jr. Brien Alvino (4-9), 4-2.
195 -- Sr. Dylan Dobzanski (31-0), D, d. Jr. Kyle Stoll (26-5), 7-3.
220 -- Jr. Bobby McDonnell (26-5), HP, p. Sr. Cody Ruppert (15-7), 2:34.
285 -- Jr. Bryan Dobzanski (33-0), D, p. Jr. Gunny Wassong (17-9), :35.
106 -- So. Dom Gallo (28-3), HP, p. Fr. John Hassett (14-19), 5:31.
113 -- So. Tom Carney (19-12), D, p. So. Leo Haines (2-11), :59.
120 -- Fr. Jared Kobis (31-1), HP, p. So. Kevin Huck (7-17), :57.
126 -- Sr. Connor McHugh (22-9), HP, p. Jr. Jordan Bouillion (8-24), :48.
132 -- Sr. Rian Lamenteer (28-3), D, d. So. Ryan Cullen (6-4), 4-1.
138 -- So. Mike Derin (9-3), HP, p. Sr. Dylan Recinto (8-7), 2:27.
Records -- High Point 19-4; Delsea 24-3.

LONG BRANCH 26, VOORHEES 22
145 -- Sr. Nick George (29-3), LB, d. Jr. William Gonsiewski (11-15), 6-0.
152 -- Sr. Luke Balina (19-5), LB, tf. Sr. Josh Hausler (2-5), 16-1, 4:36.
160 -- Sr. Jake George (27-4), LB, d. Jr. Jordan Juliano (19-13), 9-2.
170 -- Sr. Jadaen Bernstein (33-0), V, tf. Jr. Connor Mullan (5-3), 19-4, 5:00.
182 -- Sr. Nick Ruggiero (26-7), V, d. Sr. Nick Pappayliou (27-6), 7-6.
195 -- Sr. Chris Pappayliou (27-4), LB, d. Sr. Kyle Levy (24-9), 3-2 OT (rideout).
220 -- Sr. Joey Guidetti (17-8), LB, d. Sr. Emilio Guevara (15-18), 2-1 OT (rideout).
285 -- So. Alex Fischetti (24-8), V, d. Sr. Gianni Augustin (24-8), 1-0.
106 -- Fr. Kyle DiNapoli (22-9), V, d. So. Mike Jones (23-7), 9-4.
113 -- So. Tommy Flannigan (16-6), LB, d. Jr. Cody Ihling (21-12), 10-4.
120 -- So. Andy Hernandez (17-11), LB, d. Jr. Thomas Bieshke (20-11), 4-3.
126 -- Sr. Tyler Yarnell (24-9), V, md. Fr. Danny Mullan (7-16), 13-4.
132 -- Jr. Christian Okulicz (23-10), V, md. Jr. Aaron Torres (7-18), 8-0.
138 -- Jr. Nick Menkin (22-10), LB, d. Jr. Mike Muscatello (16-12), 5-4.
Records -- Long Branch 15-5; Voorhees 23-5.

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