Friday, February 1, 2013

Wrestling: Hunterdon Central at Warren Hills preview

What: Hunterdon Central Red Devils at Warren Hills Blue Streaks.

Where: Warren Hills Regional High School, Washington Township.

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Conference: Skyland crossover.

Records: Hunterdon Central 12-1; Warren Hills 17-6.

Coaches: Steve Gibble (323-111, 22nd season); Jarrett Hosbach (108-80, eighth season).

State rankings (New Jersey Wrestling Writers): Hunterdon Central No. 6; Warren Hills unranked.

Series history: Hunterdon Central leads, 39-12-1, dating to 1960, and has won four straight against Warren Hills, including a 33-27 win in the last meeting on Jan. 25, 2012 in Flemington. The match in 2011 was snowed out -- the first time in series history that these rivals did not meet. Warren Hills' last wins came back-to-back in 2006 and '07. Seven of the Streaks' wins have come since 1990.

Note: Hunterdon Central wrestlers listed first with season records in parentheses.

106 -- So. Kyler Rodriguez (6-6) vs. So. Austin Pidoto (18-8).

113 -- Open vs. So. Max Nauta (23-4).

120 -- Fr. Gabino Careaga (1-13) vs. Jr. Tai Adetula (14-11) or So. John Fluck (15-10).

126 -- Jr. Dylan Nace (15-7) vs. Sr. Joe Kratochvil (24-4).

132 -- Jr. Collin Boylan (18-3) vs. Jr. Justin Pidoto (5-5).

138 -- Jr. Gary Dinmore (20-0) vs. Sr. Kevin Bundschuh (15-7) or Sr. Tom Rush (5-23).

145 -- Sr. Tim Higginson (17-5) vs. Fr. Anthony Roessner (1-6) or Rush.

152 -- Sr. Dylan Cote (15-6) vs. Jr. Evan Butka (18-11).

160 -- Sr. Tyler Cote (19-3) or So. Joe Scerbo (10-5) vs. Sr. Xavier Adetula (8-8).

170 -- Sr. David Fenton (20-2) or T. Cote vs. Jr. Ryan Ostir (15-13).

182 -- So. Nestor Crespo (13-6) or Fenton vs. Jr. Steve Cleaver (16-12).

195 -- So. Leo Aquino (4-6) or Crespo vs. Jr. Ryan Witner (13-15).

220 -- Sr. Paul Rallis (13-7) vs. Sr. Tyler Bridygham (14-11).

285 -- Sr. Gabe Barba (9-4) vs. So. Andrew Pacheco (23-5).

Breakdown: Old-fashioned rivalry here between programs rich in tradition. It is also Alumni Night as the Blue Streaks celebrate their 75th season and 76 years of wrestling, so you'd expect Hosbach's troops to come out fired up for this one. Hunterdon Central spawned from its Warren County neighbor as former legendary coach Russ Riegel started the Red Devils' program in 1956. Central enters as the favorite and has the edge, straight up, at 132, 138, 145, 160 (T. Cote d. Adetula 5-2 at HWS), 170. Warren Hills gets the nod at 106, 113, 120, 126 (slight with Kratochvil who beat Nace in OT at HWS), 152 (slight as Butka beat D. Cote in OT at HWS), 182 (Cleaver pinned Crespo at HWS) and 285. I'd rate 195 and 220 as tossups. Bundschuh, who lost 12-0 to Dinmore at HWS, is nursing an ankle issue and has not wrestled since Jan. 19. Look for the Red Devils to insert Scerbo at 160 and bump up to squeeze Aquino out of the lineup at 195, and to possibly bump Higginson to 152. That would make Central the favorite at 152, 160, 182, 195, and give it an opportunity to sweep 126 through 220 (nine bouts). If the Streaks, who have not wrestled well against good teams of late, can sneak a win at 195 and win those two OT bouts from HWS it could be interesting, provided they limit the damage in spots where they are heavy underdogs. Central will get enough bonus points and that will help make it five straight wins in the series.

Prediction: Hunterdon Central, 35-24.

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