Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wrestling: Sectional finals breakdown (HWS only)

Here'a closer look at the NJSIAA sectional finals involving teams from the Open Mike area.

All matches will be contested on Friday at 7 p.m., except Phillipsburg at Hunterdon Central, which has been moved up to 6 p.m. Winners advance to Sunday's Group championships at Toms River North High School.

North 1 Group 2

2-River Dell (23-0) at 1-High Point (17-4)

Wrestlers to watch: RD, So. Drew Nirchio (27-2) 106; Jr. D.J. Tirelli (28-2, D1, R2) 120; Fr. Chris Kallensee (22-8) 126; Jr. Danny Lynch (26-4, D3) 132; Jr. Vincent Cariddi (29-1, D3) 138; Sr. Brendan Campbell (25-5) 145; Jr. Tyler Kallensee (26-4, D3) 160; Sr. Nick Baranello (27-2, D1, R2) 195; HP, So. Dom Gallo (26-3), 106; Fr. Jared Kobis (30-1), 120; So. Mike Derin (7-3, D1, R3), 132; So. Jason Gaccione (29-2, D1), 145; Jr. Kyle Stoll (26-3, D1, R3), 195; Jr. Bobby McDonnell (24-5), 220.

Sectional titles: River Dell 2 (1985, 2008); High Point 22 (1984, '86, '87, '88, '89, '90, '91, '92, '94, '95, '96, '97, '01, '02, '03, '05, '06, '07, '08, '10, '11, '12).

Breakdown: High Point was sharp in its 46-17 win over Parsippany in the semifinals. River Dell squeaked out a 33-31 win over West Essex -- the runner-up in this section last year -- in the other bracket. The Wildcats are heavy favorites in this one, but they're not looking ahead. Derin was among the catalysts on Wednesday and his return is a big reason why many feel the 'Cats can win the Group 2 title. Baranello-Stoll would be a featured bout as would Tirelli-Kobis at 120. The Hillbillies, who have wrestled a far superior schedule, pile up a lot of bonus points in this one and take out a few of River Dell's big guns. Next stop for coach John Gardner's squad is Toms River -- and a likely date with Delsea in the Group 2 semis -- with its 23rd sectional title in tow.

Prediction: High Point, 43-21.

North 2 Group 2

3-Parsippany Hills (16-6) at 1-Voorhees (22-4)

Wrestlers to watch: PH, Jr. Robert Fornini (16-10, D3) 120; Sr. Christian Signorelli (21-6, D2, R4) 132; Sr. Sam Mual (19-8) 152; Jr. Michael Weiss (14-3, D4) 170; Sr. James McGinley (14-10, D2) 182; Jr. Nicholas D'Uva (24-3, D2) 195; Sr. Adrian Macko (20-5, D1) 285; V, Jr. Cody Ihling (19-11, D2), 113; Jr. Thomas Bieshke (20-8), 126; Sr. Tyler Yarnell (21-9, D2), 132; Jr. Christian Okulicz (21-9, D4), 138; Sr. Jadaen Bernstein (30-0, D1, R1, S7), 160; Sr. Nicholas Ruggiero (23-7, D2), 182; Sr. Kyle Levy (23-7), 195.

Sectional titles: Voorhees 14 (1980, '81, '82, '83, '85, '86, '87, '88, '89, '91, '95, '96, '98, '04).

Breakdown: Voorhees passed its first sectional test with flying colors as coach Eric Hall's squad avenged last year's semifinals loss with a 49-13 waxing of Governor Livingston on Wednesday. The Hunterdon County Vikings, who are one shy of a new program record for wins in a season, rate as a solid favorite in this one as they look to end an eight-year championship drought. Problem for the visitors is that Voorhees is probably slightly or marginally better at most of the weights that the Morris County school usually counts on for wins. Vikes roll to a date with the Central Jersey winner in the Group 2 semis at Toms River.

Prediction: Voorhees, 40-18.

Central Jersey Group 2

2-Delaware Valley (13-7) at 1-Long Branch (13-5)

Wrestlers to watch: LB, Sr. Luke Balina (10-4, D2) 145; Sr. Nick George (17-2) 145; Sr. Jacob George (16-4, D2, R2) 152; Sr. Nick Pappayliou (19-1) 160; Sr. Chris Pappayliou (19-1, D3) 182; DV, Sr. Mike Pongracz (24-0, D2, R3, S5), 126; Sr. Matt Gilmore (14-8, D1, R4), 120; Jr. Kody Eichlin (21-3), 160-170; Jr. Luke Zehnbauer (19-9, D3), 170-182.

Sectional titles: Delaware Valley 14 (1983, '84, '85, '87, '88, '89, '90, '93, '94, '99, '01, '02, '05, '06); Long Branch 4 (2008, '09, '10, '11).

Breakdown: Terriers coach Andy Fitz, who won four sectional titles as a Del Val wrestler, is making his fourth trip to finals (0-3 in previous title matches, all against that year's Group 2 champion, including a 30-26 loss to Raritan in last year's final). Meanwhile, Long Branch is enjoying a sectional resurgence -- winning four straight titles from 2008-11, including a 31-23 win over Del Val in the '08 title match. That's the only other meeting between these programs. Fitz and the Terriers are riding high after Wednesday's 31-30 win over Raritan in the semifinals, despite winning only six bouts. "I'm real proud of the group. A lot of teams wish they were wrestling [on Friday] and we're one of them," the coach said. Del Val might be a team of destiny based on that miraculous semifinal win, where freshman Kyle Refalvy (4-7 at 106) and senior Ryan Metz (10-10 at 195) delivered big pins for the Terriers. The return of Balina is big for the Green Wave, who also benefit from having this one in their home gym. Del Val's going to need another magic moment or two.

Prediction: Long Branch, 33-24.

North 1 Group 1

3-Lenape Valley (8-13) at 1-Kittatinny (20-2)

Wrestlers to watch: LV, So. Peter Lipari (21-7, D4), 120-126; So. Glenn Haines (22-9, D2, R2), 132; Sr. Matt Benvenuto (27-5, D1, R4), 138; Sr. Kristian Barrett (22-9), 195; K, Jr. Christian Silva (23-7, D4), 113; Fr. Austin Scrivani (21-9), 126-132; So. Tom Murphy (27-3, D2), 138; Jr. Nick Romyns (22-5, D1, R4), 145; Jr. Kieran Gerrity (27-3, D1, R3), 160; Jr. Dylan Wunder (23-7, D2), 170-182; Sr. Jake Brook (27-3, D2, R3), 182-195; Sr. Garrett Armstrong (27-3, D3), 195-220.

Sectional titles: Lenape Valley 4 (1985, '98, '99, '09); Kittatinny 17 (1991, '93, '94, '95, '96, '98, '00, '01, '02, '03, '04, '05, '06, '07, '08, '11, '12).

Breakdown: Lenape Valley is finally healthy and rolling along in the postseason with a 62-7 thumping of Wallkill Valley on Monday and a 39-22 win over second-seeded Emerson Park-Ridge in the semifinals. Now comes the big test, as Kittatinny demolished Pequannock, 56-3, in the other semifinal on Wednesday. Cougars defeated the Patriots, 54-16, on Dec. 19 in a regular-season matchup in Stanhope. However, both lineups will look remarkably different as Kittatinny used five JVs in the first meeting, while Lenape was without Lipari, Benvenuto and heavyweight Bobby Sperling. Cougars match up real well in this one, and may have Romyns bump to 152 as the hosts try to sweep 145 and 152. The Pats, who I really only see winning five bouts if Romyns matches up with Dominic LaBell at either 145 or 52, would like a Lipari-Scrivani matchup in order to have a shot at 120 and 126, though I think Kittatinny wins the other bout between freshmen. Barrett dropped a 9-8 decision to Brook last time out, while Benvenuto beat Murphy, 6-5, at Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex. A Kittatinny win would set up a showdown with Hanover Park, provided it beats Caldwell for the North 2 title, in the Group 1 semis. If Caldwell wins, the Chiefs will be the No. 4 seed meaning the second-seeded Cougars will likely get Paulsboro on Sunday.

Prediction: Kittatinny, 41-19. Other winners: Hanover Park (N2), Bound Brook (CJ) and Paulsboro (SJ).

North 2 Group 4

2-Phillipsburg (13-3) at 1-Hunterdon Central (17-1)

Wrestlers to watch: P, Fr. Brandon Paetzell (25-5), 106; Sr. Zach Fisher (23-7, D1), 113; So. Max Elling (18-11, D2, R3), 138; Sr. Andrew Kaluzny (20-11, D1, R4), 145; So. Jim Schuitema (25-3, D3, R3), 152; Sr. Jarrett Williams (23-6), 285; HC, Jr. Dylan Nace (19-8, D2), 126; Jr. Collin Boylan (21-4, D3), 132; Jr. Gary Dinmore (25-0, D1, R1, S2), 138; Sr. Tim Higginson (21-5), 145; Sr. Tyler Cote (24-3, D2), 160; Sr. David Fenton (23-3, D2), 170.

Sectional titles: Phillipsburg 32 (1980, '81, '82, '83, '84, '85, '86, '87, '88, '89, '91, '92, '93, '94, '95, '96, '97, '98, '99, '00, '01, '02, '03, '04, '05, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12); Hunterdon Central 18 (1980, '81, '82, '83, '84, '87, '88, '89, '93, '94, '95, '97, '98, '99, '00, '03, '10, '11).

Breakdown: P'burg leads the all-time series, 34-6-1, dating to 1962. But this is the one that everyone in these parts has been clamoring for since Central's stunning 34-30 win at The Pit on Jan. 16 -- the Red Devils' fourth win in 13 meetings with the 'Liners since 2003. Some bizarre happenings in that one as P'burg senior Kyle Kinney injured his elbow and had to default while holding an early lead -- a minimum nine-point swing in that one, while Nace scored a stunning pin at 126. Central also had to forfeit 106 because Kyler Rodriguez, who is back in the lineup, was out with an injury. 'Liners should have Kinney and Joe Maso, who missed the semifinal win over North Hunterdon, back for this one, but are without Corey Zinsmeister at 126. Will P'burg bump Fisher to 120 and Friedman to 126, looking to avoid a repeat of a pin at 126? Probably a good move rather than wasting Fisher on a forfeit win. Red Devils are trying to beat their Warren County rivals twice in a season for only the second time after doing it with a victory in the 2010 Group 4 semifinals. This is the sixth postseason meeting -- first in a sectional final -- as the 'Liners won four in Group 4 (1988, '99 and 2000 finals and the semifinals in '11). P'burg, which lost its only sectional final in 1990 to Warren Hills, 34-30, turns the tables -- if its upperweights are in tact -- in this one.

Prediction: Phillipsburg, 33-22. Other winners: North Bergen (N1), Brick Memorial (CJ) and Southern (SJ).

North 2 Group 3

2-Warren Hills (18-7) at 1-South Plainfield (29-0)

Wrestlers to watch: SP, Fr. Daniel Hedden (24-7) 113; Jr. Ray Jazikoff (23-6, D2) 120; Sr. Corey Stasenko (27-1, D1, R2, S6) 126; Sr. Scott DelVecchio (31-0, D1, R1, S1) 132; Sr. Anthony Ashnault (27-0, D1, R1, S1) 138; Sr. Troy Heilmann (30-1, D1, R1, S2) 145; Sr. Dylan Painton (27-4, D1) 152; Jr. Inan Sikel (27-3, D2) 170; Sr. Tory Russell (25-5, D1, R3) 220; WH, So. Max Nauta (25-4, D2, R2), 113; Sr. Joe Kratochvil (26-4, D1, R2), 126-132; Sr. Kevin Bundschuh (16-8), 138-145; So. Andrew Pacheco (24-5), 285.

Sectional titles: Warren Hills 5 (1982, '90, '97, '98, '07); South Plainfield 10 (1997, '98, '00, '01, '05, '06, '07, '10, '11, '12).

Breakdown: Tough task for the Blue Streaks, or anyone else in New Jersey, as the state's No. 1 team goes for its 11th title and fourth straight behind this amazingly talented group of seniors, led by state champions DelVecchio and Ashnault, a three-timer. Warren Hills won a semis thriller, 31-30 on criteria No. 1, against Roxbury in the semifinals, while South Plainfield rolled past West Morris, 51-12, at home to reach the final. By comparison, Warren Hills beat West Morris, 33-29, on Jan. 19. Coach Kevin McCann's Tigers beat the Streaks, 64-9, in last year's title match. It's a shame this is the final as the Streaks, who are favored at only 113 and 285, could be one of the three best teams in Group 3.

Prediction: South Plainfield, 49-9. Other winners: Paramus (N1), Brick Township (CJ), Toms River South (SJ).

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