Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wrestling: Sectional semis breakdowns (HWS only)

Here's a closer look at all of the sectional semifinals involving teams from the Open Mike area.

Some matches, originally scheduled for 7 p.m., have been moved up to 5 or 5:30 due to a forecast of inclement weather on Wednesday night. North Hunterdon at Phillipsburg is at 5:30, while Watchung Hills at Hunterdon Central is set for 5 p.m. All other matches involving HWS teams are subject to change.

Winners advance to Friday's championship round.

North 1 Group 2

5-Parsippany (17-2) at 1-High Point (16-4)

Wrestlers to watch: P,  So. Zachary Kovacs (21-6), 106; Jr. Anthony Ferrise (16-7), 113; So. Stephen Persaud (12-4), 120; Sr. Sam Kovacs (22-5, D2, R4), 126; Sr. Michael Persaud (17-4), 145; So. Andrew Massefski (23-4, D3), 170; Sr. Nick Pizzuta (21-6), 182; Sr. Fardeen Yunus (18-7, D3) 285; HP, So. Dom Gallo (25-3), 106; Fr. Jared Kobis (29-1), 120; So. Mike Derin (6-3, D1, R3), 132; So. Jason Gaccione (28-2, D1), 145; Jr. Kyle Stoll (25-3, D1, R3), 195; Jr. Bobby McDonnell (23-5), 220.

Sectional titles: Parsippany 3 (1999, '00, '09); 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 seemingly headed for a showdown with Jefferson in the semifinals, but Parsippany crushed the Falcons, 51-18, on Monday. Parsippany has quality wrestlers up and down the lineup and this will not be an easy opener for High Point, the defending sectional champion. Sam Kovacs is a Morris County Tournament runner-up, while Massefski and Pizzuta placed in the top four. This is closer than I originally thought, but Parsippany's huge win over Jefferson was an eye-opener.

Prediction: High Point, 34-24.

North 1 Group 1

4-Pequannock (18-5) at 1-Kittatinny (19-2)

Wrestlers to watch: P, Fr. Alex Zangrilli (21-9), 106; So. Brenden Murphy (24-6), 132; Sr. Harrison Gardner (22-5), 132; Jr. Tim Burklow (24-5), 152; Sr. Luke Foukas (23-3, D2), 182; Sr. Dan Mormilo (20-10, D2), 195; K, Jr. Christian Silva (22-7, D4), 113; Fr. Austin Scrivani (20-9), 126-132; So. Tom Murphy (26-3, D2), 138; Jr. Nick Romyns (21-5, D1, R4), 145; Jr. Kieran Gerrity (26-3, D1, R3), 160; Jr. Dylan Wunder (22-7, D2), 170-182; Sr. Jake Brook (26-3, D2, R3), 182-195; Sr. Garrett Armstrong (26-3, D3), 195-220.

Sectional titles: Pequannock 5 (1984, '95, '01, '03, '05); Kittatinny 17 (1991, '93, '94, '95, '96, '98, '00, '01, '02, '03, '04, '05, '06, '07, '08, '11, '12).

Breakdown: Rematch of last year's semifinal won by Kittatinny, 42-22. Cougars also prevailed, 36-27, at home in the 2011 title match. There's no reason to think this one will be close, as Pequannock lost most of its stars -- including three Region 1 champs -- to graduation. Panthers rate as favorites in only three weights (106, 132, 152 and 182 (slight). There could be several rematches from the Cougar Classic in December, including 113, 138 and 220 -- all pins for Kittatinny. Pequannock won a tight 3-2 decision at 160, where Brett Lobdell beat Dave Popek, a District 3 runner-up last year.

Prediction: Kittatinny, 45-19.

3-Lenape Valley (7-13) at 2-Emerson-Park Ridge (16-8)

Wrestlers to watch: LV, So. Peter Lipari (20-7), 120-126; So. Glenn Haines (21-9, D2, R2), 132; Sr. Matt Benvenuto (26-5, D1, R4), 138; Sr. Kristian Barrett (22-8), 195; EPR, Fr. Sam Schneider (25-5), 106; So. Brian DiGuilmi (23-6), 113; So. Scott Galdi (19-9), 120; Sr. Jack Mallett (27-4), 160; Jr. Jules Grom (17-4), 182; Jr. Robbie Maggiulli (28-2), 195.

Sectional titles: Lenape Valley 4 (1985, '98, '99, '09); Emerson-Park Ridge 8 (1980, '83, '84, '85, '86, '87, '01, '03).

Breakdown: Patriots are finally healthy and are coming off a 62-7 blitzing of Wallkill Valley in Monday's opening round. Hopefully head coach Doug Vetter (flu) is back for this one. Emerson-Park Ridge has not wrestled the caliber of competition that Lenape has, so that could be a deciding factor. EPR will be big favorites from 106-120 a few up top. Lenape's big three (Lipari, Haines and Benvenuto) will be looking at bonus points and if the Pats can get Kristian Barrett a favorable matchup at 220, I think they can pull this off to earn a rematch with Kittatinny.

Prediction: Lenape Valley, 35-31.

North 2 Group 4

4-Watchung Hills (17-3) at 1-Hunterdon Central (16-1)

Wrestlers to watch: WH, Jr. Alex Pollera (23-7, D1, R4), 113; Jr. Mike Magaldo (25-0, D2, R2, S1), 126; So. Alex Murray (8-2, D2, R4), 132; Sr. Matt Coppola (24-5, D2, R3), 138; Sr. Anthony DiRosa (24-6, D2), 145; Sr. Mike Carroccia (21-0, D1), 160; Sr. Anthony Rizzolo (24-3), 285; HC, Jr. Dylan Nace (18-8, D2), 126; Jr. Collin Boylan (21-3, D3), 132; Jr. Gary Dinmore (24-0, D1, R1, S2), 138; Sr. Tim Higginson (20-5), 145; Sr. Tyler Cote (23-3, D2), 160; Sr. David Fenton (23-2, D2), 170.

Sectional titles: Watchung Hills 0; Hunterdon Central 18 (1980, '81, '82, '83, '84, '87, '88, '89, '93, '94, '95, '97, '98, '99, '00, '03, '10, '11).

Breakdown: Everyone seems to be counting the days until the Central-Phillipsburg rematch in Friday's sectional final. But first thing's first, as the Red Devils need to take care of business in the semifinals. Watchung, which has never won a sectional title, is no easy out and the return of Murray, who had been out a month, in Monday's 39-38 nail-biter against Franklin is a huge plus for coach Dan Smith's Warriors. Central prevailed, 35-28, in the regular-season matchup on Jan. 5 -- the last time Murray had competed until Monday. He lost a 1-0 decision to Boylan in the last meeting, while Coppola dropped a 3-2 decision to Dinmore. In fact, the Warriors lost four bouts decided by two points or fewer in that one. However, Central was without 106-pounder Kyler Rodriguez and had to forfeit. By the same token, Watchung forfeited 106 on Monday. This one could be another close affair.

Prediction: Hunterdon Central, 32-29.

3-North Hunterdon (14-3) at 2-Phillipsburg (12-3)

Wrestlers to watch: NH, So. Paul Robinson (19-7), 106; So. Ryan Pomrinca (27-2, D3, R2, S7), 113; Jr. Mike Ciavarro (26-4, D2), 145-152; Sr. Liam Korbul (24-5, D1, R2, S7), 182; P, Fr. Brandon Paetzell (24-5), 106; Sr. Zach Fisher (22-7, D1), 113; So. Max Elling (17-11, D2, R3), 138; Sr. Andrew Kaluzny (19-11, D1, R4), 145; So. Jim Schuitema (24-3, D3, R3), 152; Sr. Jarrett Williams (22-6), 285.

Sectional titles: North Hunterdon 13 (1980, '82, '84, '93, '94, '95, '96, '97, '99, '00, '02, '03, '09); 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).

Breakdown: Phillipsburg leads the all-time series, 47-8-1, dating to 1961, including a 51-16 road win on Dec. 19, 2012. This is the eighth postseason meeting, as the 'Liners prevailed, 34-21, at The Pit in last year's sectional semifinals. The Lions won three meetings in the Group 3 final (1982, '84, '93). Hard to see North making up 35 points from the first encounter this season, but if anyone can find a way to create a few more favorable matchups it's the Lions' excellent coaching staff. Thing about last time is that P'burg has lost two wrestlers -- Corey Zinsmeister (126) and Kyle Kinney (195) -- while gaining one in Anthony Johnson (132). Kinney, who sustained an elbow injury on Jan. 16, may be ready to go this week. It's closer, but still a comfortable P'burg win.

Prediction: P'burg, 43-20.

North 2 Group 3

3-Roxbury (17-3) at 2-Warren Hills (17-7)

Wrestlers to watch: R, Sr. Stephen Caserta (23-6, D3), 106-113; Jr. Devon LaFranco (19-11, D3, R2), 120-126; Jr. Kevin Hernandez (17-5), 120-126; Jr. Jake Legotte (25-4, D2), 132; Jr. Jonathan Patane (19-9, D1, R4), 145; Jr. Dillon Artigliere (30-0, D1, R2, S5), 160; Sr. Stephen Arthur III (11-6, D1), 182-195; WH, So. Max Nauta (24-4, D2, R2), 113; Sr. Joe Kratochvil (25-4, D1, R2), 126-132; Sr. Kevin Bundschuh (15-8), 138-145; So. Andrew Pacheco (24-5), 285.

Sectional titles: Roxbury 4 (1983, '96, '04, '11); Warren Hills 5 (1982, '90, '97, '98, '07).

Breakdown: Interesting matchup here as Warren Hills gets back on the mat for the first time in over a week. The Blue Streaks better come to wrestle as the visitors feature a number of quality wrestlers. Roxbury features state placewinner Dillon Artigliere at 160. Key for the Streaks is to minimize bonus points allowed and two critical bouts will be 152 and 170. They's also need big points in a few where they're favored. Kratochvil beat Legotte, 3-2, in last year's Region 1 semifinals, so we'll see if that rematch happens in this one. Gaels will win seven, but I think the hosts get by for finals rematch with South Plainfield.

Prediction: Warren Hills, 28-25.

North 2 Group 2

4-Governor Livingston (9-11) at 1-Voorhees (21-4)

Wrestlers to watch: GL, Jr. Joseph Colder (17-12, D3), 113; Sr. Jon Mele (27-1, D1, R3), 120; Jr. Ryan Hoy (20-7, D3), 132; Sr. Shane Haddad (26-2, D3), 182; 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: Governor Livingston 2 (1980, '81); Voorhees 14 (1980, '81, '82, '83, '85, '86, '87, '88, '89, '91, '95, '96, '98, '04).

Breakdown: Voorhees, amazingly, has won five sectional titles in the last 20 years after winning nine in the span of  10 years from 1980-89 under former coach Bob Hall. His son, Eric, a star wrestler for the Vikes, is now at the helm and guided the program to a record-tying 22 dual meet wins last season, one shy of matching that in 2012-13. Vikes are still stinging from a 26-22 loss to Governor Livingston in last year's semifinals at home. Voorhees avenges that loss and rolls to the final.

Prediction: Voorhees, 42-19.

Central Group 2

3-Raritan (18-6) at 2-Delaware Valley (12-7)

Wrestlers to watch: R, So. Dylan Seidenberg (18-9, D4), 120; Sr. Anthony Scarcella (21-6, D2, R3), 126; Sr. Jason Bohal (20-6, D1), 132; Jr. Connor Sheehan (21-5, D4), 160; Jr. Kyle Lynch (22-4), 170; Jr. Patrick Toal (24-3, D2), 285; DV, Sr. Mike Pongracz (23-0, D2, R3, S5), 126; Sr. Matt Gilmore (14-7, D1, R4), 120; Jr. Kody Eichlin (21-2), 160-170; Jr. Luke Zehnbauer (18-9, D3), 170-182.

Sectional titles: Raritan 2 (2004, '12); Delaware Valley 14 (1983, '84, '85, '87, '88, '89, '90, '93, '94, '99, '01, '02, '05, '06).

Breakdown: It's been awhile since Del Val won a sectional title -- seven years -- and the storied Hunterdon County program is long overdue. Terriers coach Andy Fitz won four as a wrestler, but is 3-5 in sectional matches, including 0-3 in the finals, as a head coach at his alma mater. This one is a rematch of last year's final, won by Raritan, 30-26. The Green Machine also beat the Terriers in the 2007 semifinals and '04 sectional final, although Del Val holds a 5-4 edge (5-3 postseason) in the all-time series. Raritan coach Rob Nucci is a good one and led the Rockets to their first Group 2 title a year ago. Couple of notable results from last year: Scarcella d. Gilmore, 10-5 and Tyler Sookdeo d. Del Val's Alex Niemann, 6-4. Raritan would like to run Scarcella and Bohal up to get away from Pongracz and have a chance to sweep 132 and 138. This one will be extremely close and may come down to the flip. I smell a slight upset.

Prediction: Raritan, 30-27.

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