Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wrestling: Phillipsburg at Kittatinny preview, lineups

What: Phillipsburg Stateliners vs. Kittatinny Cougars.

Where: Kittatinny Regional High School, Hampton Township.

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Conference: Independent.

TV/Radio: Service Electric (Sussex) Channel 10 with Mugs Media (tape delay).

Records: Phillipsburg 10-0; Kittatinny 15-1.

State rankings (New Jersey Wrestling Writers): Phillipsburg No. 4; Kittatinny No. 12.

Coaches: Dave Post (52-13, fourth season); John Gill (501-150-5, 34th season).

Series history: Phillipsburg leads 12-6 dating to 1994, including last year's 34-22 win at The Pit. Kittatinny has dropped three straight since a 41-34 win at home in 2010, and is 2-8 at The Pit -- winning there in 2004 and '06. 'Liners have won six of seven since snapping a four-match skid from 2003-06. No meeting during the 1997-98 season.

Note: Phillipsburg wrestlers listed first with season records in parentheses.

106 -- So. Brandon Paetzell (22-1) vs. So. Taylor Molfetto (15-10) or Fr. Kasey Hotz (16-10).

113 -- So. Tyler Agans (7-11) vs. Hotz or Molfetto.

120 -- So. DJ Wissing (16-8) vs. So. Nick Klinger (24-4).

126 -- Sr. Tylor Petchonka (9-10) vs. Sr. Christian Silva (18-10).

132 -- Jr. Steve Friedman (11-10) vs. So. Austin Scrivani (22-5).

138 -- Jr. Corey Zinsmeister (15-5) vs. Sr. Nick West (10-13).

145 -- Jr. Jimmy Schuitema (16-3) or Sr. Garrett Wolfinger (8-4) vs. Jr. Trevor Schutte (0-8).

152 -- Jr. Max Elling (21-4) vs. Sr. Nick Romyns (14-3).

160 -- Sr. Broderick Bupivi (17-8) vs. Sr. Tyler Parkyn (5-14).

170 -- Sr. Jake Kocsis (23-2) vs. Sr. Kieran Gerrity (25-3) or Sr. Dylan Wunder (21-7).

182 -- Jr. Tim Hinkle (6-7) vs. Wunder or Gerrity.

195 -- Jr. Joe Maso (13-6) vs. Sr. Garrett Armstrong (23-5).

220 -- Fr. Drew Horun (14-6) vs. Sr. Andrew Simpson (20-7).

285 -- Fr. Justen Caraballo (0-1) vs. Sr. Tom Smith (20-7).

Breakdown: Always fun when these two programs get together. On paper, this figures to be anywhere from a four- to 20-point spread depending on the matchups. Another big question is whether Kittatinny will have Molfetto (hand injury) back in the lineup. If not, the Cougars will forfeit either 106 or 113. That's potentially a nine-point swing, though Agans is coming on of late and will be favored to win. Straight up, P'burg has the edge at 106, 113, 138, 145, 160 and 170 while the hosts have it at 120, 126, 132, 182, 195 and 285. I'd say 152 (Elling-Romyns) and 220 are tossups, though Horun is coming off a big win against Delaware Valley's Brian Baehr, who has been pinned twice by Simpson. Kocsis beat Gerrity, 5-3, in the Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex finals, while Scrivani beat Friedman, 13-6, and Silva defeated Petchonka, 12-3, in that tournament. Another potential key matchup here is Schuitema-Romyns. Depending on where the night starts and finishes, you'd expect P'burg to insert Wolfinger at 145 or 152 and bump in accordance with its dual lineup. In doing so, the 'Liners would have a chance to win both weights, as Wolfinger will be favored against Schutte. They would also be favored at 220 with Maso vs. Simpson, and Horun is certainly capable of winning at 285. Expect Kittatinny to weigh in Gerrity and Wunder at 170, in order to get that Gerrity-Kocsis rematch. The Cougars will likely need it to win the meet, along with sweeping the upper weights and staying off their backs in several spots as getting bonus points will be tough to come by against a pretty balanced P'burg squad. Even if the matchups go Kittatinny's way, it will be tough to overcome the bonus points it will surely give up.

Prediction: Phillipsburg, 35-20.

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