Friday, February 7, 2014

Wrestling: Blue Streaks grand in finale against Central

There was more than one added bonus for Warren Hills' wrestling team in a 34-33 win over longtime rival Hunterdon Central on Friday night in a Skyland Conference clash at the Field House in Raritan Township.

For starters, the Blue Streaks (10-10) snapped a five-match skid in the series with the win on criteria -- most pins (3-2) -- as Austin Pidoto (126), Ryan Witner (220) and Andrew Pacheco came through with falls to help Warren Hills knock off Central (14-5), which owns a  40-13-1 edge in the series, for the first time since a 36-25 triumph on Dec. 20, 2006.

Warren Hills, which lost two two starters early on with season-ending injuries, also finished the regular season on a positive note. Coach Jarrett Hosbach's squad was coming off a 65-9 loss to Phillipsburg on Tuesday -- in which the Streaks gave up an astounding total of nine pins.

"This gives us a little momentum going into next week," said Hosbach, whose team is the No. 2 seed in the North 2, Group 3 section and is seeking the program's first title since 2007. "Next week starts a whole new season. We've been talking all season about how our schedule is getting us ready for the postseason."

Bonus points -- getting and not giving them up -- and the coin toss were all keys to beating Central, according to Hosbach. Things didn't go Warren Hills' way to start, as Central's Kyler Rodriguez scored a 13-8 decision over freshman Zach Nauta, who rated as the favorite in that one. Pidoto's pin gave the Streaks an early lead and Max Nauta added a technical fall win at 138.

Central had to send out at 145 and Hosbach opted to use Esco Blaylock there and move Anthony Roessner up to 152, hoping to force Central to keep two-time state runner-up Gary Dinmore at 152 and away from Ryan Ostir at 160. Roessner held on for a 4-3 win over reserve Christian Long and the Streaks sent out sophomore Shane Deemer to face Dinmore at 160. Deemer helped out by keeping the loss to a major, while Ostir lost by technical fall to Joe Scerbo at 170.

Senior Steve Cleaver earned a big 9-6 win over Central's Nestor Crespo at 182 -- getting a takedown and three backs off a cradle in the final 30 seconds -- before the pins by Witner and Pacheco at 220 and 285. Down 33-29 with one bout left, Streaks freshman Matt Valli knotted things with a 16-3 major at 113, but did exactly what he was told to do.

"We knew we only needed a major," said Hosbach, now 3-5 overall vs. Central in nine seasons. "He came close to getting a technical fall. We had a lot of sophomores going against seniors with a lot better records. We fought for points, something we've been stressing in the [practice] room. We didn't give up bonus points to [Central's] studs."

Warren Hills is idle until Wednesday when it hosts the winner of Monday's first-round match between No. 6 Mendham and No. 3 Morristown in the North 2, Group 3 semifinals. The Streaks knocked off Scotch Plains, 33-29, for their fifth and last sectional championship on Feb. 8, 2007.

Hunterdon Central, the No. 3 seed, hosts No. 6 Bridgewater on Monday in the opening round of the North 2, Group 4 sectionals. A victory would earn a rematch with No. 2 seed North Hunterdon, which beat the Red Devils, 28-27, on Jan. 7.

120 -- Jr. Kyler Rodriguez (14-10), HC, d. Fr. Zach Nauta (16-7), 13-8.
126 -- Jr. Austin Pidoto (16-12), WH, p. Jr. Hunter Orr (7-16), 1:03.
132 -- Sr. Dylan Nace (27-1), HC, md. So. Carsen Johnson (2-9), 11-0.
138 -- Jr. Max Nauta (22-5), WH, tf. Jr. Nick Taylor (14-12), 15-0.
145 -- Sr. Collin Boylan (25-2), HC, p. Sr. Esco Blaylock (6-17), 5:26.
152 -- So. Anthony Roessner (12-15), WH, d. So. Christian Long (2-4), 4-3.
160 -- Sr. Gary Dinmore (26-0), HC, md. So. Shane Deemer (9-13), 14-1.
170 -- Jr. Joe Scerbo (21-7), HC, tf. Sr. Ryan Ostir (13-11), 19-2.
182 -- Sr. Steve Cleaver (17-6), WH, d. Jr. Nestor Crespo (17-9), 9-6.
195 -- Jr. Nick Suk (17-9), HC, p. Sr. Nigel Taylor (6-12), 3:18.
220 -- Sr. Ryan Witner (18-8), WH, p. Sr. Arturo Hernandez (7-8), 1:00.
285 -- Jr. Andrew Pacheco (25-2), WH, p. Sr. Dan Hausman (17-11), :55.
106 -- Fr. Peter Nace (22-5), HC, tf. Fr. Ryan Mosher (5-20), 15-0 .
113 -- Fr. Matt Valli (20-7), WH, md. Fr. Chris Taylor (4-13), 16-3.
Records -- Warren Hills 10-10; Hunterdon Central 14-5.
Note -- Warren Hills wins on criteria No. 3 (most falls, 3-2).

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