Friday, February 7, 2014

Wrestling: Warren Hills at Hunterdon Central preview

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

Where: Hunterdon Central Field House, Raritan Township.

When: Friday, 6 p.m.

Conference: Skyland crossover.

Records: Warren Hills 9-10; Hunterdon Central 14-4.

Coaches: Jarrett Hosbach (117-92, ninth season, 2-5 vs. HC); Steve Gibble (343-117, 23rd season, 16-5 vs. WH).

Series history: Hunterdon Central leads, 40-12-1, dating to 1960, and has won five straight against Warren Hills, including a 35-24 victory in the last meeting on Feb. 1, 2013, in Washington. The scheduled 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 been recorded since 1990. Red Devils have won 13 of 15 since 1998.

Note: Warren Hills wrestlers listed first with season records in parentheses.

106 -- Fr. Ryan Mosher (5-19) vs. Fr. Peter Nace (21-5) or Fr. Bryce Hall (3-2).

113 -- Fr. Matt Valli (19-7) vs. Fr. Chris Taylor (4-12).

120 -- Fr. Zach Nauta (16-6) vs. Jr. Kyler Rodriguez (13-10).

126 -- Jr. Austin Pidoto (15-12) vs. Jr. Hunter Orr (7-15) or So. Gabino Careaga (1-0).

132 -- So. Carsen Johnson (2-8) vs. Sr. Dylan Nace (26-1).

138 -- Jr. Max Nauta (21-5) vs. Jr. Nick Taylor (14-11).

145 -- So. Anthony Roessner (11-15) vs. Sr. Collin Boylan (24-2).

152 -- Sr. Esco Blaylock (6-16) vs. Sr. Gary Dinmore (25-0).

160 -- Sr. Ryan Ostir (13-10) or Sr. Justin Pidoto (0-4) vs. Sr. Matt Suydam (10-10).

170 -- So. Kurt Nemeth (1-4) vs. Jr. Joe Scerbo (20-7).

182 -- Sr. Steve Cleaver (16-6) vs. Jr. Nestor Crespo (17-8) or Jr. Dave Furmato (5-3).

195 -- .Sr. Nigel Taylor (6-11) vs. Jr. Nick Suk (16-9).

220 -- Sr. Ryan Witner (17-8) vs. Sr. Arturo Hernandez (7-7).

285 -- Jr. Andrew Pacheco (24-2) vs. Sr. Dan Hausman (17-10).

Breakdown: Longtime rivalry renewed at the Field House between programs whose seasons haven't gone as expected and are looking to enter posteason on a high note. Hunterdon Central spawned from its Warren County neighbor as former legendary coach Russ Riegel started the Red Devils' program in 1956. Warren Hills still licking its woulds from Tuesday's 65-9 loss to P'burg -- its worst in the series since a 67-3 loss in 2002. This one looks to be very close. Matchups are key as Central may look to bump both Nace brothers up -- Peter to 113 and Dylan to 138. The move at 106 will be predicated on whether Central believes it can win there with the light Hall (97 pounds) since Central would still be the underdog at 113. It's a move that could save three points. Straight up, Warren Hills is favored at 113, 120, 126, 138, 182, 220 and 285 (Pacheco pinned Hausman in 1:02 in the only meeting between teams at the HWS tourney). Central has the edge at 106, 132, 145, 152, 170 and 195. I'd say 160 with Ostir vs. Suydam is a toss, leaning slightly toward Hills. Streaks could insert Justin Pidoto there and bump Ostir to 170, possibly to win 160 and saving points at 170. Both teams will have shots to get plenty of bonus points, hosts could easily win at least five with bonus. Streaks will be in good shape if they win 160 and get the bonus where expected, especially up top. Central needs 160 and perhaps another where it's an underdog to pull it off, provided it can avoid pins in spots. Another option would be putting Furmato on Cleaver at 182 and bumping Crespo and Suk up a weight. Dylan Nace vs. Max Nauta would be a very interesting matchup as well. Red Devils would likely give up six at 126 by running Orr to 132, where he'd be favored, to do so. Very tough one to call. I'm thinking Streaks get a few more bonus points.

Prediction: Warren Hills, 33-32.

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