Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wrestling: P'burg rallies to win Pin Cancer clash

WASHINGTON TWP. -- There aren't many summertime wrestling rivalries to speak of, but Phillipsburg and Washington have a pretty good thing going -- and for a worthy cause.

The third installment of the annual Pin Cancer match did not disappoint the 600 or so fans in the stands as P'burg won the final six bouts to post a 34-19 victory at Warren Hills School District Stadium.

P'burg seniors Steve Friedman and Max Elling -- two Pin Cancer veterans -- were among the winners down the stretch. Friedman's 8-2 win over talented freshman Jarod Ostir at 154 pounds started the run, while Elling needed just 18 seconds to deck Brendan Stewart to tie the match at 19.

"It's been pretty good [to wrestle in this three times] and it's fun to be outside," said Elling, who has amassed 85 wins on the high school level in three seasons. "This is fun. This is a rivalry, but nothing like Easton-P'burg. We were pretty confident."

Pins by Yann Ondele at 185 and Joe Maso in the final bout at 220 sandwiched Tim Hinkle's thrilling 8-5 win over Kurt Nemeth at 197 to close it out. Ondele's stunning pin in a 5-2 bout at the time gave P'burg its second lead at 25-19. John Kaluzny added an impressive 13-3 decision over Anthony Roessner at 162.

P'burg coach Dave Post was pleased with the effort by his team, which was without two of its top wrestlers in Corey Zinsmeister and Jimmy Schuitema. Last-minute fill-in Chris Ruiz did a nice job in a 9-1 loss to Austin Pidoto, while DJ Wissing gave three-time state qualifier Max Nauta all he could handle before dropping a 4-2 decision in sudden victory.

Wissing got the first takedown and led 2-0 after the first period (bouts were three periods of 1 1/2 minutes). Despite Nauta's superior mat prowess, Wissing took bottom to start the second period and was ridden out. Nauta was down to start the third and got a reversal to force overtime before converting the winning takedown with nine seconds left in OT.

"We gave DJ the option [to start the second period] and he wanted to challenge himself -- he started pointing down right away [after Nauta deferred the choice]," Post said. "Chris Ruiz was a quarter-turn with his hips from possibly winning that match [with Pidoto]."

Coach Jarrett Hosbach's team started strong by winning six of the first seven bouts, including five in a row after P'burg state runner-up Brandon Paetzell's pin at 115. Freshman Kyle Wulff scored an impressive 7-3 win over Kyle Markus in the opening bout at 107, while John Fluck got a third-period reversal for a 2-1 win over Tyler Agans to start Washington's run of five straight.

In another tight one, sophomore Zach Nauta got an escape and a takedown in the third period for a 4-2 win over Donald Agans at 135. Brother Max's win stretched Washington's lead to 15-6 before Pidoto's major made it a 13-point margin. Pidoto trailed 1-0 after two periods, but he caught Ruiz for five points in the third and added a three-point nearfall late to secure the major, his team's lone bonus-point win.

"I thought both of our freshmen [Wulff and Ostir] wrestled well," said Hosbach, whose team was without star heavyweight Andrew Pacheco, who is on vacation. "We're at everything [P'burg] is at from the first dual tournament in April through the summer. We'll see them again next week at the [Warren County] Farmer's Fair."

About the only downside to the evening was the condensation problem on the mat that surfaced about halfway through the match. It prompted some slippery conditions and breaks between bouts to dry the mat. It was a first-time occurrence and it has both coaches considering some options for next year, such as moving the date up in July.

"It was tough. I had to go down to a knee," Elling said.

Both coaches are proud to take part in an annual event that seems to be growing in popularity each year. And they are always looking to tweaks things to make it even better.

"This is a great event and it's so much fun to be a part of, and it's fun for the kids," Hosbach said. "And it's for a great cause."

"This is a learning process. We learn something new each time," said Post, whose team enjoyed a 14-9 advantage in takedowns. "You want to put on a good show for the fans or you can't bring the people back."

107 -- Kyle Wulff, W, d. Kyle Markus, 7-3.
115 -- Brandon Paetzell, P, p. Tommy Vega, 2:18.
123 -- John Fluck, W, d. Tyler Agans, 2-1.
130 -- Matt Valli, W, d. Shane Saydek, 7-1.
135 -- Zach Nauta, W, d. Donald Agans, 4-2.
140 -- Max Nauta, W, d. DJ Wissing, 4-2 OT.
145 -- Austin Pidoto, W, md. Chris Ruiz, 9-1.
154 -- Steve Friedman, P, d. Jarod Ostir, 8-2.
162 -- John Kaluzny, P, md. Anthony Roessner, 13-3.
173 -- Max Elling, P, p. Brendan Stewart, :18.
185 -- Yann Ondele, P, p. Anthony Casiano, 3:49.
197 -- Tim Hinkle, P, d. Kurt Nemeth, 8-5.
220 -- Joe Maso, P, p. Taylan Zafis, :42.
Officials -- Chip Castner and Frank Leitner.

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