Saturday, January 24, 2015

Wrestling: Streaks foil Braves in traditional battle

NEWTON -- Warren Hills sophomore Matt Valli contributed a signature win as two of New Jersey's most storied programs renewed their rivalry on Friday night.

Valli's 7-5 win over Trevor Morales in a battle of Region 1 qualifiers at 120 pounds helped the Blue Streaks cement a 44-25 win over Newton in an independent clash at Henry Boresch Memorial Gym.

"We hadn't wrestled before, so he was a new opponent," said Valli, a District 1 champion last season, who converted a pair of takedowns in the win. "I want to go to states this season."

Warren Hills (5-4) has endured an interesting last two weeks. After being shut down for several days due to skin disease, coach Jarrett Hosbach's squad kicked off a stretch of nine matches over 11 days with Wednesday's 38-34 loss to rival Hunterdon Central, followed by Thursday's 52-18 defeat to Bound Brook.

The Streaks are under the gun as far as meeting the state's 70-percent rule (minimum against New Jersey competition) for the North 2, Group 3 sectional tournament. As it stands, Warren Hills will need to wrestle at least five of its six scheduled matches next week -- Hackettstown on Tuesday, North Hunterdon on Wednesday, Phillipsburg on Thursday, and High Point, Cranford and Paramus next Saturday -- to qualify before the cutoff on Saturday, Jan. 31.

"That will gives us 10 out of 14 in-state [71 percent]," said Hosbach, who said this weekend's tri-meet with Ramsey and Morristown has been wiped out due to the forecast for snow. "We wanted to make up the match against Bound Brook ... it's a [Skyland Conference Raritan] Division match and it's an opportunity to wrestle some high-level kids. The goal is to get better every single day and to do that, we have to consistently challenge ourselves against good competition."

Newton (4-8) is in a rebuilding season, but coach Eric Bollette's team gave a good account in defeat. Credit both schools for getting this one back on the schedule for the first time in 25 years. Warren Hills, which trails 14-29-2 in the all-time series dating to 1940, earned a 68-3 win in the last meeting during the 1989-90 season in which it finished as New Jersey's No. 1 team.

Newton and Washington/Warren Hills rank 1-2 all-time on the individual state champions list with 82 and 46, respectively. Both programs also had legendary head coaches -- Henry Boresch for the Braves and John Goles for the Streaks.

"We want to make this an every-year thing," said Bollette, whose Braves won five bouts, including pins by Gus Protogeropoulos (195) and Koty Wilkinson (220). "I like Friday night
matches and so do they. I thought we both wrestled well. It was good. I enjoyed it."

Warren Hills raced out to a 15-0 lead as seniors Max Nauta (138) and Austin Pidoto (145) registered pins in 31 and 28 seconds, respectively. Talented freshman Jarod Ostir followed with a 10-7 decision over Jake DeLuca, a Region 1 qualifier last season. Ostir (11-5) built a 10-2 lead in the second period -- three takedowns and a pair of two-point nearfalls -- before getting thrown to his back and nearly decked with a headlock to make it a three-point margin. Ostir may have been saved by the buzzer as DeLuca hit the move with 15 seconds left on the clock.

"That was a learning experience for a freshman," Hosbach said. "He finished the match strong and showed a lot of maturity."

Newton responded with five straight wins, triggered by Lance Fischer's impressive 12-3 major of Anthony Roessner at 160. Fischer (12-6), who led 8-3 late in the third period, converted a takedown and got a turn for two backs in the final 11 seconds for the bonus. After receiving a forfeit at 170, Benjamin Sibblies earned a hard-fought 5-2 win -- with a reversal and takedown in the third period -- over Brody Oberly at 182.

Pins by Protogeropoulos and Wilkinson gave Newton a 25-15 lead through eight bouts. Warren Hills came in short-handed with only 13 wrestlers, as the junior varsity was competing in a tournament. Hosbach was unable to potentially bump junior Kurt Nemeth to 220 and away from Protogeropoulos at 195 in order to try for a split of those weights.

But the Streaks reeled off six straight wins to close it out -- including a pins by state placewinner Andrew Pacheco at 285 and Jacob DiNapoli at 106, along with Valli's triumph at 120. John Fluck's wild 6-5 win over Nick Giordano at 126 sealed the victory. Fluck, trailing late in the third, converted a takedown with eight seconds left for the winning points.

DiNapoli's fall with a cradle came in what looked like a tossup bout on paper.

"Jacob DiNapoli keeps plugging away," Hosbach said. "He's improving. That was a big cradle."

Newton will look to rebound as it bids to qualify in a wide-open North 1, Group 1 section.

"I thought we could've gotten two more [wins]," Bollette said. "I thought we wrestled well. It was a good match."


138 -- Sr. Max Nauta (15-4), WH, p. Jr. Michael Valentine (3-7), :31.
145 -- Sr. Austin Pidoto (7-8), WH, p. Sr. Ryan Brigante (6-10), :28.
152 -- Fr. Jarod Ostir (11-5), WH, d. So. Jake DeLuca (3-8), 10-7.
160 -- Jr. Lance Fischer (12-6), N, md. Jr. Anthony Roessner (8-10), 12-3.
170 -- Jr. Robert Borgognoni (1-5), N, forfeit.
182 -- Sr. Benjamin Sibblies (9-11), N, d. So. Brody Oberly (2-13), 5-2.
195 -- Sr. Gus Protogeropoulos (16-1), N, p. Jr. Kurt Nemeth (9-10), 1:02.
220 -- Jr. Koty Wilkinson (1-0), N, p. So. Taylan Zafis (1-10), 3:58.
285 -- Sr. Andrew Pacheco (12-0), WH, p. Jr. Tyler Pittenger (7-10), 1:16.
106 -- Fr. Jacob DiNapoli (5-11), WH, p. So. Mateo Valentine (2-11), 5:22.
113 -- Fr. Codey O'Rourke (4-9), WH, forfeit.
120 -- So. Matt Valli (11-2), WH, d. Sr. Trevor Morales (12-4), 7-5.
126 -- Sr. John Fluck (11-5), WH, d. So. Nick Giordano (9-8), 6-5.
132 -- So. Zach Nauta (9-7), WH, tf. Fr. Jonathan Borgognoni (6-6), 20-3, 3:49.
Records -- Warren Hills 5-4; Newton 4-8.
Official -- Gary Szucs.