Sunday, February 8, 2015

Wrestling: High Point at Kittatinny preview, stats

Who: No. 6 High Point Wildcats vs. No. 3 Kittatinny Cougars.

What: North 1, Group 2 sectional quarterfinal.

Where: Kittatinny Regional High School, Hampton Township.

When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.

TV: Service Electric Cable (Sparta) Channel 10 (tape delay).

Records: High Point 5-8; Kittatinny 9-8.

Coaches: John Gardner (290-85-2, 17th season (8-8 vs. Kitt); John Gill (513-160-5, 35th season (11-22-1 vs. HP).

Series history: High Point leads 26-12-1 dating to 1976, including a 48-18 win in Wantage last season. Kittatinny snapped a seven-match skid in the series with a 35-18 victory at home in 2013. The Cougars won the previous seven meetings from 1999-2005. This is the first postseason matchup between the longtime rivals.

Note: High Point wrestlers listed first with season records in parentheses.

106 -- Fr. Malcolm Sinclair (8-11) vs. So. Mark DiGeronimo (20-5).

113 -- So. Chase Babus (3-8) or Jr. Justin Liebl (5-8) vs. Fr. Perry Maio (8-13).

120 -- Fr. Trey Osborn (7-8) or Fr. Shane Kobis (7-8) vs. Jr. Nick Klinger (24-2) or So. Kasey Hotz (6-3).

126 -- Sr. Dom Gallo (13-3) vs. Jr. Taylor Molfetto (11-13).

132 -- Fr. Sawyer Fenlon (2-4) vs. Jr. Austin Scrivani (27-1).

138 -- So. Aric Wingle (9-8) or Jr. Garrett Fenlon (0-4) vs. So. Dylan Minter (9-5).

145 -- Jr. Jared Kobis (21-0) or Sr. Jason Gaccione (28-1) vs. Jr. Jake Vanwingerden (19-7).

152 -- Gaccione or Kobis vs. Sr. Trevor Schutte (6-16).

160 -- Sr. Ryan Cullen (10-11) vs. So. Cody Mitchell (2-17) or So. Josh Klimek (14-12).

170 -- Jr. Kurt Rosner (2-17) or Jr. Liam Gorman (1-8) vs. Klimek or Mitchell.

182 -- Sr. Ryan Olinger (1-10) vs. Jr. Luke DeGroat (4-19).

195 -- Jr. Tim Space (2-5) vs. Sr. Tyler Wehrenberg (13-13).

220 -- Jr. Kevin Lewis (19-9) or So. Cliff Rutter (1-1) vs. Jr. Nick Simpson (3-14).

285 -- Sr. Henry Kuperus (6-15) vs. Jr. Griffin Waldron (11-14).

Breakdown: It's rare that one of the area's greatest rivalries does not have a clear-cut favorite on paper. Yet, this is one of those times. The winner will have a great shot to reach the sectional final, most likely vs, Lenape Valley. Both teams lost to LV during the regular season -- Kittatinny 42-21 and High Point 39-31. I think the 'Cats would have an excellent chance to reverse that decision, while the Cougars just do not match up well vs. the Patriots. Monday's first-round clash figures to be won or lost in the upper weights. Another rarity is that Kittatinny's uppers actually have a slight edge on paper, sans 220 and a tossup at 285. Straight up, the Cougars are the favorites at 106 (major at HWS), 120, 132, 138 (If Wingle can't go, he's questionable), 170, 182 (slight) and 195. That's seven with a great shot at bonus points in at least three of those weights. High Point has the edge at 126, 145, 152, 160 and 220. That leaves 113 and 285 as the tossups. Kuperus decked Waldron in 1:44 at the HWS Tournament, but he was trailing 2-0 before a getting reversal that led to the fall. The 'Cats will likely need both tosses and probably an upset elsewhere, and they absolutely need to stay off their backs in spots. It will be interesting to see how both teams weigh-in. Look for Kobis and Gaccione to be at 145 and 152 in order to box in Vanwingerden. Kittatinny could roll the dice and insert Hotz at 120 and move Klinger up to 126 to face Gallo, who is dealing with an elbow issue, in order to sweep those two weights. Gallo went 2-1 vs. Klinger last season, with the loss coming in a classic District 3 semifinal clash that was decided in the second rideout in OT. It's a risk to make that move here as Klinger would be a heavy favorite vs. either Osborn or S. Kobis, and it would make 120 another tossup. Either way, this is an extremely tough one to handicap, but I see the Cougars coming away with more bonus points and that's the difference.

Prediction: Kittatinny, 34-31.


  1. I wouldn't overlook Pequannock so quickly. They beat #20 Roxbury earlier this season. They are 17-1 with their only loss coming to Bound Brook.

  2. Not dismissing Pequannock at all, but it will have to prove it by beating High Point or Kittatinny in a big spot. Both have wrestled a far superior schedule than Pequannock.