Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wrestling: 'Liners use bonus plan to sting Hornets

Phillipsburg's wrestling team was again on point Wednesday night as its prepares for next week's sectional tournament.

The Stateliners won eight bouts, including pins by Steve Friedman and Robert Melise, as they rolled to a 32-21 win over Hanover Park in a battle of state-ranked teams at The Pit.

P'burg (14-1), ranked No. 4 by the New Jersey Writers Association, won five bouts by three points or fewer, while only giving up bonus points in the opening match at 120 pounds, where talented Hanover Park sophomore Lou Raimo, a Region 3 champion, decked Tyler Agans in 1:146.

It's a plan for success that coach Dave Post stresses to his team over and over.

"That's exactly how we drew it up in our minds -- not giving up bonus points," Post told Jim Meglic of after the victory. "We started off in a rough spot as we gave up the fall because we were caught in a bad position. We didn't give up bonus points the rest of the night. You're going to win a lot of dual meets doing that, especially with the guys we have through the middle and up top, because we collect a lot of bonus points."

Minimizing the damage in the first three bouts was key as No. 18 Hanover Park (6-5), taking on P'burg for the first time in school history, jumped out to a 12-0 lead, despite being a heavy favorite in those bouts. Two-time state champion Anthony Cefolo managed just an 8-3 win over freshman Brian Meyer at 126, while District 9 runner-up Austin Nash scored a 9-4 victory over Donald Agans at 132.

Junior DJ Wissing got Phillipsburg on the board with a clutch 5-3 win over District 9 runner-up Gene Angelo in a what the 'Liners viewed as a tossup bout at 138. Wissing (21-8) has been on a major roll of late, knocking off Warren Hills state qualifier Max Nauta last week.

Friedman followed with his pin of freshman Connor Mildon at 145 and the hosts were in business. Mildon was filling in for senior starter and Region 3 runner-up Christian Bassolino (19-7), who sat out this one with a head injury. The result was a potential nine-point swing.

"We knew we had to have [a win] 38," Post said. "DJ set the table for [Friedman]. [Wissing] battles back and Steven goes out in that situation and gets the fall."

Wissing's win triggered a five-match win streak for P'burg as John Kaluzny registered a decision at 152, followed by Max Elling's 5-2 win -- on the strength of three back points -- over Anthony Oliveri at 160 in rematch of their encounter at the Beast of the East.

"They know each other very well," Post said of the clash at 160. "They've wrestled three times in like the last eight months, as Max beat him over the summer. The last time they met, Max was winning 2-0 when he got the fall late in the match. Max is tough on top and those back points [tonight] were big."

Jimmy Schuitema's first-period techincal fall at 170 stretched the Stateliners' lead to 20-12 before Hanover Park's decision win at 182. But Drew Horun's 5-3 win at 195 and Melise's pin with a double-arm bar made it 29-15, and unbeaten junior Kyle Nothnagel iced the match with a 3-1 win over Thomas Hunt at 285.

P'burg will close out the regular season slate on Saturday at Raritan before it gets set to host a semifinal match in the North 2, Group 4 sectional tournament next Wednesday at The Pit. The 'Liners are expected to be the No. 1 seed as they bid for the program's 34th sectional title.

"These kids just want to win state titles," said Post, who guided his alma mater to the Group 4 championship last year, the program's 18th title overall. "We want to collect more sectional championships and win more Group championships."

P'burg received some disappointing news on Tuesday when it learned that star 113-pounder Brandon Paetzell will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing thumb surgery on Friday. Paetzell (12-0), a two-time state placewinner and the runner-up at 106 last season, was injured during a match against Northampton (Pa.) on Jan. 3. The two-time District 1 and Region 1 champion ends his junior season at 88-9 overall.


120 -- So. Lou Raimo (18-6), HP, p. Jr. Tyler Agans (11-14), 1:46.
126 -- Sr. Anthony Cefolo (22-1), HP, d. Fr. Brian Meyer (11-12), 8-3.
132 -- Sr. Austin Nash (22-6), HP, d. Sr. Donald Agans (11-15), 9-4.
138 -- Jr. DJ Wissing (21-8), P, d. Sr. Gene Angelo (13-10), 5-3.
145 -- Sr. Steve Friedman (19-8), P, p. Fr. Connor Mildon (2-4), 1:48.
152 -- Sr. John Kaluzny (16-6), P, d. Jr. Matthew Santos (6-11), 4-3.
160 -- Sr. Max Elling (27-2), P, d. Jr. Anthony Oliveri (20-8), 5-2.
170 -- Sr. Jimmy Schuitema (26-3), P, tf. So. Rory DeLuca (4-13), 15-0, 1:58.
182 -- Sr. Mason Sangillo (19-8), HP, d. Sr. Tim Hinkle (9-13), 7-3.
195 -- So. Drew Horun (22-6), P, d. Sr. Eric Boccard (9-10), 5-3.
220 -- So. Robert Melise (23-6), P, p. Fr. Paul Rocha (1-4), :52.
285 -- Jr. Kyle Nothnagel (8-0), P, d. Sr. Thomas Hunt (11-11), 3-1.
106 -- Fr. Gerard Angelo (21-3), HP, d. Jr. Kyle Markus (18-11), 5-1.
113 -- Fr. Sean Conoly (13-5), HP, d. So. Tom Kosar (5-8), 4-2.
Records -- Hanover Park 6-5; Phillipsburg 14-1.
Official -- Gary Kessel.

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