Saturday, March 7, 2015

Wrestling: Six pack of state medals for HWS

ATLANTIC CITY -- Seven seconds. That's how close High Point senior Jason Gaccione came to making the championship finals at 145 pounds.

It was that kind of night for three wrestlers from the Open Mike area, who sustained heartbreaking losses in the semifinals of the 82nd State Championships on Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall.

Gaccione, along with North Hunterdon's Ryan Pomrinca (126) and Phillipsburg's Max Elling (160) also fell into Sunday morning's consolation semifinals at 10 a.m. All three are guaranteed sixth place and need a win in the consolation semis to wrestle in the third-place match at 11 a.m.

The championship finals are slated for 3 p.m.

Gaccione held a tenuous 2-1 lead late over Brick Memorial's Alec Donovan late in the third period when the two got into a scramble near the edge. That's usually a position of strength for Gaccione, but he gave up the reversal to end his dream of joining his uncle and coach John Gardner (state champ at 189 pounds in 1990) as finalists for the Wildcats.

Instead, Gaccione (38-3) will face Thomas Poklikuha of Pinelands for the right to go for the bronze medal at 145.

Pomrinca dropped a heartbreaker in overtime, 2-1, to Patrick D'Arcy of Holy Spirit. After two traded escapes in regulation and battled through a one-minute sudden victory period, D'Arcy, the state runner-up at 113 last season, escaped six second into the first 30-second rideout period. Pomrinca was unable to score from bottom in the next 30-second stanza and his bid to become the Lions' 14th state champ was over.

Pomrinca (38-1), who was seventh as a freshman and third as a junior last year, is his school's first three-time placewinner since Ricky Frondorf  earned four medals (fifth in 2000, third in '01 and first in '02 and '03). He will face Randolph's A.J. Vindici in the consy semis.

Elling never got into a rhythm in his 5-3 loss to Brick Memorial's Cliff Ruggiero, one of four Mustangs to make the finals. The Stateliner gave up takedowns in the second and third periods. Earlier, Elling dominated Roxbury's Craig Roumes, 13-1, in the quarters. Last weekend, Elling lost, 6-5, when they met in the Region 1 semifinals.

Elling (41-4) will square off against Old Tappan's Tyler Mullen in the consolation semifinals.

Heavy medal

Voorhees junior Kyle DiNapoli has turned it up a notch this weekend and he's among six Open Mike area wrestlers to secure medals. DiNapoli will wrestle Sam Schneider of Emerson-Park Ridge in the seventh-place match at 120 pounds on Sunday.

DiNapoli (36-6), who has 96 career wins, moved into the medal rounds with a 5-2 decision over Lou Raimo of Hanover Park, before sustaining a 5-2 loss to Roxbury's Troy Stanich.

Newton senior Gus Protogeropoulos (195) and Phillipsburg sophomore Robert Melise (220) also earned their first medals.

Protogeropoulos scored a 5-0 win over Mendham's Aaron Flitcroft before a 7-2 loss to Parsippany's AndrewMassefski dropped him to the seventh-place match, where he will face Mauro Altamura of Hasbrouck Heights-Wood-Ridge.

Melise (37-8), a District 1 champ and a Region 1 runner-up, has enjoyed quite a ride the last two seasons, getting a pin to help Phillipsburg win the Group 4 title in 2014 as a freshman, while collecting his first state medal as a sophomore. Melise secured it with 2-1 win off a reversal in the first 30-second rideout in overtime against Sparta's Gavin Lally.

"I hit all three of my goals this season -- to make regions, place in regions and have a winning record," said Melise, who was 5-6 as a freshman. "Anything at this point is icing on the cake. That's why I am wrestling so calm and collected."

Back points

Region 1 is third with 16 medals, while Region 2 has a tournament-best 24. Region 6 is next with 20, while Region 3 has 13. Regions 4 and 5 have 12, followed by Region 8 with nine and Region 7 with seven.

Bergen Catholic and Brick Memorial advanced a tournament-high four wrestlers to the championship round. The Crusaders, who finished as New Jersey's No. 1 team, sent six into the semifinals, the most of any school.

The semifinal breakdown among regions was: Region 6 with 12; Region 2 with 11; Region 3 with 8; Regions 1, 4 and 5 with six; Region 8 with four; and Region 7 with three.

It was a tough ending for a pair of Warren Hills seniors as Max Nauta (132) and Andrew Pacheco (285) bowed out without a medal. Nauta dropped a 4-3 decision in triple-overtime to Sal Profaci of Monroe in the quarters, before a 10-6 loss to DePaul's William Kui made it three state appearances in which he finished one round shy of placing. Nauta (31-8) also ends his career in second place on the Streaks' all-time wins list at 123-29.

Pacheco, who finished sixth as a junior, went 0-2 on Saturday. He dropped a 3-1 decision to Sayreville's Anthony Porcaro in the quarters, before a 3-2 loss to Paulsboro's Davontae Randall ended his season. Pacheco (29-4) is one of five wrestlers at the Warren County school to reach the 100-win mark at 105-22.

Keansburg's Tyree Sutton made school history as its first state finalist in advancing to the 195-pound final. Sutton was previously its highest placewinner with a sixth-place medal in 2014.

The 106-pound final between Delbarton's Pat Glory and Hanover Park's Gerard Angelo is one of two title matches involving two wrestlers from the same region -- the other is at 220. The matchup between Region 3 champ and runner-up is the first involving two Morris County wrestlers since Francis Dunn of Boonton beat John LaScala of Montville -- that school's lone finalist -- for the 140-pound gold medal in 1992.

No comments:

Post a Comment