Thursday, February 25, 2016

Wrestling: Five quarterfinals to watch at Region 1

Here are five (believe me it was tough to pick only five) quarterfinal bouts to keep an eye on Friday night at Wallkill Valley Regional High School. In other words, don't leave your seat to grab a box of that delicious popcorn in the lobby, which is easier said than done.

By the way, also make sure to stick around for the four bouts at 220 pounds.

106 pounds

4-Fr. Quinn Melofchik (31-4), Belvidere, vs. 5-Fr. Devin Flannery (26-7), High Point

Notes: Both have a great shot this weekend to earn a trip to Atlantic City. Melofchik dropped a 7-4 decision to Warren Hills' Cody Harrison, the No. 2 seed at this weight, in the District 1 semifinals. Flannery really came on in the second half of the regular season and has two wins over Jefferson's Mason Godfrey.

3-Jr. Ronald Rumsby (27-7), Montville, vs. 6-Fr. Mason Godfrey (31-6), Jefferson

Notes: Speaking of Godfrey, he will match up against one of the leading contenders at this weight in Rumsby, who is making his second appearance at Wallkill. The two did not match up at the Morris County Tournament, where Rumsby finished second and Godfrey placed third. They had a common opponent in the MCT in Hanover Park's Domenic DiFrancescantonio, who beat Rumsby, 5-3, in the finals and Godfrey, 5-2, in the semis.

126 pounds

1-Sr. Garrett O'Shea (33-1), Butler, vs. 8-Jr. Damian Maver (23-6), DePaul

Notes: This weight class will be a blast to watch all weekend and we start off with a rematch of the District 4 final, won by O'Shea, 4-3. O'Shea, who is one of 10 returning champs in the field, placed fourth in the state at 113 last year, suffered his only loss this season to Delbarton state placewinner Nick Farro, 6-2, in the MCT finals. Maver's only other losses in New Jersey are to three-time state champ Nick Suriano of Bergen Catholic -- pin in 2:45 and 15-1.

4-Jr. Matt Valli (33-1), Warren Hills, vs. 5-Fr. Robert Garcia (29-4), Pope John

Notes: If you missed their meeting in the Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament finals, make sure to catch the rematch. Valli won a 6-5 thriller on the strength of a second-period takedown, one of two for him in the match. Garcia grabbed a 4-3 lead after one period with a reversal and two backs after giving up the opening takedown. And talk about your scrambles, that one had several dandies.

182 pounds

4-So. Jake Brown (28-6), Pope John, vs. 5-Sr. Sam Palumbo (32-6), Lenape Valley

Notes: This will be the rubber match as Palumbo won a 3-1 decision in the HWS semifinals en route to a second-place finish. Brown avenged that defeat with a 4-2 win in sudden-victory overtime in a dual meet on Feb. 6. Palumbo has struggled in rematches this season, dropping a 3-2 decision to Morris Knolls' Luke Drugac in the District 2 finals after beating Drugac, 7-4, on Jan. 22.

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