Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Wrestling: Phillipsburg at Kittatinny preview, lineups

What: Phillipsburg Stateliners vs. Kittatinny Cougars.

Where: Kittatinny Regional High School, Hampton Township.

When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Conference: Independent.

Records: Phillipsburg 10-3; Kittatinny 14-0.

State rankings (New Jersey Wrestling Writers): Phillipsburg No. 8; Kittatinny No. 20.

Coaches: Dave Post (89-17, sixth season); John Gill (529-162-5, 36th season).

Series history: Phillipsburg leads 14-6 dating to 1994, including last year's 59-6 win at The Pit. Kittatinny has dropped five straight since a 41-34 victory at home in 2010, and is 2-9 at The Pit -- winning there in 2004 and '06. Stateliners have won eight of nine since snapping their four-match skid from 2003-06. No meeting during the 1997-98 season.

Note: Phillipsburg wrestlers listed first with season records in parentheses.

106 -- So. Cullen Day (10-6) vs. Fr. Derek Molfetto (9-12).

113 -- Sr. Kyle Markus (20-6) vs. Jr. Mark DiGeronimo (17-4).

120 -- Sr. Tom Kosar (8-8) vs. So. Perry Maio (15-8).

126 -- Fr. Kyle Tino (9-15) vs. So. Calvin Brook (15-7).

132 -- Sr. Tyler Agans (12-12) vs. Sr. Nick Klinger (23-1).

138 -- So. Lance Wissing (3-11) vs. Sr. Austin Scrivani (22-1).

145 -- So. Brian Meyer (20-7) vs. Sr. Jake Vanwingerden (17-7).

152 -- Sr. DJ Wissing (13-4) or Sr. Chris Ruiz (7-13) vs. Sr. Taylor Molfetto (15-5) or Jr. Dylan Minter (13-8).

160 -- Wissing or Ruiz vs. Minter or Molfetto.

170 -- Jr. Jason Barna (4-9) or Fr. Austin Roth (6-12) vs. Jr. Josh Klimek (18-5).

182 -- Jr. Dan Fisher (15-11) vs. Fr. Zach Mafaro (17-5).

195 -- Jr. Drew Horun (17-5) vs. Sr. Luke DeGroat (12-10).

220 -- Jr. Robert Melise (24-2) vs. Sr. Nick Simpson (11-8).

285 -- Sr. Kyle Nothnagel (23-4) vs. Sr. Griffin Waldron (4-6).

Breakdown: Battle between two of New Jersey's Top 20 teams. On paper, Phillipsburg has the edge with matchups, especially up top, where they are looking to collect big bonus points from 195-285. 'Liners also favored at 106, 113, 120, 145 and wherever DJ Wissing goes. That's eight bouts for the visitors. Kittatinny favored at 132, 138, wherever Ruiz goes and 170. I'm calling 126 and 182 tossups, as Mafaro beat Fisher in overtime in the Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament finals on Jan. 9. If the Cougars are to pull off an upset, they absolutely need 126 and 182 (I think they split the two), plus three others where they are the underdogs. And that would also assume the hosts can stay off their backs in spots. Problem for Kittatinny is it's locked in at 132 and 138 with Meyer at 145, and with Horun's return to the P'burg lineup at 195. DiGeronimo is one of the top wrestlers in Region 1, but he's 0-3 vs. Markus dating to last season and was pinned in their HWS final meeting this season. Kosar topped Maio, 5-0, last year, while Klinger beat Agans, 7-2, and DJ Wissing pinned Minter. Good news for P'burg is Brandon Paetzell, a two-time state placewinner, returned to live action in practice on Tuesday afternoon for the first time since sustaining a hand injury on Dec. 23. Post said the Rutgers recruit looked good, but there's still no timetable for the senior's return with sections and groups looming next week.

Prediction: Phillipsburg, 39-19.

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