Thursday, December 22, 2016

Wrestling: Phillipsburg at Delaware Valley preview

What: Phillipsburg Stateliners at Delaware Valley Terriers.

Where: Hutchins Memorial Gymnasium in Alexandria Twp.

When: Friday, 6:30 p.m.

Conference: Skyland Raritan Division.

Records: Phillipsburg 0-0, 0-0 division; Delaware Valley 2-0, 0-0.

Coaches: Dave Post (96-17, seventh season); Andy Fitz (158-53, 10th season).

Series history: Phillipsburg leads 34-6 dating to 1975, including last year's 37-31 win in The Pit, and has won nine straight. The teams did not meet during the 1978-79 or 2008-09 seasons. Del Val's last win in the series was 42-9 on Feb. 1, 2006. The other victories came in 1975, '82, '84, '93 and '05.

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

106 -- Jr. Cullen Day (2-2) vs. Jr. Peyton Mitchell (2-3).

113 -- So. Travis Jones (1-2) vs. Jr. CJ Heaps (3-2).

120 -- So. Brenden Fox (1-2) vs. So. A.J. DeRosa (3-1).

126 -- So. Cody Harrison (2-2) or Jr. Tyris Manley (0-0) vs. Fr. Gage Crater (2-1).

132 -- So. Kyle Tino (0-0) or Jr. Josh Ramos (1-2) vs. Sr. Connor Mills (3-1).

138 -- Jr. Lance Wissing (0-2) vs. Sr. Matt Kolonia (4-0).

145 -- Jr. Brian Meyer (4-2) vs. Sr. Tanner McLaughlin (3-2).

152 -- So. Jayson Zinsmeister (0-2) vs. Sr. Rhys Zigich (4-1) or Sr. Chase Bauberger (4-1).

160 -- Jr. Shamyr Brodders (0-0) vs. Bauberger or Zigich.

170 -- So. Austin Roth (0-2) vs. Sr. Sean Lessig (4-0).

182 -- Sr. Dan Fisher (0-0) vs. So. Shawne Ramsby (4-0).

195 -- Sr. Drew Horun (6-3) vs. Jr. Kyle Lightner (4-0).

220 -- Sr. Robert Melise (2-2) vs. Jr. Eli Kalfaian (4-1).

285 -- Sr. Justen Caraballo (1-2) vs. Sr. Josh LaDuca (3-1).

Breakdown: This is the first time in series history that these longtime rivals are squaring off in December -- the next earliest matchup took place on Jan. 2, 1990 -- a 35-13 victory for P'burg -- and you can expect a capacity crowd with plenty of student support. This one should be real entertaining and it looks like the Terriers' best shot at a win since a 26-23 loss in '07, as they are 0-8 in the series under Fitz. Last season's six-point loss was a bit deceiving due to an injury default win for Del Val at 106, where P'burg was a heavy favorite. On paper, this looks extremely tight. Another wrinkle is the lineup for P'burg, which was missing Tino, Brodders and Fisher over the weekend. Straight up, Del Val will have the edge from 132 through 170, except for 145, with potential for bonus points in a few of those bouts. P'burg will need to come through up top and in the lower weights, while being favored at 106, 126, 145 and 220. For Del Val to win, it will need bonus points at 120 and 138, and probably a win from an underdog. The marquee bout at 195 is pivotal, while 113 and 285 are close calls. Look for Wissing, Meyer and Zinsmeister to move up a weight to try and steal 145 and win at 152, while looking to keep it close at 160. The 'Liners will have strong chances to earn bonus points in at least four matchups where they're favored and that should be the difference in what shapes up to be a 7-7 split. Don't be surprised if this is decided on criteria. It's that close.

Prediction: Phillipsburg, 29-28.

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