Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Wrestling: Hunterdon Central at Warren Hills preview

What: Hunterdon Central Red Devils vs. Warren Hills Blue Streaks.

Where: Warren Hills Regional High School, Washington Township.

When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Conference: Skyland Raritan Division.

Records: Hunterdon Central 2-1, 0-1 division; Warren Hills 4-2, 0-0.

Coaches: Jon Cantagallo-Rohm (37-13, third season, 2-0 vs. WH); Jarrett Hosbach (146-115, 12th season, 3-7 vs. HC).

Series history: Hunterdon Central leads, 42-13-1, dating to 1960, and has won the last two meetings, including a 40-20 victory last season on Jan. 20, 2016, in Raritan Township. The scheduled match in 2011 was snowed out -- the first time in series history that these rivals did not meet. Warren Hills' last win was 34-33 in 2014. Eight of the Streaks' victories have been recorded since 1990. Red Devils have won 15 of 18 since 1998.

Note: Hunterdon Central wrestlers listed first with season records in parentheses.

106 -- Fr. Anthony Romaniello (5-1) vs. Fr. Greg Slivka (2-6).

113 -- So. Jack Bauer (4-1) vs. Fr. Logan Nauta (5-4).

120 -- Jr. Hunter Graf (5-0) vs. Jr. Kyle Wulff (8-1).

126 -- Sr. Peter Nace (6-0) vs. Jr. Codey O'Rourke (4-4) or So. Chris Ostir (0-1).

132 -- So. Vincent Romaniello (7-0) vs. Sr. Matt Valli (9-0).

138 -- Sr. Bryce Hall (5-2) vs. Jr. Pedro Cruz (2-7).

145 -- Jr. Kevin Ciresa (5-2) or Sr. Mark Dellavalle (2-1) vs. Sr. Zach Nauta (8-1).

152 -- Sr. Chris Taylor (0-4) or Ciresa vs. Sr. Rashon Wade Taylor (4-5) or Fr. Nick Hildebrandt (0-7).

160 -- So. Dan Furmato (4-3) vs. Hildebrandt or Wade Taylor.

170 -- Jr. Rich Frohman (1-3) vs. Sr. Ryan Beckler (4-5).

182 -- Sr. Michael Iodice (4-2) vs. Jr. Jarod Ostir (8-1).

195 -- Fr. Lukas Bakerian (2-4) vs. So. Nick Galka (8-3).

220 -- Sr. Victor Lacombe (6-0) vs. Sr. Brody Oberly (4-3).

285 -- Jr. Angelo Crespo (3-3) vs. Sr. Taylan Zafis (6-3).

Breakdown: One of the area's best rivalries, Hunterdon Central spawned from its Warren County neighbor when former legendary coach Russ Riegel started the Red Devils' program in 1956. Riegel was a two-time state champion wrestler in 1944 and '46 and the Blue Streaks' only four-time finalist under the tutelage of John Goles when they were known as Washington High School. Central comes into this one as a solid favorite with a well-balanced lineup. Warren Hills started 3-0 before dropping two of three in a quad on Saturday. Straight up, Red Devils have the edge at 106, 113, 126, 138, 152 and 220, while the Streaks are favored at 132, 145, 170, 195 and 285. The key bouts are 120, 160 (Wade Taylor vs. Furmato) and 182. If the hosts get all three, they have a good shot to win eight bouts. Graf scored an 8-7 win over Wulff in last years' dual, while Iodice vs. Ostir is a matchup of state qualifiers. Hills would like the flip to control the matchups at 152 and 160, as Wade Taylor majored Furmato last season and would be a huge underdog against Ciresa. As for bonus points, Central would like to get some at 106, 152 or 160 and 220. If O'Rourke is out -- he lost by injury default over the weekend -- the visitors should get more than three at 126 as Nace goes for his 100th career win. Hills will be looking for bonus at 145 (if Ciresa is up at 152), 195 and potentially 170. Central appears to be wrestling a little bit better right now and gets at least one of the close ones and enough bonus points.

Prediction: Hunterdon Central 35-25.

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