Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Wrestling: North Hunterdon at Del Val preview

What: North Hunterdon Lions vs. Delaware Valley Terriers.

Where: Delaware Valley Regional High School, Alexandria Township.

When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Conference: Skyland Raritan Division.

Records: North Hunterdon 9-2 overall, 2-0 division; Delaware Valley 8-2, 2-1.

State rankings (New Jersey Wrestling Writers): Delaware Valley No. 10.

Coaches: Tim Flynn (110-44, eighth season, 4-3 vs. DV); Andy Fitz (164-55, 10th season, 3-6 vs. NH).

Series history: North Hunterdon holds a 25-24 edge dating to 1963, and saw its four-match win streak snapped with a 44-16 loss at home in the last meeting on Jan. 29, 2016. Terriers won consecutive matchups in 2010 and '11, but have dropped six of the last 10.

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

106 -- So. Connor Robinson (14-5) vs. Sr. Dylan Uderman (7-3).

113 -- Fr. Evan Klimas (13-5) vs. Jr. CJ Heaps (7-6).

120 -- So. Nicolas House (5-10) vs. So. A.J. DeRosa (15-4).

126 -- So. Michael Wilson (9-8) vs. Fr. Gage Crater (13-6).

132 -- Jr. Andrew Gapas (18-1) vs. Sr. Connor Mills (14-5).

138 -- Jr. Will Hughes (12-5) vs. Sr. Matt Kolonia (18-1).

145 -- Jr. Tucker Kirchberger (9-6) or Fr. Nathaniel Fossett (2-4) vs. Sr. Rhys Zigich (16-3).

152 -- Sr. Cole Marra (15-3) vs. Sr. Tanner McLaughlin (7-10).

160 -- Sr. Nick Luberto (11-6) or Fr. Anthony Masters (4-4) vs. Sr. Chase Bauberger (14-5).

170 -- Sr. Matt Gregory (4-8) vs. Sr. Sean Lessig (9-1).

182 -- Jr. Noah Quental (5-5) vs. So. Shawne Ramsby (7-4) or Sr. Jeremy Hartman (8-4).

195 -- Jr. Yousef Abbas (6-3) vs. Jr. Kyle Lightner (18-0) or Jr. Eli Kalfaian (9-4).

220 -- Jr. Brinton Gibbons (2-6) vs. Sr. Josh LaDuca (8-8).

285 -- Sr. Charlie Tordik (18-0) vs. Jr. Joe Pandy (1-4).

Breakdown: This storied Hunterdon County rivalry turns 50 before what should be a packed house on Gold Rush Night at Hutchins Memorial Gym -- the first in the series. Earlier this season, it might have been a stretch to think the visitors could pull off a win but the Lions have drastically improved in what figured to be a rebuilding season -- crowning three individual champs (Gapas, Marra and Tordik) en route to a fifth-place team finish at the eighth Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament on Saturday. The flip will be key as Del Val will look to make a few lineup moves, while North has fewer options in that department. Straight up, the Lions get the nod at 106, 113, 132, 152 and 285. Terriers are favored at 120, 126, 138, 145, 160, 170, 182, 195 and 220. North will look to bump Luberto, who has been pinned twice by Bauberger, up to 170 and needs to control the matchup at 195, moving Abbas away from Lightner, but Abbas vs. LaDuca would be a tossup. A win at 170 (Luberto vs. Lessig) and one other where the Lions aren't favored may be enough for the upset, but bonus points will be hard to come by, though possible based on results this season at 106 and 132. Del Val may not even need to make another move, but having Zigich down to 145 gets him away from Marra. Terriers will get just enough bonus and win at least three of four from 170 to 220 to come away with the victory, but it could be a close shave.

Prediction: Delaware Valley, 32-26.

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