Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Wrestling: Warren Hills at Phillipsburg preview

What: Warren Hills Blue Streaks at Phillipsburg Stateliners.

Where: Phillipsburg High School, Lopatcong Township.

When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Conference: Skyland Raritan Division.

Records: Warren Hills 7-6 overall, 0-4 division; Phillipsburg 5-1, 3-0.

State rankings (New Jersey Wrestling Writers): Phillipsburg No. 5.

Coaches: Jarrett Hosbach (149-119, 12th season, 0-11 vs. P'burg); Dave Post (101-18, seventh season, 6-0 vs. WH).

Series history: Phillipsburg leads 55-14 dating to 1948, including last year's 42-14 victory on Jan. 29, 2016, in Washington. The Stateliners have won 30 straight since falling twice to Warren Hills during the 1989-90 season. The Blue Streaks haven't won in this series since their 34-30 victory at home in the 1990 North 2, Group 3 sectional final -- one of only two losses for P'burg in sectional history. The Streaks also won, 32-31, in a regular-season tilt at The Pit on Jan. 13, 1990.

Note: Warren Hills wrestlers listed first with season records in parentheses.

106 -- Fr. Greg Slivka (6-11) vs. Jr. Cullen Day (16-5).

113 -- Fr. Logan Nauta (8-7) vs. So. Travis Jones (13-6).

120 -- Jr. Kyle Wulff (14-6) vs. Jr. Tyris Manley (4-5) or So. Brenden Fox (4-5).

126 -- So. Chris Ostir (5-6) or Jr. Codey O'Rourke (4-4) vs. So. Cody Harrison (7-3).

132 -- Sr. Matt Valli (17-3) vs. So. Kyle Tino (6-9).

138 -- Jr. Pedro Cruz (4-14) vs. Jr. Lance Wissing (3-4).

145 -- Sr. Zach Nauta (17-2) or Fr. Geir Nemeth (0-1) vs. Jr. Brian Meyer (17-6) or So. Jayson Zinsmeister (4-9).

152 -- Jr. Cameron Nauta (3-4) vs. Zinsmeister or Meyer.

160 -- Sr. Rashon Wade Taylor (10-9) vs. Jr. Shamyr Brodders (3-8).

170 -- Jr. Jarod Ostir (16-4) or Sr. Ryan Beckler (8-8) vs. Sr. Dan Fisher (7-6) or So. Austin Roth (3-12).

182 -- Beckler or Ostir vs. Roth or Fisher.

195 -- So. Nick Galka (15-7) vs. Sr. Drew Horun (19-4).

220 -- Sr. Brody Oberly (9-5) vs. Sr. Robert Melise (16-2).

285 -- Sr. Taylan Zafis (14-7) vs. Sr. Justen Caraballo (6-10).

Breakdown: The 70th meeting between these longtime rivals and the first at P'burg's palatial gym. Melise (99-20 overall) is looking to become only the 22nd Stateliner to amass 100 career victories. Straight up, Blue Streaks are favored at 120, 132, 160, 170 and 285. 'Liners get the nod at 106, 113, 126, 138, 145, 152, 195 and 220. Give the hosts one more with Fisher at 182. That's why the flip is big for Warren Hills, if it can get Z. Nauta away from Meyer or J. Ostir on Fisher, but it won't be able to control both weights, while getting bonus points in most where it's favored to make it tight. Can the visitors get bonus points in a couple of spots, like 285, or minimize in several spots where they are heavy underdogs? Another story line is Harrison facing his former team, though he sat out Saturday's Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament due to lingering shoulder issue. He was a state qualifier for the Streaks as a freshman. Summer wrestling is what it is, but Streaks won by 4 in the annual Pin Cancer clash for the first time in that series, and don't think the 'Liners have forgotten it either. A key win in that one was L. Nauta over Jones, 8-7, but you have to favor Jones, a county finalist, in the rematch. Harrison also got a major over Fox, so that could very well be at least an eight-point swing this time around. P'burg should win at least eight bouts to extend its streak in the high school series.

Prediction: Phillipsburg, 37-25.

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