Saturday, February 18, 2017

Wrestling: Meyer, Melise 3-peat as P'burg wins D9

LOPATCONG TWP. -- Phillipsburg senior Robert Melise was happy to cement his place in school history, and the 220-pounder even offered a prediction for next season.

Melise, along with junior Brian Meyer at 145, won their third straight titles, as the Stateliners crowned five champions en route to the District 9 team championship on Saturday at the new Phillipsburg High School.

P'burg wrestlers celebrate the program's 44th district team title.
P'burg outdistanced Mendham -- 202 to 189 1/2 -- for the second weekend in a row after a 35-24 victory over the Morris County school last Sunday in the Group 4 title match at Toms River. Mendham was in first place by 7 1/2 points over P'burg heading into the championship round, but went 1-5 in the finals, while advancing a tournament-best 11 wrestlers as the top three placewinners advanced to the Region 3 Tournament at West Orange that begins on Wednesday.

Winning their first district titles were Cullen Day (106) and Travis Jones (113), while Cody Harrison (126) got his second after winning as a freshman for Warren Hills at 106 pounds in 2016. Melise and Meyer became the 37th and 38th wrestlers for the 'Liners to win at least three district titles. Only seven have won four, but Melise thinks there will be no problem making it eight at this time next year.

"[Meyer] is going to get [his fourth next year," said Melise (30-2), who pinned previously unbeaten Sam Mellow of Montclair with an arm bar in 1:17 to earn the Outstanding Wrestler Award. "He's a phenomenal wrestler. The kid is just freaking good."

In the semifinals, Melise needed just 57 seconds to deck Caldwell's Stephen Murphy to become Phillipsburg's career pins leader -- eclipsing former three-time district champion Max Elling, who had 68 from 2011-15. Mellow was No. 70 and counting.

"I secured my spot. It's like where you get legacy points in Madden Football," said Melise, who was extra pumped to face an opponent who was 29-0 entering the finals. "The way I see it, it was hard enough to get to the record, let alone break it."

Meyer (30-7) built a 9-0 lead after one period against Mendham junior Connor McClellan, who took top to start the second period. Just 15 seconds in, Meyer was nearly out before grabbing and pulling McClellan's head under for the pin.

"It would be an honor to be a four-time champ," said Meyer, now 83-31 overall. "I just want to keep winning at regions. It's great to represent P'burg that way. Coach Post tells us, "From the start of sectionals week, you have to act like it's the state finals every match and keep working toward that goal."

Phillipsburg has nine wrestlers still going, while fourth-place Hackettstown advanced five wrestlers -- including champions Alex Carida (138) and Kyle Connelly (195), who won his second straight title. Senior Anthony Gonzalez (160) and junior Joe Andes (285) were second for the Tigers, while senior Justin Bennett (132) finished third. The Warren County school was trying to crown three champs in one tournament for just the seventh time and first since having five winners in 2010.

Tyris Manley (120) and Kyle Tino (132) were runners-up, while Josh Ramos (138) and Jayson Zinsmeister (152) finished third for P'burg.

Day earned some bragging rights in his family with a 5-2 win over Montclair's Jacy Jones -- as Day's father, Neil, finished third in what was then District 16 as a sophomore for Delaware Valley at 102 pounds in 1987, though his uncle, Chris, was a champion in that tournament at 142. Cullen Day was one-and-done in last year's tournament, dropping a 3-2 decision to Harrison in the 106-pound quarterfinals.

"It feels good," said Cullen Day, who got a reversal with 37 seconds left and later added two back points in the third period against the much taller and lankier Jones. "I prepared myself all season. At the beginning of the season, you set goals. I wanted to make it out of districts and make regions. Last year, I didn't get any matches [at regions]."

Jones turned Bloomfield senior Angel Mercado four times before getting the pin with a half in 3:01, while Harrison racked up three takedowns in an 8-1 win over Mendham junior Alex Schlegel.

Carida, who likely garnered a few OW votes, won his first title by putting on a takedown clinic, with seven in all, in an impressive 15-8 decision over Mendham sophomore Alex Winant. Carida (34-2) opened some eyes earlier this season with a 5-3 win over Delaware Valley state qualifier Matt Kolonia in the Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament finals on Jan. 14. It was a huge momentum builder for Carida, who has gone 17-0 since that victory and hasn't lost since Jan. 7 -- a 6-4 defeat to Warren Hills senior Zach Nauta, a District 12 champion.

"This will give me momentum for regions," said Carida, who was third as a freshman and second as a sophomore in District 1. "I just have to keep my confidence up and keep working to get on the podium [at the state tournament in Atlantic City]."

Connelly, who won at 182 as a junior, converted a takedown at the edge of the mat with 14 seconds left in the third period en route to a 7-4 win over Mendham junior Giuseppe Canino. Connelly is the first to win back-to-back titles for Hackettstown since Tyler Kozimor and Steve Giraldo (2010-11).

Team standings

1. Phillipsburg 202; 2. Mendham 189.5; 3. Caldwell 158; 4. Hackettstown 116; 5. Montclair 90; 6. Bloomfield 82; 7. Lyndurst-North Arlington 64; 8. Barringer 14; 9. Glen Ridge 8.

Region 3 qualifiers by school

Mendham 1+5+5=11; Phillipsburg 5+2+2=9; Caldwell 4+1+2=7; Hackettstown 2+2+1=5; Bloomfield 1+1+2=4; Lyndurst-North Arlington 1+0+2=3; Montclair 0+3+0=3; Barringer 0+0+0=0; Glen Ridge 0+0+0=0.

Championships

106 -- 2-Jr. Cullen Day (29-6), Phillipsburg, d. 1-Jr. Jacy Jones (33-2), Montclair, 5-2.
113 -- 1-So. Travis Jones (25-8), Phillipsburg, p. 2-Sr. Angel Mercado (22-15), Bloomfield, 3:01.
120 -- 3-Jr. Matthew Daub (21-9), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, d. 1-Jr. Tyris Manley (14-9), Phillipsburg, 8-4.
126 -- 1-So. Cody Harrison (20-4), Phillipsburg, d. 2-Jr. Alex Schlegel (21-15), Mendham, 8-1.
132 -- 1-Fr. Alex Jones (26-2), Caldwell, d. 2-So. Kyle Tino (14-15), Phillipsburg, 7-0.
138 -- 1-Jr. Alex Carida (34-2), Hackettstown, d. 2-So. Alex Winant (29-9), Mendham, 15-8.
145 -- 1-Jr. Brian Meyer (30-7), Phillipsburg, p. 2-Sr. Connor McClellan (17-19), Mendham, 2:15.
152 -- 1-Jr. Gerald Jones (23-6), Caldwell, d. 2-Fr. Gage Armijo (20-16), Mendham, 6-5.
160 -- 1-Sr. Troy Navarino (36-1), Mendham, p. 6-Sr. Anthony Gonzalez (12-8), Hackettstown, 5:52.
170 -- 1-Sr. Barak Pipkins (25-4), Bloomfield, p. 2-Jr. Kyle Schaffer (19-7), Caldwell, 5:32.
182 -- 1-Sr. Christian Dalla Riva (30-4), Caldwell, d. 2-Sr. Kasson Quince-McGee (27-8), Montclair, 13-7.
195 -- 1-Sr. Kyle Connelly (29-7), Hackettstown, d. 2-Jr. Giuseppe Canino (25-11), Mendham, 7-4.
220 -- 1-Sr. Robert Melise (30-2), Phillipsburg, p. 2-Sr. Sam Mellow (29-1), Montclair, 1:17.
285 -- 2-Jr. John Murphy (26-5), Caldwell, d. 1-Jr. Joe Andes (27-9), Hackettstown, 4-2.
Outstanding Wrestler Award -- Robert Melise, Phillipsburg.
Coach of the Year -- Steve Baig, Mendham.
Assistant Coach of the Year -- Scott Silvis, Phillipsburg.

Third-place consolations

106 -- 3-Fr. Darren Jones (23-9), Caldwell, p. 5-Fr. Michael Sullivan (2-13), Hackettstown, :51.
113 -- 3-Fr. Tristan Navarino (19-14), Mendham, d. 4-Fr. Iain Shaw (13-7), Glen Ridge, 6-0.
120 -- 2-So. Peter Tringali (27-11), Mendham, p. 5-Sr. Steven Nicotra (18-11), Hackettstown, 1:19.
126 -- 3-Sr. Joseph Carola (17-9), Caldwell, d. 4-Sr. Carson Gutierrez (15-10), Montclair, 6-0.
132 -- 3-Sr. Justin Bennett (18-15), Hackettstown, md. 4-Jr. Ben Baily (20-18), Montclair, 12-2.
138 -- 4-Jr. Josh Ramos (7-7), Phillipsburg, p. 3-Sr. Jonathan Dulin (27-11), Montclair, 4:51.
145 -- 4-So. Derin Stitzer (17-11), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, d. 3-Sr. Dan Fano (12-18), Caldwell, 1-0.
152 -- 5-So. Jayson Zinsmeister (14-13), Phillipsburg, p. 3-So. Damony James (21-14), Montclair, 1:22.
160 -- 5-So. Victor Jorge (18-10), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, d. 7-Sr. Karon Bell (13-4), Barringer, 7-0.
170 -- 3-Sr. Liam Meckes (19-19), Mendham, d. 4-Sr. Dan Fisher (14-13), Phillipsburg, 3-2.
182 -- 4-Sr. Michael Servais (18-9), Mendham, d. 3-Sr. Liam Johnson (19-14), Bloomfield, 8-3.
195 -- 3-Sr. David Broderick (17-10), Bloomfield, p. 4-Sr. Michael Carrino (11-13), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, 4:11.
220 -- 3-Sr. Adam Lutick (29-5), Bloomfield, d. 4-Jr. Stephen Murphy (18-15), Caldwell, 4-3.
285 -- 4-Sr. Blake Barrigan (12-17), Mendham, p. 6-Jr. Tyler Partyka (10-12), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, 1:24.

Semifinals

106 -- 1-Jr. Jacy Jones (33-1), Montclair, p. 5-Fr. Michael Sullivan (2-12), Hackettstown, :48; 2-Jr. Cullen Day (28-6), Phillipsburg, d. 3-Fr. Darren Jones (22-9), Caldwell, 3-0.
113 -- 1-So. Travis Jones (24-8), Phillipsburg, p. 4-Fr. Iain Shaw (13-6), Glen Ridge, :57; 2-Sr. Angel Mercado (22-14), Bloomfield, md. 3-Fr. Tristan Navarino (18-14), Mendham, 13-3.
120 -- 1-Jr. Tyris Manley (14-8), Phillipsburg, d. 5-Sr. Steven Nicotra (18-10), Hackettstown, 11-6; 3-Jr. Matthew Daub (20-9), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, d. 2-So. Peter Tringali (26-11), Mendham, 5-2.
126 -- 1-So. Cody Harrison (19-4), Phillipsburg, p. 4-Sr. Carson Gutierrez (15-9), Montclair, 1:02; 2-Jr. Alex Schlegel (21-14), Mendham, d. 3-Sr. Joseph Carola (16-9), Caldwell, 3-2.
132 -- 1-Fr. Alex Jones (25-2), Caldwell, p. 4-Jr. Ben Baily (20-17), Montclair, 1:27; 2-So. Kyle Tino (14-14), Phillipsburg, p. 3-Sr. Justin Bennett (17-15), Hackettstown, 2:50.
138 -- 1-Jr. Alex Carida (33-2), Hackettstown, p. 4-Jr. Josh Ramos (6-7), Phillipsburg, :50; 2-So. Alex Winant (29-8), Mendham, md. 3-Sr. Jonathan Dulin (27-10), Montclair, 11-3.
145 -- 1-Jr. Brian Meyer (29-7), Phillipsburg, p. 4-So. Derin Stitzer (16-11), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, 1:23; 2-Sr. Connor McClellan (17-18), Mendham, p. 3-Sr. Dan Fano (12-17), Caldwell, 5:55.
152 -- 1-Jr. Gerald Jones (22-6), Caldwell, p. 5-So. Jayson Zinsmeister (13-13), Phillipsburg, 3:39; 2-Fr. Gage Armijo (20-15), Mendham, p. 3-So. Damony James (21-13), Montclair, :24.
160 -- 1-Sr. Troy Navarino (35-1), Mendham, p. 5-So. Victor Jorge (17-10), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, 5:59; 6-Sr. Anthony Gonzalez (12-7), Hackettstown, d. 7-Sr. Karon Bell (13-3), Barringer, 1-0.
170 -- 1-Sr. Barak Pipkins (24-4), Bloomfield, md. 4-Sr. Dan Fisher (14-12), Phillipsburg, 11-3; 2-Jr. Kyle Schaffer (19-6), Caldwell, d. 3-Sr. Liam Meckes (18-19), Mendham, 4-2.
182 -- 1-Sr. Christian Dalla Riva (29-4), Caldwell, tf. 4-Sr. Michael Servais (17-9), Mendham, 16-0, 4:10; 2-Sr. Kasson Quince-McGee (27-7), Montclair, d. 3-Sr. Liam Johnson (19-13), Bloomfield, 9-3.
195 -- 1-Sr. Kyle Connelly (28-7), Hackettstown, p. 4-Sr. Michael Carrino (11-12), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, :48; 2-Jr. Giuseppe Canino (25-10), Mendham, p. 3-Sr. David Broderick (16-10), Bloomfield, 1:54.
220 -- 1-Sr. Robert Melise (29-2), Phillipsburg p. 4-Jr. Stephen Murphy (18-14), Caldwell, :57; 2-Sr. Sam Mellow (29-0), Montclair, p. 3-Sr. Adam Lutick (28-5), Bloomfield, :36.
285 -- 1-Jr. Joe Andes (27-8), Hackettstown, p. 4-Sr. Blake Barrigan (11-17), Mendham, :27; 2-Jr. John Murphy (25-5), Caldwell, p. 6-Jr. Tyler Partyka (10-11), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, 2:32.

Quarterfinals

106 -- 1-Jr. Jacy Jones (32-1), Montclair, forfeit; 5-Fr. Michael Sullivan (2-11), Hackettstown, d. 4-Isaiah De La Cruz (3-19), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, 8-6 SV; 3-Fr. Darren Jones (22-8), Caldwell, forfeit; 2-Jr. Cullen Day (27-6), Phillipsburg, forfeit.
113 -- 1-So. Travis Jones (23-8), Phillipsburg, forfeit; 4-Fr. Iain Shaw (13-5), Glen Ridge, d. 5-Fr. Ricardo Caamano (5-14), Caldwell, 5-0; 3-Fr. Tristan Navarino (18-13), Mendham, p. 6-Fr. Jonathan Ciampaglia (0-11), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, :24; 2-Sr. Angel Mercado (21-14), Bloomfield, forfeit.
120 -- 1-Jr. Tyris Manley (13-8), Phillipsburg, p. 8-So. Thomas Rosenthal (15-15), Montclair, 1:17; 5-Sr. Steven Nicotra (18-9), Hackettstown, p. 4-So. Nicholas Fiorillo (22-5), Glen Ridge, 4:36; 3-Jr. Matthew Daub (19-9), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, p. 6-Jr. Disan Singelton (19-8), Barringer, 5:35; 2-So. Peter Tringali (26-10), Mendham, p. 7-Jr. Mark DeAngelis (13-8), Caldwell, 5:06.
126 -- 1-So. Cody Harrison (18-4), Phillipsburg, p. 8-Jr. Brian Aguilar (8-7), Barringer, :37; 4-Sr. Carson Gutierrez (15-8), Montclair, d. 5-Jr. Tchemy Joseph (11-16), Bloomfield, 10-5; 3-Sr. Joseph Carola (16-8), Caldwell, md. 6-Fr. Jarrett Weber (14-11), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, 10-2; 2-Jr. Alex Schlegel (20-14), Mendham, p. 7-Jr. Erick Garcia (13-15), Hackettstown, 4:57.
132 -- 1-Fr. Alex Jones (24-2), Caldwell, p. 8-Fr. Cole Fitton (5-15), Glen Ridge, :21; 4-Jr. Ben Baily (20-16), Montclair, p. 5-Sr. Jaydin Ortiz (14-12), Bloomfield, 4:30; 3-Sr. Justin Bennett (17-14), Hackettstown, p. 6-Fr. Carl Banks (13-10), Barringer, 2:48; 2-So. Kyle Tino (13-14), Phillipsburg, p. 7-Fr. Brandon Vitacco (8-16), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, 1:44.
138 -- 1-Jr. Alex Carida (32-2), Hackettstown, forfeit; 4-Jr. Josh Ramos (6-6), Phillipsburg, p. 5-Sr. Conor Yunis (9-10), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, 3:35; 3-Sr. Jonathan Dulin (27-9), Montclair, d. 6-Fr. Joseph Jenkins (8-15), Caldwell, 4-0; 2-So. Alex Winant (28-8), Mendham, p. 7-So. Jamil Morel (5-10), Barringer, 1:45.
145 -- 1-Jr. Brian Meyer (28-7), Phillipsburg, forfeit; 4-So. Derin Stitzer (16-10), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, d. 5-Sr. Jacob Carrara (12-16), Hackettstown, 9-5; 3-Sr. Dan Fano (12-16), Caldwell, d. 6-Fr. D'Isaiah Larrea (10-11), Bloomfield, 5-2; 2-Sr. Connor McClellan (16-18), Mendham, forfeit.
152 -- 1-Jr. Gerald Jones (21-6), Caldwell, forfeit; 5-So. Jayson Zinsmeister (13-12), Phillipsburg, d. 4-Sr. Elijah Hernandez (17-10), Bloomfield, 8-6; 3-So. Damony James (21-12), Montclair, d. 6-Sr. Christian Campana (11-11), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, 11-5; 2-Fr. Gage Armijo (19-15), Mendham, tf. 7-Fr. Zebulon Burke (9-20), Hackettstown, 17-0, 4:28.
160 -- 1-Sr. Troy Navarino (34-1), Mendham, p. 8-Jr. Shamyr Brodders (6-15), Phillipsburg, 3:08; 5-So. Victor Jorge (17-9), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, d. 4-Jr. Joseph Marchesano (20-7), Glen Ridge, 9-5; 6-Sr. Anthony Gonzalez (11-7), Hackettstown, d. 3-So. Terrell White (23-13), Montclair, 8-3; 7-Sr. Karon Bell (13-2), Barringer, p. 2-Sr. Damon Farms (14-14), Bloomfield, 3:13.
170 -- 1-Sr. Barak Pipkins (23-4), Bloomfield, forfeit; 4-Sr. Dan Fisher (14-11), Phillipsburg, d. 5-Jr. Jordan DeAbreu (16-9), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, 7-1; 3-Sr. Liam Meckes (18-18), Mendham, p. 6-Sr. Liam McCann (15-6), Glen Ridge, 1:25; 2-Jr. Kyle Schaffer (18-6), Caldwell, tf. 7-Jr. Shawn Burke (12-21), Hackettstown, 15-0, 4:51.
182 -- 1-Sr. Christian Dalla Riva (28-4), Caldwell, forfeit; 4-Sr. Michael Servais (17-8), Mendham, d. 5-Jr. Nick Fernandez (16-12), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, 5-2; 3-Sr. Liam Johnson (19-12), Bloomfield, p. 6-So. Matt Castro (13-16), Hackettstown, 1;43; 2-Sr. Kasson Quince-McGee (26-7), Montclair, d. 7-So. Austin Roth (5-16), Phillipsburg, 3-1.
195 -- 1-Sr. Kyle Connelly (27-7), Hackettstown, forfeit; 4-Sr. Michael Carrino (11-11), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, p. 5-So. Frank Mondsni (3-10), Caldwell, 1:03; 3-Sr. David Broderick (16-9), Bloomfield, forfeit; 2-Jr. Giuseppe Canino (24-10), Mendham, forfeit.
220 -- 1-Sr. Robert Melise (28-2), Phillipsburg p. 8-Jr. Ryan Denis (2-18), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, :12; 4-Jr. Stephen Murphy (18-13), Caldwell, p. 5-Sr. Jairo Mendoza (14-8), Barringer, 4:23; 3-Sr. Adam Lutick (28-4), Bloomfield, p. 6-Sr. Robert Longo (7-9), Mendham, 2:33; 2-Sr. Sam Mellow (28-0), Montclair, p. 7-So. Daniel Olson (5-2), Hackettstown, :49.
285 -- 1-Jr. Joe Andes (26-8), Hackettstown, forfeit; 4-Sr. Blake Barrigan (11-16), Mendham, p. 5-Sr. Ben Smullyan (4-9), Montclair, 2;35; 6-Jr. Tyler Partyka (10-10), Lyndhurst-North Arlington, p. 3-So. Xavier Gulley (12-12), Bloomfield, 3:18; 2-Jr. John Murphy (25-5), Caldwell, p. 7-Sr. Khalil Frasier (6-3), Barringer, 2:38.

Preliminaries

126 -- 8-Jr. Brian Aguilar (8-6), Barringer, p. 9-Fr. Marcella Borgenicht (5-9), Glen Ridge, 1:04.
160 -- 8-Jr. Shamyr Brodders (6-14), Phillipsburg, p. 9-Sr. Joseph Tamimi (3-19), Caldwell, 3:06.

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