Saturday, December 22, 2018

Wrestling: 'Liners set early tone in rout of Braves

NEWTON -- Patience has certainly paid off for Phillipsburg 126-pounder Bryce Parenti.

After waiting his turn as a backup the previous three seasons, the senior delivered a huge victory in the opening bout, while senior Cody Harrison won a marquee matchup at 152, as the Stateliners cruised to a 45-12 win over Newton on Saturday night in an independent clash at Henry Boresch Memorial Gym.

Parenti scored a 5-2 decision over JoJo Lotruglio, a district runner-up last season, while Harrison scored an impressive 6-3 win over Wyatt McCarthy in a battle of state placewinners. Senior Travis Jones, another state medalist, followed with 7-3 win over Matthew Rosa at 132, and P'burg never looked back, as coach Dave Post's team won 10 bouts, including five pins.

"We couldn't have started a dual meet off in a better spot," said Post, whose team was coming off a 68-0 waxing of Hillsborough in the Skyland Conference Raritan Division opener on Wednesday. "We figured we had the bonus-point battle, and they couldn't beat us in a 7-7 split. We told the kids before the match that we believe they can win double-digit matches. If we wrestle with this type of moxie this early in the season, we should be able to attain every goal we've set for this year."

After a first-period takedown, Parenti, who was riding with a half, caught Lotruglio trying to roll through off the bottom for two huge back points in the second period to break it open.

"I knew if I started us off, the rest of the guys would follow my lead," said Parenti (5-2), who entered this season with just three varsity bouts under his belt. "I was just trying to wrestle the match I wanted to wrestle, and not worry about what [Lotruglio] wanted to do."

So what made Parenti want to stick it out for four years in an age when most kids bag it if they aren't in the varsity lineup?

"The atmosphere. It's amazing to wrestle for Phillipsburg," he said. "It shows that hard work pays off."

Post calls Parenti a "throwback" to the days when wrestlers routinely waited for their turn to wrestle varsity for the Warren County powerhouse.

"Bryce Parenti is Phillipsburg wrestling," Post said. "He waited around for four years to maybe start as a senior. That's a thing of the past nowadays. What a big start he gave us. You could feel the gym deflated."
Newton completes its warmups on Saturday.

Newton (2-1), which was coming off lopsided wins over Sparta and Hackettstown, got on the board with senior Michael Freda's 12-5 win at 138, but the Braves won just three more bouts -- all regular decisions.

"[P'burg] is solid. They're tough," said coach Eric Bollette, now 1-5 all-time against the 'Liners. "They have some nice freshmen. There were some good bouts. It was a good measuring stick for us. For us to win seven bouts, we knew everything needed to break our way."

Senior Kyle Tino's pin at 145 set the stage for Harrison, who earned takedowns in the first and third periods as the bout was won from the neutral position.

Harrison (7-1), who finished fourth in the state tournament at 138 last season, finally hit his bread-and-butter move, a blast double, in the closing seconds after getting in deep several times earlier in the bout. Unfortunately, he also is getting another set of stitches, this time above his right eye, after getting six administered over the left on the gym floor at the season-opening King of the Mountain Tournament.

"I hated wearing a mask [in a win against Hillsborough], so that's why I had them tape up my head," said Harrison, now 92-22 overall. "I knew McCarthy was pretty good. I've worked on my cardio and I just tried to stay in good position. I was finally able to get [the double-leg takedown]."

McCarthy (4-1), who placed seventh at 145 as a junior, never came close to getting a takedown in a bout that featured questionable points for hands to the face on McCarthy and a second stall call on Harrison with 23 seconds left in the third period, just six seconds before the icing takedown.

"Cody kept his composure. There were some crazy, physical scrambles," said Post, who said they will evaluate Harrison's status for next weekend's Bethlehem Holiday Classic after Christmas. "He looks really good -- 152 is a great weight for him."

Phillipsburg also got big wins from TJ Abode (160) and Jacob Wicks (182), also in his first year of varsity action, and pins from Austin Roth (195) and Cody Cruts (220). Freshman David Pierson (170) and sophomore Gage Horvath (220) did a fine job of saving bonus points in losses.

"We looked really good," Harrison said. "I'm proud of them. This is the hardest working group we've ever had."


126 -- Sr. Bryce Parenti (5-2), P, d. So. JoJo Lotruglio (3-3), 5-2.
132 -- Sr. Travis Jones (5-1), P, d. Sr. Matthew Rosa (4-2), 7-3.
138 -- Sr. Michael Freda (5-1), N, d. Sr. Luke Hardin (2-3), 12-5.
145 -- Sr. Kyle Tino (5-3), P, p. Jr. Damian Gummerson (0-4), :58.
152 -- Sr. Cody Harrison (7-1), P, d. Sr. Wyatt McCarthy (4-1), 6-3.
160 -- Sr. TJ Abode (3-2), P, p. Jr. Trevor Aughenbaugh (1-3), 3:31.
170 -- Sr. Nick Brigante (5-1), N, d. Fr. David Pierson (3-3), 4-2.
182 -- Jr. Jacob Wicks (4-2), P, p. Sr. Matt Somers (3-3), 4:31.
195 -- Sr. Austin Roth (4-2), P, p. Sr. Ryan Kaiser (2-4), 1:28.
220 -- Sr. Luke Fischer (5-0), N, d. So. Gage Horvath (6-4), 9-2.
285 -- Jr. Cody Cruts (3-2), P, p. So. Jacob Tonking (1-2), 3:40.
106 -- So. Nathan Fitt (4-1), N, d. Fr. James Day (6-3), 9-4.
113 -- So. Logan Maczko (4-2), P, d. So. Danny Cleary (2-3), 10-5.
120 -- Fr. Joey Innamorato (3-2), P, d. So. Nick Costa (1-2), 10-6.
Records -- Phillipsburg 2-0; Newton 2-1.
Officials -- Joe Benvenuto and Doug Fisher.

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