Thursday, January 24, 2019

Wrestling: Central thwarts Phillipsburg with late pin

LOPATCONG TWP. -- One good turn was what it took for Hunterdon Central's wrestling team to pull off what seemed to be an improbable win.

Sophomore Colton Washleski used a bar-arm tilt for a stunning pin at 120 pounds to send the Red Devils to a 29-27 victory over Phillipsburg in a battle between two of New Jersey's top 10 teams on Thursday night.

P'burg is now 39-9-1 all-time vs. HC dating to 1962.
Hunterdon Central (15-0), ranked No. 4 in the New Jersey Writers Association Top 20, trailed by a point with two bouts remaining. Washleski, who needed at least a technical fall against freshman Joey Innamorato to give his team a chance with P'burg senior Travis Jones in the hole at 126, put the Red Devils in the driver's seat with a pin in 3:26.

"I was just trying tilt him, and it just kind of happened," said Washleski (19-4), a returning state qualifier who surrendered the opening takedown and trailed by a point after one period before getting on top with a reversal in the second period. "I slip the bar in at practice all the time. Once I got it in, I was pretty confident I had back points. I wasn't expecting the pin."

The fall gave Central a 29-24 lead with one to go, as Jones, who needed a technical fall with P'burg holding criteria (most six-point wins), cruised to a 4-0 decision and his third career win over Jack Bauer in the finale. Central came into this one down another starter as sophomore Norman Cella (160) sustained a right knee injury in the team's 41-22 win over Hanover Park on Wednesday night.

"We have a scrappy group of kids who are hard workers," said coach Jon Cantagallo-Rohm, now 2-3 all-time against the Stateliners and whose Red Devils posted back-to-back wins in the series for the first time since 2013. "To not be at 100 percent and beat a quality team like P'burg says a lot."

No. 7 Phillipsburg (11-1) seemingly had things in control following key wins by junior Jacob Wicks (182) and sophomore Gage Horvath (220). Wicks scored a 7-0 decision over Kyle Barrett, who lost by fall when they met in the Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament on Jan. 12, while Horvath got a reversal in the second tiebreaker period in overtime for a 3-2 win over Brandon Donoghue to give the 'Liners a 21-14 lead through nine bouts.

"We felt great with those efforts," said P'burg coach Dave Post, whose team was coming off three consecutive wins over ranked teams, including a 30-27 win over High Point last Friday. "We had some great efforts across the board. It wasn't a loss because of a lack of effort."

P'burg made good move on the scale to help get at least seven wins, which it did as senior Kyle Tino, appearing at 138 for the first time this season, racked up three takedowns in a 7-3 win over Anthony Romaniello in a battle of Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament finalists in the second bout.

Central won four of the first six, including a 13-4 major at 170, where Dan Furmato got a takedown and three back points in the final 18 seconds for the bonus. Senior Ryan Joyce also came through with a 16-4 major at 285, while sophomore stud Brett Ungar, a sixth-place finisher in last season's state tournament, added a technical fall at 106 to give the Red Devils a 23-21 lead.

"It started with Joyce," Washleski said when asked what got his team going in the lower weights. "He hyped up us little guys. We knew we could win if we wrestled as a team."


132 -- Fr. Tanner Peake (20-4), HC, d. Sr. Bryce Parenti (17-10), 6-1.
138 -- Sr. Kyle Tino (19-8), P, d. Jr. Anthony Romaniello (14-8), 7-3.
145 -- Sr. Pasquale Vizzoni (13-1), HC, md. Sr. Luke Hardin (7-13), 11-3.
152 -- Sr. Cody Harrison (21-1), P, forfeit.
160 -- Sr. Vincent Romaniello (19-4), HC, d. Sr. TJ Abode (14-10), 7-3.
170 -- Sr. Dan Furmato (8-9), HC, md. Fr. David Pierson (11-11), 13-4.
182 -- Jr. Jacob Wicks (16-8), P, d. Sr. Kyle Barrett (15-6), 7-0.
195 -- Sr. Austin Roth (18-5), P, forfeit.
220 -- So. Gage Horvath (12-12), P, d. Jr. Brandon Donoghue (7-6), 3-2 TB2.
285 -- Sr. Ryan Joyce (17-4), HC, md. Jr. Cody Cruts (8-13), 16-4.
106 -- So. Brett Ungar (21-0), HC, tf. Fr. James Day (18-8), 16-1, 4:00.
113 -- So. Logan Maczko (19-7), P, d. Fr. Nick Canonica (14-7), 4-1.
120 -- So. Colton Washleski (19-4), HC, p. Fr. Joey Innamorato (7-13), 3:26.
126 -- Sr. Travis Jones (21-3), P, d. Sr. Jack Bauer (17-5), 4-0.
Records -- Hunterdon Central 15-0; Phillipsburg 11-1.
Officials -- Frank Leitner and Russ Scorese.

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