Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Wrestling: 'Liners put bite on Rovers in rivalry tilt

Phillipsburg's wrestling team picked the most enjoyable way to snap a losing streak.

Freshman Joey Innamorato's unexpected pin at 120 pounds was the spark that sent the Stateliners to an impressive 40-22 victory over archrival Easton (Pa.) on Wednesday night in an independent match at Phillipsburg High School.

P'burg is now 2-0 against Easton (Pa.) in the new gym.
P'burg (12-2) racked up four pins, a technical fall and two major decisions as coach Dave Post's team won eight bouts and the bonus points battle, 16-4. The 'Liners also avoided the program's first three-match skid since 2005, which included losses to Southern, Easton (Pa.) and Kittatinny.

"We try to put ourselves through a meat grinder of a schedule," Post told Mike Moore of Stateliner Sports, as P'burg was coming off losses to Hunterdon Central (29-27 on Thursday) and Southern (32-16 on Saturday), the Nos. 4 and 8 teams in the New Jersey Wrestling Writers Top 20 poll. "It's tough. It's not easy to weigh-in three times a week and get performances like this. I'm very proud of our guys."

No. 9 Phillipsburg has now won four of the last six meetings against Easton, which owns a 68-14 edge in a series dating to 1947. The 'Liners, who are enjoying their most successful stretch in the series since winning nine in a row from 1963-71, also matched their highest point total against the Red Rovers -- posting a 40-27 win in the first meeting here in 2017.

"We told the guys that if we wrestle like we can, we can put up the most points ever against Easton," said Post, now 4-5 overall as a head coach in the rivalry. "Kudos to them for believing it. The guys are in the right frame of mind where they believe they are going to win."

Easton (9-4), which has dropped the last three meetings in the series on the road, including a 30-23 loss at The Pit in 2015, jumped out to a 10-0 lead. At 106, freshman Braxton Appello posted a 6-5 win in the rubber match against James Day, who scored a 4-3 win in their previous matchup for fifth place at the Bethlehem Holiday Classic on Dec. 29. Appello had handed Day an 8-6 loss in the first round of that tournament.

From there it was all Phillipsburg as sophomore Logan Maczko got the Stateliners on the board and sparked a seven-bout run with a pin of Alex Cameron at 113. Maczko (20-8), who scored a technical fall win over Cameron at Bethlehem Holiday, earned the Easton Lions Club Award as the most aggressive wrestler.

Innamorato (8-14), who has endured his share of struggles this season, turned the match as he locked up a cradle at the edge of the mat and stuck Anthony Daiello in 3:16. That matchup was considered a tossup and the pin came with the score deadlocked at 2. For his efforts, Innamorato received the Brad Weaver Memorial Award -- the first P'burg freshman to do so since Tim Flynn in 1992 -- as the meet's Outstanding Wrestler.

"Joey has the pedigree [one of three current P'burg wrestlers to win a New Jersey Grade School League championship] and we told him to go out and show why he's in our lineup," Post said.

Seniors Bryce Parenti (126), Travis Jones (132), Kyle Tino (138), Luke Hardin (145) and Cody Harrison (152) followed with victories to give P'burg a 34-10 lead through 10 bouts. Senior Austin Roth (195) capped the night by decking Matthew Cruise with a cradle in 5:29.


220 -- Sr. Andrew Balukas (18-9), E, md. So. Gage Horvath (12-14), 15-7.
285 -- Sr. Tyler Pellechia (13-7), E, d. Jr. Cody Cruts (8-15), 3-0.
106 -- Fr. Braxton Appello (15-7), E, d. Fr. James Day (19-9), 6-5.
113 -- So. Logan Maczko (20-8), P, p. So. Alex Cameron (6-12), 1:05.
120 -- Fr. Joey Innamorato (8-14), P, p. Jr. Anthony Daiello (8-8), 3:16.
126 -- Sr. Bryce Parenti (19-10), P, d. Jr. Brett Scalzo (12-11), 3-1.
132 -- Sr. Travis Jones (23-3), P, tf. So. Kyron Bryson (12-11), 21-5, 5:30.
138 -- Sr. Kyle Tino (20-9), P, p. Jr. Colby Duffy (7-14), 2:32.
145 -- Sr. Luke Hardin (8-14), P, md. So. Dominick Apgar (1-1), 15-6.
152 -- Sr. Cody Harrison (22-2), P, md. Sr. Jake Koerwitz (14-9), 15-5.
160 -- Sr. Gaven Krazer (15-8), E, md. Sr. TJ Abode (15-11), 10-2.
170 -- So. Isaiah Reinert (17-9), E, tf. Fr. David Pierson (11-13), 15-0, 4:21.
182 -- So. Dominic Falcone (16-7), E, d. Jr. Jacob Wicks (16-10), 5-2.
195 -- Sr. Austin Roth (20-5), P, p. Fr. Matthew Cruise (13-12), 5:29.
Records -- Easton 9-4; Phillipsburg 12-2.
Easton Lions Club Award (Most Aggressive Wrestler) -- Logan Maczko.
Brad Weaver Memorial Award (Outstanding Wrestler) -- Joey Innamorato.
Officials -- Chip Castner and Frank Leitner.

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