Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Wrestling: 'Liners, 'Cats, Lions roll in section semis

One of the most anticipated sectional finals is set as Phillipsburg and North Hunterdon cruised to victories in the North 2, Group 4 semifinals on Wednesday night.

The top-seeded Stateliners rolled to a 41-16 win over No. 4 seed Cranford, while the second-seeded Lions racked up six pins in a 55-12 win over No. 3 Middletown North.
P'burg will seek its 38th sectional title on Friday.

P'burg (16-2), the five-time defending Group 4 champion, is seeking the program's sixth consecutive sectional crown and 38th overall, while North (20-2) looks to avenge a 30-24 loss to the Stateliners on Jan. 16 as coach Chris Hrunka's team bids for the program's 15th title and first since 2015.

"This was a good tuneup," 'Liners coach Dave Post told renowned broadcaster Mike Moore of Stateliner Sports. "To put up 41 points on a team like [Cranford]. ... We'll be ready to go on Friday."

In all, eight teams from the Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex area advanced, including High Point and Newton, as the Sussex County rivals will meets in another all-local rematch in the North 1, Group 2 final. The 'Cats handed the Braves a 39-27 loss on Jan. 22 to secure the NJAC Freedom Division title.

High Point steamrolled its way to a 54-21 victory over Westwood in match that featured 11 pins and took less than one hour to complete. The 'Cats had eight falls, as the upper weights got coach John Gardner's team off to a quick start, including pins by stud freshman Brian Soldano (170), senior Jonathan Morris (182) and sophomore Shawn Van Wingerden (195).

"I like our sophomores," said Gardner, whose team looks the extend the program's Sussex County record for titles to 27 while it seeks back-to-back Group 2 titles. "They're a group that came in without a lot of fanfare."

Newton (14-6), the No. 2 seed in North 1, Group 2, advanced to its first sectional final since winning back-to-back titles in 2009 and '10 with a dominating 49-18 victory over Jefferson. The Braves, who lost a heartbreaker to the Falcons in last year's semifinals, posted a 44-16 win when the teams previously met on Jan. 3.

Kittatinny (North 1, Group 1), Delaware Valley (North 2, Group 1), Hunterdon Central (Central, Group 5) and Pope John (Non-Public North B) also won their semifinal matches.

Here are the matchups for all 24 sectional finals on Friday. Winners advance to Sunday's Group championships at Toms River North High School.

(Open Mike area teams in bold)


Group 5

6-Livingston (11-8) at 1-Passaic Tech (16-2)

Group 4

2-Wayne Valley (17-4) at 1-Roxbury (11-8)

Group 3

2-Old Tappan (19-7) at 1-Montville (14-6)

Group 2

2-Newton (14-6) at 1-High Point (14-2), 7 p.m.

Group 1

2-Kittatinny (15-7) at 1-Emerson-Park Ridge (16-5), 7 p.m.


Group 5

2-Westfield (12-4) at 1-Watchung Hills (14-1)

Group 4

2-North Hunterdon (20-2) at 1-Phillipsburg (16-2), 7 p.m.

Group 3

3-West Essex (19-4) at 1-Mendham (15-3)

Group 2

2-Bernards (15-9) at 1-Hanover Park (12-6)

Group 1

2-Whippany Park (15-7) at 1-Delaware Valley (12-6), 7 p.m.


Group 5

2-Manalapan (22-4) at 1-Hunterdon Central (21-1), 6 p.m.

Group 4

2-Colts Neck (16-3) at 1-Jackson Memorial (15-4)

Group 3

2-Hopewell Valley (18-5) at 1-Ocean Township (14-7)

Group 2

2-Raritan (15-5) at 1-South Plainfield (22-2)

Group 1

2-Point Pleasant Beach (21-4) at 1-Shore Regional (24-1)


Group 5

2-Howell (24-0) at 1-Southern (17-4)

Group 4

2-Clearview (21-2) at 1-Kingsway (14-8)

Group 3

2-Delsea (14-10) at 1-Lacey Township (17-2)

Group 2

2-Haddonfield (20-4) at 1-West Deptford (23-4)

Group 1

3-Buena (16-6) at 1-Paulsboro (20-1)


North A

2-Bergen Catholic (12-2) at 1-Delbarton (14-2)

North B

2-DePaul (11-4) at 1-Pope John (13-2), 7 p.m.

South A

2-St. John Vianney (9-3) at 1-St. Augustine (15-4)

South B

2-Holy Spirit (9-18) at 1-Camden Catholic (19-2)

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