Freshman Dan Hedden had an outstanding debut for the South Plainfield High School wrestling squad and teammate Ray Jazikoff upset a two-time state champion as the Tigers rolled Saturday to their sixth consecutive Morris Knolls Tournament title.
South Plainfield crowned six individual champions, winning five consecutive titles beginning at 132 pounds with Scott DelVecchio , Anthony Ashnault, Troy Heilmann, Dylan Painton and Inan Sikel.
Hedden pinned reigning Essex County Tournament champion Angelo Mascola of Seton Hall Prep in 55 seconds to claim the 113-pound crown, while Jazikoff dropped a 5-2 decision to Governor Livingston’s Jon Mele in the 120-pound final.
Jazikoff advanced to the final with a 4-3 upset of Seton Hall Prep’s Brenden Calas in the semis.
“It was an outstanding win to beat a two-time state champion,” South Plainfield coach Kevin McCann said of Jazikoff. “Unfortunately, he was a little tentative in the final and got taken out of his normal style and couldn’t get it done against Mele.”
In the match of the day, Watchung Hills’ Mike Magaldo, last year’s 120-pound state champion, scored an 8-5 decision over South Plainfield’s Corey Stasenko — who was sixth in the state at 145 a year ago — for the 126-pound title. Magaldo was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler.
The two may meet again in the district, region or state tournaments.
Ryan Walsh (106), Collin Lynch (182) and Luigi Geradi (195) each placed third for the Tigers. Walsh avenged a 4-0 loss from a year ago to Seton Hall Prep’s Casey Egan to win the consolation final.
South Plainfield ran away with the team title, scoring 273 points.
Crusaders Win Beach
No. 2-ranked Bound Brook repeated at the Battle of the Beach at Indian River High School in Dagsboro, Del.
The Crusaders had more place-winners (13) and points (279) than last year and they were without 2011 Beach champs Ronald Picado and Jeison Arias out with injuries. The Crusaders beat runnerup Smyrna by 50 points.
Sophomores Craig De La Cruz (120) and Josh Ugalde (152) took first and Rob Murray (113), Isiah Soto (182) and S. Mike Johnson (285) were second. Nick Limenza (106), Nick Accetta (132), Emmanuel Soto (145) and Aaron Saavedra — bumping up one weight — was third at 220. Ryan Doerr (160) was fourth with Zach Vatalare (126) and Andrew Gombas (170) placing fifth. Freshman Abe Saavedra — Aaron’s brother — was sixth at 195.
Garden State Classic
Bridgewater-Raritan, third last year and fifth two years ago, was a runnerup to St. Augustine.
Defending champ Delaware Valley was fifth. Bridgewater-Raritan junior Gianni Calo (106) and sophomore Matt Noble (113) won by fall and technicsal fall respectively; senior Valerio LaMorte (152) won by major and senior Pierce Gladfelter (145) won by decision. Matt Gilmore (138) and Brian Baehr (220) won titles for Delaware Valley.
Ridge placed fifth in the 15-school field and Plainfield was 13th.
Ted Caruso (120) won for Ridge, which finished with 102 points. Plainfield’s winner was heavyweight Kyle Brookens, who won the final by fall. Ridge’s Kolton Nelder lost a 2-1 final at 182 to Oakcrest’s John Barnard.
Howell hosted and had two teams — the ‘blue,’ which won the title and the ‘white,’ which was fourth. Montgomery was seventh with 112 points. Seniors Lenny Bird (132) and Anthony Cassar (170) placed first for Montgomery. Bird and Cassar were both third last year when the Cougars were fifth.