FLEMINGTON – Although it was a difficult evening for the Hopewell Valley in the first two rounds of the Region V Wrestling Tournament at Huntherdan Central on Friday night, Princeton had the opposite.
Last weekend Hopewell Valley nominated a whopping 10 wrestlers from the counties, but none of them made it to Saturday’s semifinals. Princeton, by contrast, has pushed four out of his district, and two of them are still very much in the hunt for the region’s crown.
One is freshman who weighs 126 pounds, Blaise Mel, who raised his record to 15-1 with a pair of wins, including an 8-0 cruise over Will Sella of Hunterdon Central in the quarters. Melee missed this year’s Mercer County Tournament due to a minor knee injury, but is clearly ready to go now.
“I feel better, I feel good,” Mele said. “I tweaked my knees a bit, but the schedule worked for me to get an internship in front of the counties.”
Next to Mele is Middletown South junior Jack Zaleski, who was second in the superregions last and fifth in the state out of 106 when he was a freshman. This is an impressive summary, but don’t expect Mele to be intimidated.
“I feel like I can hang out with the best wrestlers if I do my best,” Mele said. “My dad told me that training meets opportunities, and I’ve been preparing for it since I was five.”
Meanwhile, Manford reached the semi-finals, defeating hard-fought Tim McCown of Hopewell by 150 pounds. The bout was closer than Manford’s previous 5-0 and 6-1 victories over McCoon, but the result is that wrestler Hopewell Jr. has yet to score any offensive points against senior Princeton.
Manford’s opponent in the semifinals will be Nick Canonica from Hunterdan Central. The two reached the district finals but did not fight when Canonica suffered from medical care.
In addition to McCown, district champions Hopewell, Luke Caldwell (106), Tyler Hersh (144 and Ben Thompson (157) were also sent to fight losses in the quarterfinals. Princeton 132-pound Martin Brophy also survived after 1-1 in the evening)
106: Patrick O’Keefe (St. John Viani) with a score of 29-6 defeated Luke Caldwell (Valley Hopewell) 21-10 (TF-1.5 5:50 (16-1); Richard Gomez (Matawan) 29-2 ). won by trial of Zachary Bidding (St. Joseph – Methuhen) 31-7 (December 9-2); Brady Klinski (Middletown North) 25-5 beat Kevin Beck (Middlesex / Dunelen) 30-4 (December 11) 25-5 6); Anthony Rossi (Hunterdon Central) with a score of 34-3 defeated Cole Rose (Princeton) with a score of 34-3 (drop 3:33)
113 Logan Roman (Old Bridge) with a score of 24-1 won from a fall over Sidge McCree (Sayreville) 24-7 (fall 0:43); Peter Plesch (Hunterdon Central) 27-4 won the court decision over Andrew Muchiola (Manalapan) 27-5 (December 2-0); Lawrence Lis (Matavan) won 27-3 by Ryan Madden (Middletown South) 18-13 (2-0 December); Anthony Knox (St. John Viani) with a score of 26-1 defeated John Whitacre (St. Joseph – Metuhan) 22-9 (TF-1.5 4:00 (25-9)) with a score of 26-1
120: Nika Kalelo (St. Joseph – Metuhen) 33-1 won by a decision on the trial of Anthony Vitola (Manalapan) 24-8 (8-1 December); Ryan Mansueta (Raritan) with a score of 26-7 won the main court decision over Justin Firan (Middletown North) 12-11 (MD 10-0); Julian Dawson (Edison) with a score of 28-5 won the court decision over Julian Duque (Ramson-Fair Haven) 22-5 (December 10-3); Jake Salzman (St. John Viani) with a score of 22-7 won over Caden King (South Middleton) 25-10 (drop 0:57)
126: Jack Zaleski (South Middleton) 28-5 wins Cole Pengborn (Ramson Fair Haven) 28-5, wins Cole Pangborn (Ramson Fair Haven) 21-10 (TF-1.5 5:35 (20-5); Blaise Mel (Princeton) 15-1 won the main decision over William Sela (Huntard Central) 22-11 (MD 8-0); Joe Giordano (St. John Viani) 22-7 won over Colin Auden Middleton North) 20-10 (4:59) Giovanni Alejandro (St. Joseph – Metuhan) 33-4 wins Vincent Cain (Manalapan) 33-4 (3:54)
132: Nika Diaz (St. John Viani) with a score of 31-5 defeated Evan Thompson (Huntingdon Central) 26-7 (For.); Anthony Bisteny (St. Joseph – Metuhan) won 27-8 by Brian Butler (Piscatoway) 26-8 (December 4-3); Braden Kmack (Raritan) 29-6 wins from fall over Vincent DePierre (Manalapan) 21-2 (fall 5:01) Phil Stolfa (Regional Red Bank) 34-2 wins over Martin Brophy (Princeton) 26-6 (drop) 34-2 4:15
138: Jackson Ratcliffe (South Brunswick) with a score of 20-2 won the court decision on the House of Terrachan (St. John Viani) 18-8 (December 7-1); Brandon Flores (Manville) with a score of 31-0 won the court decision over Francesco Rositer (Metuhen) 30-4 (December 3-1); Zack Reilly (Raritan) won 30-2 against David Rosenfarb (St. Joseph – Methuhan) 19-11 (2:18 drop)
144: David Hassie (South Middletown) wins 29-5 with Tyler Hersh (Valley Hopewell) 17-15 (TF-1.5 4:36 (22-6); Cole Stengl (St. John Viani) wins 24-9 by court order over Aidan Partne (Hunterdon Central) 29-7 (December 3-0); Alex Auletta (Raritan) 26-9 won the main decision over Jack McGowan (Metuchen) 24-12 (MD 13-2); Vincent Jen (St. Joseph) – Methuchen) 31-8 won the main court decision over Jacob Torres (Woodbridge) 26-8 (MD 16-4)
150: Nick Canonica (Hunterdon Central) 8-4 won the main court decision over Queen Peters (Raritan) 25-11 (MD 15-3); Aaron Manford (Princeton) with a score of 32-0 won the trial of Tim McCown (Valley Hopewell) 22-7 (December 2-1); Alex Quintana (Middletown South) 22-13 won the trial of Damian Ratol (Matawan) 9-5 (December 10-3); Evan Mendez (St. Joseph – Metuhan) won 32-6 by Kevin McBride (St. John Vianni) 11-9 (December 11-4)
157: Jesse Quinn (St. John Viani) 18-1 won the main court decision over Nick Castello (Ramson-Fair Haven) 26-8 (MD 19-7); Nick D’Alessio (Middlesex / Dunelen) won 28-4 by Ben Thompson (Valley Hopewell) 24-7 (December 2-1); Tyler Saga (Old Bridge) 39-1 wins from fall over Jaden Gala (Holmdel) 28-5 (Fall 3:04) ‘Tanner Peake (Hunterdon Central) 35-4 wins the main court decision over Jason Desanktis (Middletown South) 25- 6 (MD 15-2)
165: Jack Miller (Hillsborough) 23-8 won by trial of Harrison King (Middletown South) 9-6 (6-4 December); Daniel Hennessy (Old Bridge) with a score of 27-12 won the court decision on Homer Fraser (Regional) 22-14 (3-2 December); Ryan Boyer (Ramson-Fair Haven) won 25-7 with a fall over William Wilson (North Brunswick) 21-6 (Fall 3:14); Thomas Brunetti (Hunterdon Central) won 23-9 with a court decision over Thomas Cleary (St. John Viani) 14-5 (December 7-3)
175 Sabina Partella (Catholic of the Red Bank) with a score of 22-0 won by a technical fall over Jack Reiter (South Middleton) 20-14 (TF-1.5 4:00 (27-8); Daniel Fishman (Old Bridge) 28-10 wins due to injury default over Nick Andre (Spotswood) 18-4 (Inge 0:32); Joseph Witkoski (Hillsboro) 27-2 wins decision to sue Gustave DeAliveira (Woodbridge) 23-11 (7-1 December); Shay Addison (Ramson-Fair Haven) 31-1 defeated Jacob Reilly (Manville) 31-1 (0:30 drop)
190: Hudson Scow (Ramson-Fair Haven) with a score of 32-2 won in Kenny Wines (Manalapan) with a score of 32-2, 22-12 (Drop 0:57); Luke Dupont (Holmdell) with a score of 30-2 won the trial of Jack Willie (Middletown South) 23-9 (December 7-1); Mike Malucheli (Marlboro) with a score of 27-1 won the court decision on Michael Foley (St. John Viani) 21-6 (December 6-5); Brian Christie (St. Joseph – Metuhan) wins 31-9 by Nazarat Pina (Perth Amboy) 26-2 (December 13-7)
215: Nicholas Burns (Raritan) 32-2 won by trial of Robert Orzol (Old Bridge) 23-17 (December 4-0); Matthew Jones (Hillsboro) with a score of 28-2 won the court decision over Nicholas Visbeski (South Brunswick) 21-5 (December 9-5); Conor Delaney (Ramson-Fair Haven) won 13-6 due to a default injury over Devin Bruton (Red Branko Catholic) 21-5 (Eng. 1:27); Lucas Allen (Montgomery) 25-6 defeated Matthew Cody (South Middleton) 25-6 (5:05)
Chwi: Bryand Garcia (New Brunswick) with a score of 38-0 won at Conor Walsh (Sayreville) with a score of 38-0 (drop 4:44); Dante Miranda (Middletown South) with a score of 18-10 won the trial of Christian Quandt (Hillsborough) 26-4 (3-2 December); Lorenzo Partela (Catholic of the Red Bank) with a score of 23-2 won the fall in Milk Wyatt (Piscataway) 26-5 (fall 4:39); Christian Steensen (Marlboro) with a score of 34-0 won over Jake Tully (St. Joseph – Metuhan) 24-10 (drop 1:43)