Wrestling: High Point Defeats Sparta 54-15

Ian Burke of Sparta locks in a half nelson for

SPARTA, NJ - The High Point Wrestling Team improved their record to 12-4 on the year after a 54-15 mauling of Sparta on Wednesday.

 “I was happy with the performance the kids obviously wrestled well,” said High Point Head Coach John Gardner. “There’s some things that we still need to get better at….we’re going to keep working, we may run out of time but we’re going to keep working and stay patient.”

Sparta kicked off the match with an early victory at the 182 pounds class. Ryan May’s first period pin came less than thirty seconds into the match to give Sparta the early 6-0 lead.

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 The Wildcats took control back by scoring victories in each of the next three matches on the night at 195, 220, and 285 to take a 12-6 lead. Kyle Stoll and Gunther Wassong each collected decision victories at the 195 and 285 pounds class, while Robert McDonnell added a pin-fall at 220 to give High Point their first lead. The victory for McDonnell was his 19th of the season good enough for fourth on the team.

 “[McDonnell]’s having a real nice season. He’s been with us for three years and he’s doing a real nice job. He’s starting to pick things up a little more and create a little more action and when he gets going he’s tough,” Gardner said.

The Spartans fought back to tie the match up at 12, thanks to Garret Gerndt. Gerndt’s first period pinfall earned the freshman his 15th victory of the season for Sparta and temporarily changed the momentum to force a critical match at 113.

The Wildcats sensing the match was potentially on the line, turned to their reliable lightweights in Dominick Gallo and Jared Kobis. The two underclassmen who’ve combined for 44 wins this year delivered with back-to-back pin-fall victories at the 113 and 120 pounds class to put High Point up 24-12.

 “I was wrestling kind of precautious at first and then I tried to open it up after I scored the first four points,” said Kobis. “It definitely [helps] when we’re ahead by some and we all feel like we can wrestle better and we don’t have to have so much pressure on us.”

A victory at 126 by Sparta’s Ian Burke temporarily broke the two-match win streak for the Wildcats. Burke’s decision victory gave him an even 20 on the season as he holds the most victories in 2013 for any Spartan wrestler.

High Point eventually ran away with the contest, gaining victories in each of the final six matches on the night. Jason Gaccione and Antonio Porraspita gained first period pin-falls at the 145 and 170 pounds class, while Ryan Cullin and Thomas Hooker each added second period falls at the 132 and 152 pounds class respectively. Chris Auer and Moses Yasin each won their bouts at 138 and 160 with decision victories.

“These are kids that have done a good job with us, they’re working hard and hopefully getting a little better each day,” said Gardner.

Sparta’s loss drops them to 10-4 on the season as they look to break a three match losing streak. The Spartans will take on Hopatcong High School on Saturday looking to get back to their winning ways.

High Point’s victory on the other hand, improves them to 12-4 on the year as they look to improve heading into Counties and States. They will take on Mount Olive on Monday looking to continue their successful season.



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