BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - No. 4 seed Gov. Livingston wrestling team advanced to the NJSIAA Section 2, Group 3 semifinals with a 39-25 win over No. 5 West Essex on Monday at home in the quarterfinals.  

In Monday's victory, GL got wins by pin from Turner Haddad (170 pounds), Chris Bottone (182 pounds), Jack Blasch (195 pounds), Jake Pecorelli (106 pounds), and Nic Mele (126 pounds).

"The kids are wrestling good, I'm hoping it's the right time -- we are getting kids back into the line-up, so that helps," said GL head coach Rick Ortega. "We will work hard tomorrow -- and going to Nutley. -- I told them: bonus point, bonus points, bonus points --  they did a good job."

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Quinn Haddad (160 pounds) opened the match with a convincing 5-1 decision allowing only one escape in the third period. Dan Tomlinson at 285 pounds won by forfeit.

GL was up 33-3 through the first 7 matches and dropped the next three of four.

With the score 33 - 13, Nic Mele, who was wrestling up at 126 pounds, was determined to take down his opponent.  He was down 2-1 after the first period, Mele took down his opponent in the second and captured the pin at 3:18.


Advancing in the sectionals is something the senior wrestlers have been hoping for. "It's big, we haven't won a section match since my freshman year," said Mele. "We got metnailly prepared over the past few days and we came out and got the job done tonight."

Although GL lost the last four bouts by decision, they did not give up any extra bonus points and held onto the lead for the 39-25 victory to advance to the semifinal round against No. 1 seed Nutley on Wednesday. 

GL Box Score:

GL vs West Essex Win/Loss
GL Jake Pecorelli def Billy Garofalo (106 lb)   Win by pin 0.36
Mike Ruane def Matt Hoy (113 lb) Loss by pin 1:33
Jonathan Bartley def GL David Vill (120 lb) Loss by maj. dec. 
GL Nic Mele def Marco Macrino (126 lb) Win by pin 3:18
RJ Bell def GL James Snyder (132 lb) Loss by 8-6 dec.
Chris Zaccaria def GL Austin Senkaric (138 lb) Loss by 11-7 dec
Nah Struss def GL Andrew Gallitelli (145 lb) Loss by 6-2 dec
Matthew Jones def GL Nick DeLuca (152 lb) Loss by 5-1 dec
GL Quinn Haddad def Santo Dicondina (160 lb) Win by 5-1 dec
GL Turner Haddad def Anthony Gulla (170 lb) Win by pin 0:15
GL Chris Bottone def Joseph Gambino (182 lb) Win by pin 3:38
GL Jack Blasch def Anthony Corso (195 lb) Win by pin 2:36
GL Ben Collins def Francis Hunter (220 lb) Win by 4-1 dec
GL Dan Tomlinson (285 lb) Win by Forfeit