BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Governor Livingston varsity wrestling team defearted Henry P. Becton High School, 38-23, in Monday's NJSIAA Sectional Tournament.
The Highlanders were led by their active senior wrestlers, Shane Haddad and Jon Mele, who established their opponents falls within the first and second rounds of their matches. Each scored a total of six points, as an addition to the Highlanders final score. Junion Ryan Hoy also earned a win via forfeit.
“I don’t think we wrested too well," Wildcat head coach Mike Settenbrino said. "There were some weights that I think matches could have gone either way, and we seemed to lose all the close ones. I think we should have won a few of those, without a doubt.”
Many of the matches were not dominated by either side, forcing the wrestlers to fight for escape, reversal and takedown points if they wanted to win.
Becton's Nathan Bueno accomplished several takedowns before claiming triumph over Highlander opponent Jay Luciani.
Along with Bueno, Roy Forys accepted a technical fall, earning an additional five points for the Wildcats. Guanni Fialla, was minorly injured during his match but recovered and continued for two takedowns, an escape, and a reversal before falling to Highlander Austin Serkarik.
Becton's Tyler Loughlin scored 13 points within his individual match. In just round one, he directed opponent Jeremy Klein to one takedown, and a 2-point near fall. In round two, he finished with two takedowns, a near fall and a penalty point. Although Klein responded with several escapes, Loughlin earned his team the 3-point decision.
Half way into the tournament’s weight class, the Highlanders were at an 18-point lead. The Wildcats grappled to catch up but the game ended in a GL victory, moving them forward to the next level of sectionals.
“Everyone did pretty well today," Governor Livingston's Shane Haddad said. "Basically everyone just did their job, and we came in on top.”
He hopes that they “can keep winning the tournament and win a section title.”
GL wrestling head coach, Richard Iacono, leads the Highlanders to their next competition on Wednesday against a yet to be determined opponent.