CRANFORD - Revenge is oh so sweet.
Cranford's Luke DiGiovanni pinned Union County 138 lb Champion Nicholas Stampoulos of Brearley as Cranford cruised past Brearley, 72-12, on Wednesday night.
Digiovanni and Stampoulos faced off last month in the final round of the Union County Tournament where Stampoulos took a 9-2 decision victory. DiGiovanni went into Wednesday night believing he learned from his previous mistakes.
"I know he's a tough competitor and I knew he was going to come at me hard as hell the whole time," said DiGiovanni. "I knew I just had to keep coming back at him and I couldn't let it get to me and fluster me. I practiced working with someone else's pressure and using it against them and just being able to control my thoughts and breathing. Those little things are the things that make the big difference."
DiGiovanni fell into a first period 0-2 hole when Stampoulos recorded an early takedown. After getting a point back via escape, DiGiovanni was able to score a takedown of his own, and in one motion, roll Stampoulos into a pin at 4:56.
Following a 44-22 team loss to rival Westfield, DiGiovanni believes the team was quick to brush-off the defeat and get back to work.
"Continuously getting back into the room after taking a hard loss like that and making things like that make you better is what (Coach) Gorman preaches, that's what my brothers preach, and we try to preach it to the younger guys," said DiGiovanni.
In total, the Cougars recorded seven falls and five forfeit wins while dropping just two matches on the night. Will Fernandez at 106 opened up the meet with the quickest fall of the night at 1:02.
106: Will Fernandez (Cranford) over Vaughn Marranca (Brearley) (Fall 1:02)
113: Mason Hooey (Cranford) over Paul Stillman (Brearley) (Fall 3:05)
120: Patrick Kalnins (Cranford) over Brearley (For.)
126: Patrick Phillips (Brearley) over Brendan Reilly (Cranford) (Fall 1:40)
132: Jimmy Gluck (Cranford) over Brearley (For.)
138: Luke DiGiovanni (Cranford) over Nicholas Stampoulos (Brearley) (Fall 4:56)
145: Colin Murray (Cranford) over Atan Levy (Brearley) (Fall 1:33)
152: Gavin Jones (Cranford) over Wester Soto (Brearley) (Fall 4:17)
160: Shane Kanterman (Cranford) over Brearley (For.)
170: John Braun (Brearley) over Chris Hecht (Cranford) (Fall 1:03)
182: Justin Alpaugh-Mclean (Cranford) over Christian Pereira (Brearley) (Fall 1:20)
195: Evan Kanterman (Cranford) over Brearley (For.)
220: Dylan McDonald (Cranford) over Abner Arias (Brearley) (Fall 1:05)
285: Kevin Shriner (Cranford) over Brearley (For.)
Wednesday night closed-out the regular season for the Cougars. Cranford has received the fourth seed in the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 State Tournament, and will take on fifth-seeded Middletown South in the quarterfinal (first) round at home on Monday at 7 p.m.