EAST HANOVER, NJ- Hanover Park had an exciting week as their wrestling team made the Group 2 finals in Toms River, the Lady Hornets advanced to the MCT semi-finals and the boys basketball team played a quarterfinals game against Morristown.
Girls basketball improved their winning streak to 13 games as they defeated Mendham 45-29 in a MCT quarterfinals contest. Coach Wear's team once again utilized their pressing defense which recorded 11 steals on the night and held the other team to less than 30 points for the ninth time this season. Kelsey Stites led the 17-1 Lady Hornets with 14 points and three blocked shots. Alex Petrozzino chipped in 11 points and Megan Macaluso grabbed 10 rebounds. Next up in the MCT on Fri 2/17 for the third seeded Hanover Park is second seed Jefferson.
Hanover Park boys basketball did not fair as well in their quarterfinals game against Morristown as they fell 52-45. Morristown held down the usually high scoring Hanover Park offense and limited the Hornets to only two 3 pointers. The Hornets12-6 trailed by only two entering the fourth period, but were unable to overcome the Morristown lead. Michael Boeckel scored 17 points and had five assists, while Joey Jandoli and Matt Winscuh tallied 10 points each. Next up this week are conference games versus Mt Lakes and Madison.
The Hornets team that felt the joy of victory and the sting of a loss was the wrestling team. On Friday February 10th, Hanover Park, the #1 seed, defeated Caldwell 40-18 to win the North 2 Group 2 title to earn a trip to Toms River for the Group 2 finals on Sunday, 2/12. Caldwell the #2 seed in the sectional match lead 21-9 after the first eight matches, but then Hanover Park started their comeback as Jake Bursese earned a 7-0 decision at 106 lbs. Michael Rubin and Nick Raimo recorded Technical Falls wins to grab a 28-21 lead with two matches remaining. Senior Lou Raimo than did what you dream of in your last home match, trailing 2-1 in the third period he scored the clinching pin in one quick move to send the Hanover Park fans home happy.
Sunday in Toms Rivers the Hornets jumped out to a 23-3 lead versus High Point as the Raimo brothers earned wins by a forfeit and pin along with a technical fall victory by Matt Liberto, 17-1. They were helped by decisions for Sean Conley, 6-1, and Nick Zarra, 4-1. High Point battled back and won four of the next five matches, three by pins. The Hornets lone win during this run was by senior Rory Deluca on a pin he earned in the second period. With two matches remaining and Hannover Park leading 29-27, sophomore Dom DiFrancescantonio, who won the 113 lb weight class in the MCT less than two weeks ago, earned a 12-6 decision as the Hornets held off High Point 32-30 . The Group 2 finals pitted state ranked #10 Hanover Park against #12 Delaware Valley. The first six matches were split and Hanover Park held a slim 13-12 lead. Delaware Valley than took the lead 27-13 as it earned three straight victories, two by pins in the weight class 195 thru 285. Hanover Park was not done and closed the gap to 27-22 as Bursese won 1-0 and DiFrancescantoino recorded a pin, but Delaware Valley clinched the Group 2 title 30-28 winning a decision in the 120lb match. Hanover Park received some outstanding performances during theiir run to the Group 2 finals. DiFrancescantoino, Nick and Lou Raimo along with Sean Conley all went 5-0 in their matches. Rorry Deluca also went undefeated going 4-0 while wrestling in three different weight classes 182, 195 and 220. Next up for the Hornets will be regional and individual state matches in the upcoming weeks.