EAST HANOVER, NJ- There were many accomplishments for Hanover Park sports teams this past winter season. One State Wrestling Champion , two North Jersey 2 Group 2 titles, two conference titles, two winning streaks of 10 or more games and a home record of 33-2 and that’s not all. Both boys and girls basketball coaches reached milestones in career wins and one player reached the 1000 points total for their career at Hanover Park.
Sophomore, Nick Raimo, became the fourth Hornet’s wrestler to earn a state title with his 10-4 victory in the 126lb weight class in Atlantic City. Nick also took first in District 11 and Region 3 matches. Hanover Park’s season record was 17-6 and wrestled one of the toughest schedules as they had matches against five teams ranked in the N.J. top twenty and the nation’s number one team in Blair Academy.
This demanding schedule helped Coach James Lavalle’s squad to a North Jersey 2 Gr 2 and conference title. They finished second in the MCT and District 11 team standings. Led by seniors Lou Ramio and Rory Deluca, along with juniors Matt Liberato, Sean Conley and sophomore Dom DiFrancescantoino the Hornets advanced 11 wrestlers to the regions and six made the trip to Atlantic City.
The Lady Hornets had an outstanding 25-3 season. They were undefeated in there conference, 12-0, and captured the North Jersey 2 Group 2 title with a convincing 47-30 victory over Hackettstown. During the run to the Group 2 title, H.anover Park outscored the other team by almost 20 points per game. Head Coach Doug Wear was hoping for a successful season with four senior players returning and they did not disappoint as they had a 15 game winning streak and a stretch were they won 21 out of 22 games.
The team presented Wear with his 300 career win , when they defeated Ridgefield Park in a state contest 52-26 at home on March 3rd. Ava Gammo, a senior co-captain who will attend Scranton next season on a scholarship, was one of the four core players. This past season she was Coach Wear's most consistent player averaging 11.4 points a game along with 3.9 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 3.4 assists per contest. Ava finished with 944 career points and 121 three-pointers. Another senior co-captain Alexa Petrozzino, 10 points per game, scored 22 points in the state win over Garfield and tied Ava for three pointers in the season with 49. Alexa had 164 three-pointers for her career.
The third senior was Alexa Bursese who picked the perfect time to have her best game of the year. She scored 19 points (16 in the first half) in the Hackettstown game. The scrappy 5'1" guard averaged 6.3 points a game and recorded 245 rebounds in her four seasons at Hanover Park. Senior number four was Emily Seymour and her job on the team was to control the defensive and offensive boards against taller players. She also picked the Hackettstown game to shine, while only scoring 2 points, her all around play and grabbing 10 rebounds while hustling all over the court was a main contribution to securing the Group 2 title. She averaged five rebounds a game for the season. What must be mentioned was the stellar defense that Hanover Park played all year allowing only 32.8 points a game.
Boys basketball started off a little uncertainly and stood at 5-4 in early January. Head Coach Todd Hartman was a little concerned with only two returning seniors, Joey Jandoli and Matt Winschuh, but with their leadership and the play of junior point guard, Michael Boeckel, the offense started clicking and the team went on a 17-3 run, including a 10 game winning streak.
Hanover Park presented coach Hartman with his 200th career win at Hanover Park in a victory over Dover 78-54 on January 20th. The high scoring offense averaged 68 points a game (80 pts at home games) was led by Jandoli and Winschuh who both averaged 18.4 a game. Boeckel was in the top 10 assist leaders in the state with 7.8 per game and also chipped in 13 points a game.
The team finished second in their conference and had a chance to do something no other Hanover Park team had done in over 40 years, but a taller and quicker West Side team ended the Group 2 run and season for the Hornets. Both Jandoli and Winschuh ended outstanding careers at Hanover Park with Matt finishing his career at 1136 points (202 three-pointers) and Joey averaging 7.5 rebounds this season, along with 122 three-pointers while playing for the Hornets.