MONTVILLE, NJ - After winning the program's second sectional title and first in 10 years on Friday night, the Montville wrestling team looked to achieve even more on Sunday as it had the chance to wrestle in the Group 3 tournament.
But in the semifinals, the Mustangs fell just short, as it dropped a 33-30 loss to Delsea, ending the team's hopes for its first-ever state group title at RWJ Barnabas Health Arena in Toms River.
The Mustangs ended their dual season with a 15-7 record. Individually, its wrestlers will still have the opportunity to compete in the upcoming district tournament this weekend, followed by the regional tournament and the state tournament the next two weekends.
Montville fell behind early in the match, which started with the 138lb weight class. It lost the first four bouts of the match- one via pin, and three via decision- which put the team in an early 15-0 hole.
Michael Conrad won via fall in 2:39 at 170, which gave Montville its first win of the day. But then, at 182, Zach Stolz-Illge lost via pin in 1:16, and Montville trailed, 21-6.
However, Montville managed to get itself back into the match with four consecutive victories. At 195, Alex Garcia won by sudden victory, 5-3. The 220 bout saw Delsea forfeit to Joe Daddario, before Chris DeFrank won in a tiebreaker, 4-3, over Matthew Kratzer at 285.
Aaron Kurzer then pinned Pierre Stokes in 2:38 at 106, and Montville had its first lead of the day at 24-21.
But Delsea managed to put the match away with three consecutive wins, beginning with a 4-0 decision at 113, followed by a pin at 120 and a 7-0 decision at 126, which officially clinched the win for Delsea with one bout to go.
At 132, Nick Gentile pinned Delsea's Justin Dougherty in 2:28 to end the match.
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