TOMS RIVER, NJ - The South Plainfield High School wrestling team's hard-fought 2019-2020 dual season came to end on Sunday afternoon.
Despite having 10 starters from last year's state-title winning team graduate, the young South Plainfield squad still managed to fight their way to Toms River for a Group 2 semifinal matchup.
The Tigers had their work cut out for them, as they were matched up against a tough West Deptford team.
South Plainfield's grapplers fought hard, but the Eagles talent proved to be too much, especially in the later bouts, and South Plainfield had its dual season and its hopes for a fifth straight state title end with a 36-27 loss.
The Tigers had worked their way to a 27-21 lead with three bouts left in the dual, but West Deptford clinched the match by securing a decision victory and two pins to close out the final matches.
West Deptford's Gavin Gismondi cut into South Plainfield's six-point lead by edging out a 4-0 decision over Daniel Borsos at 160. Jordyn Roane gave the Eagles a 30-27 lead by pinning Aidan McKenzie at 170, and Gavin Shields clinched the win by closing the dual with a pin at 182 pounds, over Kenneth Clevenger.
South Plainfield recorded five wins during the dual. Thomas Renna took a 7-4 decision in the opening bout at 195 pounds, over Cody Thurston. J.J Giordano made quick work of Jacob McDonald by securing a 35 second pin at 106.
Jacob DelVecchio got a quick pin of his own at 120 pounds, by taking a first period fall over Mike Amoriello. Anthony White moved his record to 31-0 with a pin over Justin-Monzo-Hull at 126, and Xavier Santo recorded a first period pin on Brad Schultes at 152 pounds.
The Tigers end its dual season with an 18-8 record, with six of those losses coming against teams who were at one point ranked in NJ.com's Top 20, and one at the hands of a top-tier Virginia program.
The Tigers' efforts will now shift towards defending its district title next week. South Plainfield hopes to improve upon its state record 35 straight district titles.