Crusaders Nab Region 2 Titles, Hawks Come Up Just Short
Bergen Catholic dominated during the Region 2 tournament while River Dell struggled in the later rounds
As River Dell's DJ Tirelli and nine Bergen Catholic Crusaders battle the best of the state in Atlantic City today for a state individual title, Patch takes a look at how they got there from the Region 2 tournament.
Tirelli won his first match of the tournament when he pinned Michael Foca of Hackensack in under 30 seconds during the quarterfinals but later ran into trouble in the semifinals when facing Don Bosco's Sam Cali. Tirelli trailed early and was ultimately unable to make up enough points to move into the finals as he fell 9-1. Facing Matt Murphy (Northern Highlands) in the third place consolation, Tirelli came out fast and hard, pinning Murphy in 2:23 for a third place finish and his spot in Atlantic City.
The Hawks got off to a rough start in the first round as Brendan Campbell (145) was literally knocked out of the tournament when Campbell hit his head into the mat as Northern Highlands' Sean Kelly went for a fireman's carry takedown. Campbell, who was taken away by EMS, was cleared medically after being checked out at the hospital.
John Arancio (182) was also eliminated in the first round courtesy of a 5-2 decision by Sean Coffey (Cresskill). At the same time, Drew Nirchio (106), Cenzo Cariddi (138) and Tyler Kallensee (160) all pinned their opponents to advance to the second round.
However, Kallensee and Nirchio were handed 8-5 and 9-3 decisions in the quarterfinals to be bounced out of the tournament. Cariddi and Nick Baranello both advanced to the semifinals but had to settle for a consolation bid after facing rivals Matt Zovistoski (St. Joseph) and Christian Jenco (Bergen Catholic).
Cariddi and Baranello would both finish just short and finish fourth and just out of reach to Atlantic City.
The Crusaders placed seven athletes into the Region 2 finals and walked away with three titles as Johnny Sebastian (182) repeated as a champion and Nick Suriano (106) and Kevin Mulligan (160) picked up their first Region 2 title.
Sebastian cruised through the tournament recording a victory pin in each round by defeating Robert Askew (Mahwah) in the quarterfinals, Ryan Ribaudo (Ramsey) in the semis and then St. Joseph's Michael Silano to repeat as a title winner.
Suriano faced a familiar foe in his final bout, taking the mat against Don Bosco's Kyle Bierdumpfel, who he had defeated twice during the regular season. And round three against Bierdumpfel was no different as Suriano earned a 5-2 decision to win after previous pins in the quarter and semifinals.
Mulligan was able to take an early lead in his 160-pound finals against Brandon Latierno (Northern Highlands) and held off Latierno for a 7-0 title win. The victory was his second shut out win during the tournament after ousting Paramus' Brandon LoPresti, 3-0, in the semifinals.
Jenco, Carmine Goldsack (285), Tyler Casamenti (113), Laurien Anghelina (138), and Joe Grello (152) all settled for second place while JP Ascolese (132) fought for a third place finish.
The Crusaders' Danny DeLorenzi (145) and Troy Schaafsma (126) had to fight their way into the Region 2 tournament and escaped the first round with 3:26 and 5:49 pins, respectfully. Both were eliminated in the quarterfinals along with teammates Matt Rose (120), Gianni Hallak (170) and Connor O'Brien (195).