A very experienced squad hosting a very inexperienced squad turned out to be an unfortunate mismatch when the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School wrestling team visited the tough Cranford Cougars on December 22. The Cougars came out firing from the opening bout at 138lbs and rumbled to a 77-0 victory.
Cougar Alex Mueller got the ball rolling at 138-lbs when he tallied an escape and a pair of takedowns before pinningAnthonyAponte in 3:59. At 144-lbs, Eoghan O’Hara recorded a second-period reversal before pinning Alex Sciaclapore in 2:55. Owen Woodruff went the long route against Mike Esteves at 150-lbs. In the first period, he recorded a takedown, nearfall and an escape to carry a 6-2 lead into the second period where he added an escape and a takedown. A takedown to a three-point nearfall in the third period earned Woodruff a 14-2 majority decision for a 16-0 Cranford lead.
Dylan Jones was next and he decided to put on a clinic with seven takedowns to go with a reversal and a nearfall to claim a 19-6 majority decision over Mike Cantwell at 157lbs. In the 165-lb bout, Jordan Chapman, who placed third in the NJSIAA Tournament last year, decided to get ruthless with his opponent, recorded two takedowns within 15 seconds and followed up with an eyebrow raising shove before recording a pin in 31 seconds.
At 175-lbs, Marcus Nock demonstrated his style with Jaden Redd. He began with a quick takedown and release, added another takedown then pinned Redd with a guillotine maneuver in 57 seconds. At 190-lbs, Joey Acinapura began his bout with John Boyle using a high crouch and lift takedown. After Boyle escaped, Acinapura came back with a double leg takedown-to-back for another 57second pin to up the Cougars’ lead to 38-0.
The 215-lb bout was between two tough guys, Cougar Jake Uliki and Noah Ricca. The two battered each other but Ricci went the wrong direction twice when Uliki attempted to throw him with a headlock. Instead of turning to a face-and-chase position, Ricca tried to get behind Uliki, who took advantage of the situation and used his hips to throw him to the mat for a five-point in the first period and another five points in the third period. With seconds remaining, Ricca was disqualified and the Cougars led 44-0.
Cougar Louis Kruk recorded a firstperiod takedown and a third-period reversal to earn a 4-1 decision over Paul Boyle at 285-lbs. The lighter weights came next and Mike Daly slicked Dan McArdle with a takedown then pinned him in 35 seconds with a single grapevine/half nelson at 106lbs. At 113-lbs, Joey Tona pulled off a duck-and-throw-by takedown before clamping Justin Ellazar in 22 seconds with a cradle.
Jim Delfino began with a quick ankle pick takedown then added a spin behind takedown before pinning Sam Lindell with a half nelson/pipe wrench in 1:10 at 120-lbs. It took only 16 seconds to end his 126-lb bout with Justin Au when Ryder Conners pinned him with a tight waist stack combination. The final bout of the evening – 132-lbs – took only 47 seconds when Brandon DiPaulo pinned Tristan Sirmans also with a tight waist stack.