The Shore Daily, 1/22/15
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Before I get started, a quick plug for our great sponsor, Sansone Jr's 66 Automall in Neptune, that can help make your winter a little more bearable. As part of their Teen Safe Driving program, they are giving away a free remote starter kit worth $299. All you have to do is text MVP to 89000 to enter to win, so when everyone else is out there scraping and shivering while trying to get the car to warm up, you walk out the door and you're good to go.
Now, on to today's news, which is headlined by the epic Brick Memorial-Jackson Memorial wrestling match in Class A South last night. Brick Memorial pulled out a 27-26 thriller after a showdown of unbeaten wrestlers at heavyweight decided the outcome.
Sophomore Nick Rivera was down 1-0 in the third period to Jackson Memorial's Brody Graham, who was a Shore Sports Network first-team All-Shore pick as a defensive end in the fall, when Rivera rallied to clinch the win. Graham was millimeters away from pressing him to the mat for a pin when Rivera got his right arm free, hooked Graham's head and hit a stunning five-point Peterson roll for an eventual 6-2 victory that sealed the win and gave Brick Memorial no worse than a tie for the division title.
The town of Brick has now used the Peterson roll twice to devastating effect against Jackson Memorial this season in essentially the exact same scenario. On Dec. 30, Brick Township upset the Jaguars on criteria because Brick's Tommy Costanza hit a five-point Peterson roll with 10 seconds left in the bout for a stunning 5-4 win at 145 pounds. Just like Rivera's win last night, it came in the next-to-last bout of the match and all but officially sealed the team victory.
Bob Badders has a great in-depth look at last night's match with video highlights, as there were many more heroes than just Rivera for the Mustangs. The match featured all types of twists and turns, with toss-up bouts going to overtime and underdogs coming up with wins. Kyle Poling's win on a takedown at the edge of the mat at 220 for Brick Memorial was another one that sent the home crowd into delirium.
Brick Memorial has no time to rest, as it faces another Top 10 team, Southern, on Friday in its bid to clinch the Class A South title and then has a big day against multiple state-ranked teams on Saturday. Usually Brick Memorial and Jackson Memorial would have a good shot at slugging it out again in the NJSIAA Tournament, but the creation of Group V in wrestling this season has killed that possibility, unfortunately. Brick Memorial is now in South Jersey Group V, while the Jaguars are in Central Jersey Group IV.
Most of the wrestling slate last night was wiped out by the weather, but one other match of note was No. 6 Long Branch taking a 35-21 win over Ocean that locked down the Class B North title for the Green Wave. Andy Hernandez's technical fall at 126 sealed the win, and 220-pounder Joey Jasio improved to 16-1 with a 4-0 decision over Viet Le. Long Branch has a big one on Saturday when it wrestles No. 1 Howell in a nondivisional match.
In football news, the most high-profile uncommitted recruit remaining in the Shore, Barnegat offensive lineman Sam Madden, who de-committed from Wisconsin last week, has upcoming visits scheduled for a pair of SEC programs in Georgia and South Carolina. Also, Brick Memorial senior WR/DB Karl Kumm and his teammate, senior DB Joe Hans, picked up offers from Wagner on Wednesday.
Finally, in football/baseball news, Brick senior Carmen Sclafani chose Rutgers baseball over FCS football offers in announcing his college decision on Wednesday night. Read about it here.
More on Thursday:
- "Way to go, Paul." Crazy hockey dads are the craziest of high school sports dads, while also being strong enough to shatter glass with a single slap.
- Southern California may soon be joining the "everybody makes the playoffs in high school football" movement that the NJSIAA is already fully on board with.
- The man who invented instant replay died at 81 years old, possibly from watching the Dez Bryant play over and over.
- Camden basketball legend Dajuan Wagner, 31, who is the state's all-time leading scorer, is trying to make one last run at a pro career.
- Five people in the world who were born in the 1800s are still alive.
- A diehard Orange fan nearly named his daughter Sara Cuse, but settled for a compromise.
- I know I shouldn't get my hopes up, but the NBA dunk contest could be kind of awesome this year with these guys in it.
On tap for tonight: In boys basketball, the big game is No. 2 Red Bank at No. 9 Wall at 6:30 p.m. in Class B North. Wall is in sole possession of first place in Class B North and the visiting Bucs are one game behind after an overtime loss to Red Bank Catholic on Tuesday, so Wall can put some distance between itself and the rest of the pack or it could be a wide-open race again. Wall enters on an eight-game winning streak and has been unbeatable on its home court. Red Bank beat the Crimson Knights in the season opener by a point, so Wall will try to avenge its only divisional loss as the second turn through the divisional schedule begins.
The other game to watch is Southern at Toms River South at 6:30 p.m. as the Rams try to keep pace with Toms River North in the Class A South race while the Indians try to inject themselves into the mix as we head down the stretch.