Wrestling – Point Boro Tops Haddonfield For First Sectional Title Since 2007
When the season was in its infancy Point Boro head coach Pat Brady knew he had a special unit to work with, and the ultimate goal became to wrestle into February with a chance to win the program's second state sectional title.
That moment came Friday night, and in front of a raucous home crowd, the Panthers delivered to bring home the NJSIAA South Jersey Group 2 championship.
Clutch victories by senior Dylan Ippolito at 182, junior Billy Borowsky at 195 and freshman Nick Torre at 106 pounds, along with pins by senior Ben Sabo (113) and freshman Jack Bailey (120) sent the Panthers to a 34-22 victory over Haddonfield that gave Point Boro its first sectional title since 2007.
Francis Marshall won by major decision at 152 pounds and Spencer Robinson (145), John McTaggart (160) and Anthony Bonavito (Hwt) each won by decision to send Point Boro into Sunday's NJSIAA Group 2 semifinals where it will face High Point at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday at RWJBarnabas Health Arena on the campus of Toms River High School North. The winner will then faceoff against the winner of the Raritan/Hanover Park match in the Group 2 final at 5 p.m.
"It's been a really incredible journey," said Point Boro head coach Pat Brady. "So many people have been a part of this program pushing it to what it is today, I'm just blessed to be a part of it. Hopefully, we can make some noise on Sunday."
Marshall's 15-5 major decision over Sean Ellery at 160 pounds gave Point Boro a 10-3 lead after four bouts and set up a critical stretch from 170 to 220. At 170, Ryan Sansone was able to hold Haddonfield state qualifier and the Bulldogs' all-time wins leader, Chris Bolletino, to a major decision. Ippolito then followed with a 3-1 victory over Region 7 qualifier Nick DiNoia at 182, securing a takedown with 10 seconds left in the bout, to give Point Boro a 13-7 lead.
"We knew wherever Bolletino went we had to win the next weight," Brady said. "We had two seniors there (Sansone and Ippolito) who have been working hard in the program and we knew they could do it. It came down to Ippolito and he came through."
Borowsky then came through with a 6-2 win over Gabriel Klaus in a matchup of district champions to extend Point Boro's lead to 16-7. At 220, senior Gabe Fattizzi held district champ Will Murray to a 3-0 decision before Bonavito won 5-1 at heavyweight to put the Panthers up 19-10.
Torre delivered a monumental win at 106 pounds when he topped region qualifier Ryan Bolletino, 10-4, to give Point Boro a 22-10 lead with four bouts left. Sabo pinned Gabriel Goldman in just 53 seconds at 113 pounds and Bailey decked Nicholas Palmer in 2:35 at 120 to give the Panthers a 34-10 lead and clinch the match. The Panthers forfeited the final two weights and the celebration began.
"We've been progressively getting better every day and we're at our best right now," Brady said. "From top to bottom whether it was attacking bonus, saving bonus or just getting a win they performed really well tonight. The kids all believed."
Point Boro 34, Haddonfield 22
138: Luke Benedict (H) d. Ty Bailey 4-2
145: Spencer Robinson (PB) d. Jack Mooney 2-0
152: John McTaggart (PB) d. Brian Jones 8-5
160: Francis Marshall (PB) md. Sean Ellery 15-5
170: Christopher Bolletino (H) md. Ryan Sansone 21-8
182: Dylan Ippolito (PB) d. Nick DiNoia 3-1
195: Billy Borowsky (PB) d. Gabriel Klaus 6-2
220: Will Murray (H) d. Gabe Fattizzi 3-0
Hwt: Anthony Bonavito (PB) d. Matthew Pinsky 5-1
106: Nick Torre (PB) d. Ryan Bolletino 10-4
113: Ben Sabo (PB) p. Gabriel Goldman 0:53
120: Jack Bailey (PB) p. Nicholas Palmer 2:35
126: Pete Sabia (H) by forfeit
132: Declan Skelly (H) by forfeit
Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.