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TRENTON -- After Jackson Memorial fell to defending champion Phillipsburg, 38-12, in the NJSIAA Group IV final, Jaguars head coach Aaron Gottesman had a simple if unpleasant explanation.

"They just outwrestled us in almost every match tonight," he said. "It just comes down to that."

The Stateliners took 10 of 14 bouts on Sunday at Sun National Bank Center to win their 19th NJSIAA group title in program history while denying Jackson its fifth state title. Phillipsburg's 19 state titles is second all-time to Paulsboro's 28.

Consecutive decisions by Donald Agans over Mike Christie and D.J. Wissing over Tim Hamann at 132 and 138, respectively, along with Stephen Friedman's 13-4 major decision over Hunter Reese at 145 pounds gave Phillipsburg (19-1) a 10-0 lead through three bouts. Sean Leahey got the Jaguars (19-5) on the board with a 9-4 decision over Jack Calumny at 152 pounds.

Jackson's Sean Leahey won by 9-4 decision over Phillipsburg's Jack Kaluzny at 152 pounds, but the Jaguars fell to the Stateliners 38-12 in the NJSIAA Group IV final. (Photo by Ray Richardson).
Jackson's Sean Leahey won by 9-4 decision over Phillipsburg's Jack Kaluzny at 152 pounds, but the Jaguars fell to the Stateliners 38-12 in the NJSIAA Group IV final. (Photo by Ray Richardson).

Phillipsburg's hammers awaited in the next two weights, however, and Max Elling's pin of Kyle Johnson in 5:09 and Jimmy Schuitema's 6-0 decision over Jarret DiGiantomasso at 170 put P'Burg up 19-3. The Jaguars still had a shot with firepower coming with Connor Bohringer and the turn of the lineup.

Tanner Kelly turned Drew Horun for three near-fall points in the third period for a 4-0 win at 182 pounds, and Bohringer defeated Mohamed Ahmed-Fouad 2-1 at 195 to pull the Jaguars to within 10 points at 19-9. Robert Melise then defeated Adante Davis 5-1 at 220 pounds to extend the Stateliners' lead to 22-9.

The Jaguars had a chance to make a run starting with one-loss heavyweight Brody Graham. He had a tough opponent in Kyle Nothnagel, however. The junior, who transferred from Indian Area High School outside Pittsburgh was fourth in the Pennsylvania state tournament last season. Graham won 1-0 on the strength of a second-period escape and a third-period rideout to make it 22-12 with four bouts left.

In the Central Jersey Group IV sectional final against Brick, the Jaguars rattled off four straight pins from heavyweight to 120, and in the Group IV semifinal earlier in the day used three straight pins from heavyweight to 113 in a 33-27 win over Clearview.

The same fate would not await Jackson this time.

Kyle Markus pinned Matt McGowan in 3:59 at 106 pounds to give Phillipsburg a 28-12 and effectively clinch the match with three bouts left. Tom Kosar's 4-3 win over Mike Spino at 113 officially clinched the match for Phillipsburg.

"I wish we would've been able to do it, but we just didn't win any tossups," Graham said. "We needed to win the tossups and it didn't happen."

"Hats off to them, they're a great team and a great program," Gottesman said of Phillipsburg. "They don't make mistakes and they imposed their will on us."


Box Score

Group IV


Phillipsburg 38, Jackson Memorial 12

132: Donald Agans (P) d. Mike Christie 6-3
138: D.J. Wissing (P) d. Tim Hamann 4-1
145: Stephen Friedman (P) md. Hunter Reese 13-4
152: Sean Leahey (JM) d. Jack Kaluzny 9-4
160: Max Elling (P) p. Kyle Johnson 5:09
170: Jimmy Schuitema (P) d. Jarret DiGiantomasso 6-0
182: Tanner Kelly (JM) d. Andrew Horun 4-0
195: Connor Bohringer (JM) d. Mohamed Ahmed-Fouad 2-1
220: Robert Melise (P) d. Adante Davis 5-1
Hwt: Brody Graham (JM) d. Kyle Nothnagel 1-0
106: Kyle Markus (P) p. Matt McGowan 3:59
113: Tom Kosar (P) d. Mike Spino 4-3
120: Tyler Agans (P) md. Ryan Bohringer 8-0
126: Brian Meyer (P) d. Freddy Terranova 5-1


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