Peaking at the end of the season is the goal for every team, and in that regard, Jackson Memorial is right where it wants to be.

The top-seeded Jaguars rocked second-seeded Colts Neck, 55-8, to capture the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group 4 sectional championship on Friday night inside Joe Perry Gymnasium. Jackson jumped out to a 23-0 lead by winning the first five bouts and won 12 bouts in all with bonus points in eight victories. Brad Galassi (195), Kyle Epperly (220), Lance Hobbs (113), Nick White (132) and Damian Lipari (138) won by fall, Hunter Smith (160) won by technical fall and Brett Blaess (106) and Carsten DiGiantomasso (152) won by major decision to the Jags their 10th sectional title in program history.

Photo from @JMHSWrestling on Twitter.
Photo from @JMHSWrestling on Twitter.

“The guys on the team have only gotten better throughout the year and that showed tonight,” said Jackson Memorial head coach Doug Withstandley. “Matches on paper where Colts Neck may have been favored, we won all those toss-up matches and really dominated.”

In the second bout of the match, senior Leo Shimonovich won 9-6 over Ken Koenig at 170 pounds. Shimonovich was third in District 25 last season and entered the match with a 15-11 record. Koenig was 23-7 and finished fourth at this season’s the Shore Conference Tournament. Sophomore Nick White has a record under .500 but won by fall over Bradford Zajac at 132 pounds. Sophomore Damian Lipari (7-5) pinned Joe LaPorta (13-8) at 138 pounds.

“They’re peaking at the right time and you can’t ask for anything more than to get the best performances out of your team in championship matches,” Withstandley said.

Senior Vin Scollo won 5-1 over Logan Waller at 120 pounds, repeating the result and score from the SCT final. Brock Winston won by 7-3 decision over Michael Jannucci at 182 pounds in a matchup of returning district champions. Epperly bumped up to 220 pounds and improved to 32-0 on the season.

Jackson is seeded second in the Group 4 tournament and will face Kingsway in the semifinals at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday at Toms River North’s RWJBarnabas Health Arena. Phillipsburg will wrestle Wayne Valley in the other semifinal and the winners will meet in the Group 4 title match at 5 p.m. Jackson defeated Kingsway 35-29 during the regular season and matches up very well with Phillipsburg should they meet the Stateliners in the final.

“Once you get to championship Sunday you have a shot, anything can happen,” Withstandley said. “It’s two matches for a state title and in high school sports any team can be beaten on any given day.”


Box Score

1-Jackson Memorial 55, 2-Colts Neck 8

Hunter Smith (Jackson Memorial) over Liam Hughes (Colts Neck) (TF 22-7 5:41)
Leo Shimonovich (Jackson Memorial) over Kenneth Koenig (Colts Neck) (Dec 9-6)
Brock Winston (Jackson Memorial) over Michael Jannucci (Colts Neck) (Dec 7-3)
Brad Galassi (Jackson Memorial) over Jovani Velazquez-Ruiz (Colts Neck) (Fall 4:34)
Kyle Epperly (Jackson Memorial) over Matthew Jannucci (Colts Neck) (Fall 1:00)
Thomas Lidondici (Colts Neck) over Mike Fiore (Jackson Memorial) (Dec 5-1)
Brett Blaess (Jackson Memorial) over Michael Lyristis (Colts Neck) (MD 20-9)
Lance Hobbs (Jackson Memorial) over Eli Novoselov (Colts Neck) (Fall 3:50)
Vincent Scollo (Jackson Memorial) over Logan Waller (Colts Neck) (Dec 5-1)
Chris McDonald (Jackson Memorial) over Nicholas Moldaver (Colts Neck) (Dec 3-2)
Nick White (Jackson Memorial) over Bradford Zajac (Colts Neck) (Fall 2:54)
Damien Lipari (Jackson Memorial) over Joseph LaPorta (Colts Neck) (Fall 3:42)
Luke Rada (Colts Neck) over Mike Rauch (Jackson Memorial) (TF 15-0 1:59)
Cartsen DiGiantomasso (Jackson Memorial) over Joseph Cilea (Colts Neck) (MD 12-2)


Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.


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