POINT PLEASANT – Lacey was threatening to take the division title away from two-time defending champion Point Boro, but Billy Borowsky was not about to let that happen. Not on his watch. Not in his home gym.

In the third-to-last bout of a critical Class B South match on Friday night, Borowsky pinned Lacey’s Vinny Ceglie late in the second period at 220 pounds to send the Panthers to a wild 33-29 victory over the No. 9 Lions that cleared a major hurdle toward winning a third straight division title.

“I went out there knowing I needed to win and I had to do whatever it took to win,” Borowsky said.

The six team points gave Point Boro an 11-point lead with two bouts left, and when sophomore Josh Henderson avoided getting pinned at heavyweight [losing 7-5 in overtime to Gerard O’Connell] it clinched the match. The Panthers won just six of the 14 bouts but won by fall five times to once again get past their division rivals.

“In a Friday night dual this is a tough place to wrestle,” said Point Boro head coach Pat Brady. “The kids really responded. They enjoy it, they want to be put in that situation and they responded in every single match. Total team effort.”

Entering the 220-pound bout between Borowsky and Ceglie, Lacey had won three consecutive bouts to cut Point Boro’s lead to 27-22. If Borowsky, a state qualifier last season, would have won by decision it would have given Lacey a chance to win the match with nine points in the final two bouts, and that was certainly a possibility with O’Connell favored at heavyweight and standout freshman Brady Carter lurking at 106. The Panthers needed more.

Ceglie struck first with a takedown to go up 2-0, but Borowsky was able to get back to his feet to make it 2-1 entering the first period. The positional choice was Lacey’s and the Lions elected to have Ceglie take defense. Borowsky couldn’t believe it.

“I was a little shocked when he took bottom because he knows I can pin him,” Borowsky said. “The first time we wrestled this year [at the Garden State Classic] I pinned him from top.”

No matter what happened in the second period, Point Boro was going to have Borowsky choose the top position in the third period, giving him four minutes to try to turn Ceglie. As the second period was about to begin, Brady yelled out to Borowsky, but he didn’t have to say much.

“Billy! Brady said, followed by a single, loud clap. “Let’s go!”

“Billy is a hammer and certainly a hammer on top,” Brady said. “When he took down we knew he had to go to work. That’s when I looked at Bill and we knew it was time.”

Borowsky went to work with a variety of holds, trying for a hammerlock and then attempting to work a power half.

“I knew I couldn’t rush it,” Borowsky said. “I was just looking for something to work, just anything to get him to his back I was going to try.”

Finally, with 10 seconds and counting left in the period, Borowsky ran a half nelson and put Ceglie to his back for the fall at the 3:53 mark.

“He’s been doing that since he was a freshman,” Brady said. “he came into the program and he’s had some big wins the whole time. I’ve known Billy for a long time and it’s nice for a coach to see a kid who’s matured through the program go out and have a successful moment like that.”

Point Boro began the match with a pair of wins as sophomore Nick Torre won by fall over Andre Ferrauiolo at 113 pounds and junior James Latendorf won 7-3 over Vinny Fantasia at 120 pounds for a 9-0 lead. Lacey answered with three straight wins to take a 12-9 lead. Colin Rolak won 9-3 over Chandler Jamarino at 126 pounds, Liam Sanger clipped Chris Criscuolo, 3-2, at 132 and three-time state qualifier Hunter Gutierrez won by fall over Justin Hanf at 138.

Point Boro then went on a run of three straight pins to take a 27-12 lead, and it started with a highlight-reel comeback by sophomore Jack Bailey. Trailing 3-0 to Zach Higgins in the second period of their 145-pound bout, Baily hit a Peterson Roll to pin Higgins at the 3:44 mark and give the Panthers a 15-12 lead.

“I was on bottom circling out and when I felt that arm come around my waist and saw that leg in front of me I took the opportunity,” Bailey said. “I rolled right through, held it was tight as I could and leaned back. I just felt it coming and it triggered in my head: there’s the Peterson.”

“You never count a Bailey out,” Brady said. “Those kids are great. They’re tough, hard-nosed throwbacks, and that’s where that Peterson came from. They work hard and the reward was there.”

At 152, junior Ty Bailey pinned Steven McGauley in 50 seconds and senior Spencer Robinson followed by pinning Michael Angelo Santiago in 3:26 at 160 pounds to open up a 15-point lead.

Lacey took the next three bouts to get into position but Borowsky foiled the Lions’ plan, delivering the message that the Class B South title runs through Point Pleasant.

“We have some senior leadership with Spencer and Billy who have been in these big situations and they’ve done a great job leading this team and showing them the way to prepare, and that showed tonight,” Brady said. “Those kids bounced on the mat and everyone did something for the team. Everyone accomplished our team goal.”


Box Score

Point Boro 33, No. 9 Lacey 29

113: Nick Torre (PB) p. Andre Ferrauiolo 1:29

120: James Latendorf (PB) d. Vinny Fantasia 7-3

126: Colin Rolak (L) d. Chandler Jamarino 9-3

132: Liam Sanger (L) d. Chris Criscuolo 3-2

138: Hunter Gutierrez (L) p. Justin Hanf 0:58

145: Jack Bailey (PB) p. Zach Higgins 3:44

152: Ty Bailey (PB) p. Steven McGauley 0:50

160: Spencer Robinson (PB) p. Michael Angelo Santiago 3:26

170: Logan Carter (L) d. Paul Franceschini 9-2

182: Jackson Brandt (L) md. Andrew Witkowski 13-0

195: Quint Kearns (L) d. Scott Franceschini 8-7

220: Billy Borowsky (PB) p. Vinny Ceglie 3:53

285: Gerard O’Connor (L) d. Josh Henderson 7-5 OT

106: Brady Carter (LB) md. Lucas Torre 19-6


Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at bob.badders@townsquaremedia.com. 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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