Thrive Spine & Sports Rehab Wrestler of the Week: Howell’s Nieko Malone
Every week this season, Shore Conference wrestling fans will have their chance to vote for the Thrive Spine & Sports Rehab Shore Conference Wrestler of the Week on our website.
The Week 4 Shore Conference Wrestler of the Week is Howell junior Nieko Malone, who had an undefeated week that included a monumental pin in the Rebels’ win over High Point in a clash of state powers.
Malone’s win by fall with four bouts left served as the uppercut in Howell’s 37-36 win over High Point on criteria (most points scored, 11-10) in a matchup of two top-10 teams in New Jersey. He was 4-0 for the week with three pins and one major decision, and so far this week he has added another win by fall to improve to 11-2 on the season. Both losses came when Howell wrestled in the loaded Powerade Tournament in late December.
Malone is the reigning Shore Conference Tournament champion and will defend his 126-pound title when the SCT is held from Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at Red Bank Regional High School. Before then, Malone and Howell will be looking to wrap up a 15th consecutive Class A North division title and continue in their quest to earn the No. 1 seed for the South Jersey Group 5 state tournament.
Malone was the runaway winner of the vote with 47.4 percent of the votes. Point Boro’s Gavin O’Connor was second for his last-second win that helped the Panthers defeat Lacey in a crucial Class B South match.