For the 11th time in the last 14 seasons, Southern Regional hoisted an NJSIAA state sectional championship trophy.

The Rams, ranked No. 12 in the NJWWA Top 20, used pins by John Stout (182) Matt Mackanic (Hwt), Matt Brielmeier (106) and Robert Woodcock (132) to out-point No. 18 Kingsway, 33-29, and take home the NJSIAA South Jersey Group 5 title on Friday night.

Southern topped Kingsway, 33-29, to win the South Jersey Group 5 sectional title.
Southern topped Kingsway, 33-29, to win the South Jersey Group 5 sectional title.


The teams split the bouts, 7-7, but the four pins by the Rams plus decisions by Matt Barnett (132), Nick O'Connell (152) and Dan Gorman (160) sent the Rams back to their customary spot in the state semifinals. Southern will wrestle North 2, Group 5 champion Watchung Hills in the Group 5 semifinals at 9 a.m. on Sunday at RWJ/Barnabas Health Arena on the campus of Toms River High School North. The winner will then take on the winner of the Howell/West Orange match in the Group 5 final at 2 p.m. Watchung Hills is ranked No. 13 in the state and is coming of its first sectional title in program history.

Southern led 18-6 through five bouts thanks to the pins by Stout, Mackanic and Brielmeier, but Kingsway started to make its run beginning with a technical fall from McKenzie Bell at 113. Cheney Kinner followed with a 5-2 win over Owen Kretchmer at 120 pounds and Finnegan McFadden edged Sebastian Delligatti, 10-9, at 126 to cut Southern's lead to 18-14. The Rams responded with a 5-1 victory by Barnett over Jake Gentile at 132 and Woodcock's first-period pin of John Sambogna put the Rams back in control, 27-17, with four bouts left.

Defending state champion Quinn Kinner pinned Nick Pepe midway through the second period to make it 27-23 but returning state medalist Nick O'Connell survived a scare from Ryan Crane to win 10-9 at 152 pounds and put Southern up by seven points with two bouts left. Gorman then clinched the match with a 3-1 victory over Kevin Pandorf at 160 pounds.

Southern's 12 sectional titles are second all-time in the Shore Conference behind Brick Memorial's 15. The Rams are going for their third state group title on Sunday, which would tie them with Long Branch for the third-highest total in the Shore behind Brick Memorial and Jackson Memorial.

Box Score

Southern 33, Kingsway 29

182: John Stout (S) p. Dalvin Johns 3:52

195: Aleis Almanzar (K) d. Ben LoParo 3-1

220: Sean Horner (K) d. J.T. Cornelius 5-2

Hwt: Matt Mackanic (S) p. Jaylen Shanklin 1:37

106: Matt Brielmeier (S) p. Lance Crawford 1:14

113: McKenzie Bell (K) tf. Jayson Scerbo 4:27 (16-0)

120: Cheney Kinner (K) d. Owen Kretschmer 5-2

126: Finnegan McFadden (K) d. Sebastian Delligatti 10-9

132: Matt Barnett (S) d. Jake Gentile 4-1

138: Robert Woodcock (S) p. John Sambogna 1:48

145: Quinn Kinner (K) p. Nick Pepe 3:03

152: Nick O'Connell (S) d. Ryan Crane 10-9

160: Dan Gorman (S) d. Kevin Pandorf 3-1

170: Noah Falabella (K) by forfeit

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