LITTLE SILVER – Joe Teresi entered the Shore Conference Tournament with predictable expectations for a No. 20 seed in a 24-man bracket. But when day one came to a close Teresi had earned himself an unlikely spot among the “elite 8” thanks to a shocking comeback.

Trailing 10-0 midway through the second period against the No. 4 seed, Middletown North’s Austin Dewise, Teresi rolled Dewise to his back and pinned him at the 3:06 mark to advance to Saturday morning’s SCT quarterfinals. When the heavyweights hit a big throw or a roll it’s affectionally called the “fat-man’s roll”. But for Ocean’s undersized freshman heavyweight, they call it the “Joe-Joe roll”.

“He’s a lighter heavyweight and I know it sounds like I’m making it up but a 235-pound kid hits a fat-man roll a lot quicker than a 285-pound kid,” said Ocean head coach Cippy Apicelli. “A kid like Dewise, who is athletic as hell, didn’t recover. Right before it happened we’re telling him to go for it and then he did it.”

“I didn’t think I was going to make it that far but I pushed myself to the mindset that I can win, and so far, I have,” Teresi said.

Dewise had built a big lead by putting Teresi to his back in the first period and looked to be well on his way to advancing. Teresi’s efforts and ability to hit a home-run move proved the old wrestling mantra of never being out of a match as long as there’s time on the clock.

“That kid (Dewise) is really good and at 10-0, you just have to keep believing,” Apicelli said. “He kept fighting off his back, (Dewise) threw a half, we peeled it off and he hung for a second. Teresi literally stared at us and we said to do it and he went for it. The key then is don’t let him off his back.”

Teresi gained confidence on Wednesday when he faced Point Boro’s Anthony Bonavito in a dual meet. Bonavito, who is undefeated and the No. 2 seed in the SCT, won 11-4, but didn’t pick up bonus points. In fact, Teresi came close to hitting the “Joe-Joe roll” in that bout.

“That got me fired up a little bit because he’s a top guy and he didn’t pin me,” Teresi said.

Teresi will now face the No. 5 seed, Middletown North senior Adam Markman, in the quarterfinals at 10 a.m. on Saturday when the SCT resumes at Red Bank Regional High School. Ocean and Middletown South are in the same division but Teresi and Markman did not wrestle when the teams met during the regular season.

Prior to Teresi’s stunning upset late in the round, the biggest upset of the day was buy another Ocean wrestler, junior 160-pounder Anthony Esposito. Facing the No. 3 seed, Holmdel’s Johnny O’Beirne, the 14th-seeded Esposito hit a cradle to take an 8-2 lead before locking up a spladle to pin O’Beirne in 3:19 to reach the quarterfinals.

“He’s a tough kid and when he wants to wrestle and believes in himself he’s as dangerous as they come,” Apicelli said. “He’s a difficult kid to wrestle.”

Esposito will face Raritan’s Anthony Aquilano, the No. 6 seed, in the quarterfinals.

There were several upsets with the No. 12 seed defeating the No. 5 seed, as well, to highlight the first two rounds of the inaugural individual version of the Shore Conference Tournament.

Toms River North’s Jack Oleske upended Manalapan’s Kareem Ghiada, 5-2, at 132 pounds and will next face St. John Vianney’s Charles Peterson in the quarterfinals. Pinelands’ Brennan Richardson stunned Howell’s Xavier Kelly, 7-6, at 152 pounds to reach the quarterfinals against Point Boro’s Francis Marshall. Long Branch’s Louie Saez defeated Howell’s Evan Richard, 9-3, at 160 and Barnegat’s Charlie Cotton shut down Toms River North’s Juan Nakano, 3-0, at 182.

A pair of No. 11 seeds were also victorious as Jackson Memorial’s Nick Tomasiello pinned Ocean’s Saif Ali at 145 pounds and Point Beach’s Jimmy Sherlock defeated Wall’s Jake Whitworth, 9-6, at 152 pounds.

There were also several wins by No. 10 and No. 9 seeds, including at 106 pounds where Central’s Nick Rivera used a locking hands call and an escape with three seconds left to defeat Manchester’s Jonathan Salvemini, 4-3, in the 10 vs. 7 matchup.

Three wrestlers also hit career milestones on Friday night. Howell junior Darby Diedrich recorded his 100th career win when he defeated Lacey’s Adam Krinic, 9-3, at 126 pounds. Howell senior Kyle Slendorn pinned Rumson’s Tyler Brignola at 132 pounds to record his 138th career win to tie Zac Cunliffe as the Rebels’ all-time wins leader. Middletown North’s Stanley Wojdylak won by fall over Middletown South’s Blake Zarzycki at 152 pounds for his 115th win, which put him in a tie with Zach Torchia for second on the Lions’ all-time wins list and seven behind Anthony Vetrano’s 122 career victories.

Wrestling resumes Saturday morning at 10 a.m. with the quarterfinals. The semifinals are schedule for 1 p.m. and the finals and third-place bouts will be wrestled on two mats at 3:30 p.m.


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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