Evangelista earns trip to state finals
EGG HARBOR TWP.—Hammonton High School junior Anthony Evangelista earned a trip to the state championships this week at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, taking home a third-place finish at the Region 8 wrestling championships last weekend at Egg Harbor Twp. High School.
Evangelista was third at 285 pounds, pinning Gateway/Woodbury heavyweight Ike Sholders in 2:35 in the third place finals. The match was Evangelista’s third win of the day.
Evangelista was the third seed at 285 after taking second place in
District 30 a week earlier. He opened last week’s regionals with a first period pin, taking down Holy Spirit’s Phillip Docteur in 1:47. In the quarterfinals, Evangelista lost to eventual Region 8 runner-up John Stone of Washington Twp. 6-4 to fall into the consolation bracket.
Last Saturday, Evangelista was awarded a win when his first opponent, St. Joseph’s Bryan Butkus, forfeited. That set up a consolation semifinal match against Pitman’s Mateo Mena, which Evangelista won by fall in 3:19. He then went on to take third place with his victory against Sholders.
Hammonton freshman Luca Giagunto placed fifth in his first visit to regionals. The 113-pound grappler opened the tournament with a pin in 2:21 against Gateway/Woodbury’s Chris Howarth, then beat Buena’s Nate Johnson in the quarterfinals, 3-1. In the semis, Giagunto was pinned by Eastern’s Jared Brunner in 1:52. He then lost his consolation quarterfinal to Delsea’s Zavier Stokes in 56 seconds, before taking fifth place with a 15-2 major decision win against Johnson.
At 106 pounds, Hammonton’s Justin Flood placed sixth. After beating Washington Twp.’s Mario Huggins 6-0 to start the tournament, Flood lost in the quarterfinals to Holy Spirit’s Carter Pack 8-2. He won his first consolation match, defeating Pitman’s Adriano Platt in overtime 2-0, but then lost to Williamstown’s Tyler Hildebrandt 3-1. Wrestling for fifth place, Flood lost to Mainland’s Andrew Siteman 6-2.
Also for the Blue Devils, Billy Way won his opening match at 157 pounds, eliminating St. Joseph’s Nick Melchiore with a 7-5 win. In the quarterfinals, Way lost to Absegami’s Sean Cowan in 2:48, then was pinned by Washington Twp.’s Justin Hatton in 1:04 in the consolation round.
Hammonton’s Frank Italiano (120 pounds) and Aidan Fallon (144) were each eliminated in the preliminaries. Italiano lost to Vineland’s Gabe Baldosaro 11-2, while Fallon dropped a 16-1 technical fall to Woodstown’s Paul Labonne.