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  • Writer's pictureDan Russoman

Giagunto, Way headed to states

Dan Russoman/THG. Assistant coach Dennis Conway, Shane Way, head coach Dave Mauriello and Luca Giagunto celebrate folllowing the Region 8 tournament last weekend. Both Way and Giagunto earned berths in the state championships.

EGG HARBOR TWP.—A pair of Hammonton High School wrestlers kept their seasons alive by earning fourth place finishes at the Region 8 tournament at Egg Harbor Township High School on February 24.

Juniors Luca Giagunto and Shane Way, both District 30 champions, advanced out of regions and will compete later this week at the state championships at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.

Giagunto, the District 30 champion at 138 pounds and who earlier this season earned the 100th victory of his career, was fourth at Region 8. The top four finishers in each weight class advance to the state championships.

Seeded second at Region 8, Giagunto opened the tournament by defeating Washington Twp.’s Michael Horn 4-0 in a tightly-contested match.

In the semifinals, Giagunto had another close match, falling to Lower Cape May’s Jachere Harris 11-9.

That defeat dropped Giagunto into the consolation round, where he kept his state championship hopes alive by defeating Middle Twp.’s Tyler King with a 13-3 major decision. Matching up with Horn again for third place, Giagunto lost a 10-6 decision.

Way earned his trip to Boardwalk Hall by placing fourth at 113 pounds. The District 30 champ had an opening round bye then scored a 13-0 major decision win in the quarterfinals against Kingsway’s Ryan Preziosi. In the semifinals, Way was defeated 12-0 by Washington Twp.’s Colton Hagerty.

In the consolations, Way won a 15-7 major decision against EHT’s Peter Steed to reach the third-place match where he was defeated 4-0 by Camden Catholic’s Dom DiGiacomo.

Gavin Morris finished fifth at 120 pounds for the Blue Devils. He opened the tournament with a 9-0 major decision against Gateway/Woodbury’s Aiden Barbato. In the quarterfinals, Morris lost 9-1 to Highland/Triton’s Owen Kulb 9-1.

In the consolations, Morris topped Pennsauken’s Lucas Silvestre 6-2, then lost to Camden Catholic’s Lazarus Joyce 4-3.

Wrestling for fifth place, Morris pinned EHT’s Tyler Thomas in 4:44.

Two Blue Devils, Logan Walters and Mark Hartley, were each eliminated in the consolation round.

At 126 pounds, Walters beat Ocean City’s Wyatt Tolson 6-3 before being pinned by top-seeded Sammy Spaulding of Camden Catholic in the quarterfinals. He was eliminated by Gateway/Woodbury’s Dante Gismondi, falling 9-0.

Hartley won his opening match at 215 pounds, pinning Pennsauken’s Kameron Hoskins in 3:09. In the quarterfinals, Hartley was taken down by St. Augustine Prep’s Ed Vincent before being eliminated in the consolations by Highland/Triton’s Xavier Velez 2-1.

Also for Hammonton, Eddie Niedoba and Vincent Palermo were ousted in the opening round.

Niedoba wrestled at 150 pounds and lost his opening match to Clearview’s Kole Reiss 7-0.

Palermo competed at 157 pounds and dropped his opening match to Clearview’s Tyler Trovato 7-6.


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