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  • Writer's pictureDan Russoman

Giagunto wins at tourney


Dan Russoman/THG. Hammonton’s Eddie Niedoba (left) controls West Deptford’s James Lorman during their opening round match at last weekend’s Kickoff Tournament.

HAMMONTON—Junior Luca Giagunto was the lone Hammonton High School wrestler to win a title as the Blue Devils hosted their annual Kick-Off Tournament on Dec. 16.


Competing at 132 pounds, Giagunto, a regional qualifier a year ago, cruised to the championship with a pin and two technical fall wins.


Opening against Toms River North’s Yael Martinez, Giagunto won with a pin. In the semifinals, he earned a 17-2 technical fall against Jake Bauer of Seneca then scored a 19-3 technical fall in the championship match against West Deptford’s Owen Entrekin.


Three Blue Devils placed second in the tournament and two earned third place finishes.

“This was a good opening test for us,” Hammonton coach Dave Mauriello said.


“There are some very good teams here, some top wrestlers, so our guys had some battles. It’s a good way for us to start to help find out where we need to improve moving forward,” Mauriello said.


At 120 pounds, Shane Way finished second, falling to West Deptford’s Brayden Curcio in the finals. Way had pinned Toms River North’s Jacob Nash to begin the tournament, then took down Middle Twp.’s Dontae Kelly in the semis.


Frank Italiano was second at 144 pounds. He opened with a pin against Delran’s Raymond Olah, then topped Seneca’s Sean Broderick 7-2 in the semifinals. In the championship match, Italiano lost 11-2 to top-seeded Joe Dolci of Toms River North.


Michael Ryan wrestled at 175 pounds, placing second. He began the tourney by pinning Hightstown’s Jacob Kramer, and also took down Deptford’s Drew Ford in the semifinals before falling to West Deptford’s Chris Andujar in the championship bout.


At 113 pounds, Nic Cirillo finished third. Cirillo opened by pinning Hightstown’s Alex Mikita, but lost in the semis to eventual champion Talen Terinoni of West Deptford. In the third-place match, Cirillo defeated Hightstown’s Jason DeSantis 7-3.


Also placing third for Hammonton was Vincent Palermo at 157 pounds. After defeating Seneca’s Nicholas Schmied 5-3, Palermo lost to West Deptford’s Nick Graziano. He then downed Hightstown’s Chase Montgomery 6-2 to take third place.


Ryland Smith, Mike Hartley and Cam Broadnax all finished fourth for the Blue Devils.


At 190 pounds, Smith won by injury default against Delran’s Victor Rizzo before falling in the semifinals to Marcus Carter of West Deptford. In the third-place match, he lost to Seneca’s Fred Seeber.


Hartley wrestled at 215 pounds, defeating Delran’s Michael Vierick to open the day. In the semis, Hartley lost to West Deptford’s Andrew Tighe before falling to Seneca’s Kenneth Konopka in the third place match.


At 285, Broadnax began the tournament with a 1-0 win against Toms River North’s Cole Ganzka. In the semifinals, he lost against Middle’s Maurice Matthews then fell to Seneca’s Anthony Fedeli 7-5 in the third-place match.


Tyler Police was fifth at 106 pounds. He lost to Hightstown’s Angelo Rudolph 8-6 before taking a forfeit into the fifth-place match where he pinned Middle’s Benjamin Banks. At 126, Gavin Morris was fifth. After losing to Deptford’s Ethan Christmas, Morris pinned Middle’s Geordin Davis and defeated Delran’s Justin Scotton 9-0 to take fifth place.


Eddie Niedoba was fifth at 150 pounds, defeating Toms River North’s Nick Childress to earn that medal. Earlier, Niedoba lost to West Deptford’s James Lorman 12-11 before pinning Delran’s Finnian English.


At 165, Will Domenico was fifth after falling to Seneca’s Kyle Stickel and defeating Toms River North’s Juriel Sanchez. He topped Delran’s Emmanuel Pavia 11-0 to take fifth place.


Scott Engelke was sixth at 138. He lost to Deptford’s Jaylen Huertas 13-9, then pinned Delran’s Chase Milam before falling to Middle’s Tyler King.


At 157, Michael Maimone was sixth. He lost in the opening round to Hightstown’s Montgomery 11-3 before taking down Toms River North’s Dominic Capra. In the fifth-place match, Maimone lost to Seneca’s Nick Schmied.


Competing at 106 pounds, Andrew Dipalo lost to Delran’s Chase Dubuque and was eliminated by Middle’s Benjamin Banks.


Earlier this week, Hammonton wrestled at Holy Spirit, but that match ended too late for this edition. On Dec. 23, the Blue Devils will take on Schalick and host Cumberland Regional beginning at 9 a.m.


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