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  • Writer's pictureDan Russoman

Two Blue Devils win at Overbrook


THG/Dan Russoman. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940. Justin Flood won the 106 pound championship at last week’s Overbrook Holiday Tournament.

PINE HILL—Justin Flood and Luca Giagunto each won individual titles and Hammonton High School’s wrestling team finished second overall at last week’s Overbrook Tournament, one of the region’s top holiday competitions.


Competing well at Overbrook is always a goal for the Blue Devils, as Hammonton assistant coach Paul Mauriello enjoyed a Hall of Fame career as the Rams head coach for many seasons.


“My dad (Paul Mauriello) coached at Overbrook for a long time and my family has many connections to the school, so for me, it’s something special to be there every year. It’s always a competitive tournament and one of our goals each season is to do as well as we can there,” Hammonton head coach David Mauriello said.


The Blue Devils performed well last week, collecting two first place finishes, four seconds and a third as they placed second to Mainland for the team title.


Flood only wrestled twice to earn the championship at 106 pounds. After receiving a pair of byes, Flood pinned Mainland’s Michael Borini in 42 seconds to win a semifinal match before taking down Winslow’s Micah Govan in 1:15 in the championship bout.


At 126 pounds, Giagunto scored an 11-2 major decision in the quarterfinals, defeating Cherry Hill East’s Dan Guzman. In the semifinals, Giagunto pinned Deptford’s Jaylen Huertas in 1:23, sending him to the championships where he pinned Mainland’s Chris Mazur in 3:16.


Frank Italiano, Michael Benedetto, Edward Niedoba and Michael Ryan each placed second for Hammonton.


Italiano opened action at 138 pounds by taking down Burlington Twp.’s Nicholas Davis in 1:54. In the semifinals, he pinned Cherry Hill East’s Tobi Cero in 3:30. Facing Timber Creek’s Sebastiano Spina in the finals, Italiano lost a close 4-3 decision to earn second place.


At 157, Benedetto topped Millville’s Ryan Tepper 9-2 in the quarterfinals, then pinned Burlington Twp.’s Jacob Davis in 1:59 for a semifinal victory. In the championship match, Benedetto lost 4-3 to Winslow’s Xavier Harvey.


Niedoba wrestled at 175 pounds and defeated Burlington Twp.’s Dylan Zerillo 8-5 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinal round, he topped Mainland’s Gary Williams 8-6, but went on to drop a 9-6 decision against Barnegat’s Ryan O’Cone in the finals.


At 190 pounds, Ryan pinned Deptford’s Kevin Sokhom in the quarterfinals before pulling out a 3-2 semifinal victory against Winslow’s Michael Horsey. In the championship match, Ryan was pinned by Mainland’s Aaron Thompson in 1:54.


Hammonton’s Serhii Chuhui was third at 215 pounds. After pinning Millville’s Jaden Jones in 3:05 in the quarterfinals, Chuhui was pinned by Mainland’s Nick Timek in 2:15, sending him to the consolation finals, where he took down Deptford’s Zion Cadasir-Rodriguez in 1:51 to capture third place.


Brett Stansbury finished fourth at 144 pounds, beating Mainland’s Miguel Melo in the quarterfinals 5-0. In the semis, Stansbury lost 2-1 to Barnegat’s Miguel Sendecky, then dropped a 3-0 decision in the third-place match to Burlington Twp.’s Logan Kahrs.


Kevin Watson also finished fourth for the Blue Devils. Wrestling at 165 pounds, Watson took down Deptford’s Michael Robertson in 1:09 to win a quarterfinal match. In the semifinals, he was pinned by Burlington Twp.’s Jayden Mora in 5:15 and wrestling for third place, Watson lost to Overbrook’s Bryce Powell 8-7.


At 150 pounds, Michael Maimone won a pair of matches. Maimone won an opening round match with a pin in 6:00 against Millville’s Reginald Booner, but lost in the quarterfinals to Deptford’s Nick Childress by fall in 57 seconds. In the consolations, Maimone pinned Cherry Hill East’s Collin McFadden in 1:31.


At 132, Troy Mays lost his quarterfinal match to Winslow’s David Creel by fall in 1:56, then dropped a consolation match to Cherry Hill East’s Brad Weinberg 5-1.


Camryn Broadnax lost 2-1 to Cherry Hill East’s Brett Mooney in the quarterfinals at 285 pounds, then was pinned in his consolation match by Mainland’s Dan DeFeo.


Hammonton is back in action on January 4 when the Blue Devils host Lower Cape May at 6 p.m. On January 7, HHS welcomes Buena, Gateway, Millville, Pennsville, Rancocas Valley, Washington Twp. and Winslow to town for the annual Hammonton Duals, which begin at 8:30 a.m.


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