• Dan Russoman

Two Devils win at tournament


Brett Stansbury tries to escape from West Deptford’s Chris Hansen in last week’s quarterfinals. (THG/Dan Russoman.To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

HAMMONTON—A pair of first-place finishes helped Hammonton High School’s wrestling team open its season with a third-place performance at last weekend’s Hammonton High School Kickoff Tournament.


The Blue Devils finished with 166.5 team points, trailing winner West Deptford (194) and second-place Seneca (182.5) among the eight teams competing at the event.


“This was a nice way to start our season. In the past, we’ve opened at Shawnee, but they said they didn’t want to host it anymore, so I offered and we held it here [at Hammonton],” Hammonton coach Dave Mauriello said.


The host school had five wrestlers earn spots on the medal stand, including two champions. Justin Flood (106 pounds) and Luca Giagunto (113) both won their weight classes, while Vincenzo Cirillo (126) was second and Edwin Flores (138) and Juan Urbina (215) each claimed third-place medals.


Flood cruised to the title at 106 pounds. He opened with a 16-0 technical fall against Seneca’s Travis Bauer, then pinned West Deptford’s Talen Terinoni in the semifinals before scoring a 4-2 win in the championship match against Seneca’s Jackson Bauer.


At 113, Giagunto began the day by pinning Delran’s Justin Scotton. He then pinned West Deptford’s Anthony Conway in the semis before taking down West Deptford’s Anthony Catanado in the finals.


Cirillo started the tournament with a pin against Shore Regional’s Aidan O’Connell at 126 pounds, then pinned Hightstown’s Dennis Bustos in the semifinals. In the championship match, Cirillo lost to Seneca’s Kyle Pickard.


Wrestling at 138, Flores pinned Seneca’s Sean Broderick before losing to West Deptford’s David Wright in the semifinals. In the third-place match, Flores bounced back to beat Hightstown’s Chase Montgomery with an 18-6 major decision.


At 215, Urbina began the day by pinning Middle Twp.’s Maximus Adelizzi. He then lost in the semis to Hightstown’s Chris Stavrou before pinning Seneca’s Matt Smith to take third place.


Conner Bailey, Aiden Fallon and Kevin Watson each placed fourth for Hammonton. Bailey defeated Delran’s Dominik Milam at 150 pounds before falling in the semis and the third-place match.


At 157, Fallon pinned Deptford’s Nick Childress before dropping his next two bouts and at 165, Watson edged Middle Twp.’s Brian Juzaitis 6-4 before losing his next two matches.


Brett Stansbury, Mike Ryan and Anthony Evangelista all lost their first match of the day but rallied to take finish fifth.


At 132, Stansbury scored a 10-2 major decision against Hightstown’s Matthew Ramos before defeating West Deptford’s Owen Entrekin. Ryan wrestled at 175, bouncing back from a quarterfinal loss to pin both Shore’s Hunter Demarzo and Hightstown’s Kevin Lancaster to take fifth place.


At 285, Evangelista lost his first match before defeating Shore’s Layne Raposo and West Deptford’s Jibril Barksdale to earn fifth place.


At 144, Ryan Stanziale finished sixth, and Frank Italiano (120) and Connor Dudley (190) placed seventh for Hammonton.


This week, the Blue Devils host Cedar Creek on December 22 at 5 p.m.