WOOLWICH – In a year that has had its share of successes and its share of misses, Saturday afternoon for the Kingsway High School wrestling team provided no new insights or answers.
“I try to stay as even-keel as possible,” head coach Mike Barikian said. “There were positives today. (Finnigan McFaddon and Jake Gentile) had a strong day and wrestled well. There were more bright spots too, we won two matches but it’s hard right now after what may have been our worst effort of the year.’
Kingsway, ranked No.3 in the SJSD Top 10, opened the day with a solid 42-27 win over No.8 Rancocas Valley and followed that with a 59-6 win over Delran. That said state ranked Hunterdon Central proved to be much tougher and on this day the Dragons (15-5) left a ton of points on the mat in a 55-12 loss.
“A lot went wrong,” said senior Quinn Kinner, who went 3-0 on the day to remain undefeated this season as he looks to earn his second straight state title. “A lot didn’t go our way (against Hunterdon Central). Some toss up matches. Some things that went wrong.
“All of it can be corrected. Coach Barikian is one of the best finding ways to correct out mistakes.”
One loss certainly doesn’t make a season and two wins fall into that same category. Kingsway did almost everything right in the first match of the day against Rancocas Valley in which they limited bonus points early giving up just six points at 195 and 220.
Kingsway’s matches obviously key around the stretch between 113 with McKenzie Bell (3-0) and Ryan Crane at 138. Against the Red Devils, the Dragons secured 30 points. In the match against Delran, they recorded 29 points but against Central, they received just 12 points as McFaddon and Bell recorded decisions and Kinner received an annoying forfeit.
All of which leads to the most troubling question facing Kingsway with just one match left in the regular season. Are they ready for the next two weeks?
“I think we are,” Kinner said. “Every one of our mistakes can be fixed and it all starts on Wednesday against Williamstown.
“I think I’m more prepared now after all the training we’ve done over the past year,” McFadden said. “(Group 5) won’t be easy and Williamstown is very good too.”
Even so that even keel Barikian tries to maintain wasn’t easy after the Hunterdon Central match. He knows that have a successful run over the next two weeks something has to change in his team’s mindset. Certainly not every wrestler but with 14 weight classes, the Dragons need more wrestlers to step up.
As mentioned, that all starts with Williamstown on Wednesday with the Tri-County Royal title on the line. The Braves are 19-1 and scored an impressive win over Cherokee this weekend. Make no mistake about it, Williamstown has been eager for this match all season long.
“That’s a good team and we’ll have to be at our best,” Barikian said. “After that Group 5 is going to be tough and if we get through that, we could see Hunterdon Central again or Howell. Look, that’s all two weeks away, before anything we have to get ready for Williamstown and we have to wrestle better than we did in that last match.”
195-Nick Maffetone, RV, dec. Alieis Hernandez, 3-1; 220-Anthony Hernandez, RV, dec. Jaylen Shanklin, 8-5; 285-Sean Horner, pin Chris Kilpatrick, 3:11; 106-Kyle Bombinbilt, K, won by forfeit; 113-McKenzie Bell, K, pin Jake Kosowski, 2:46; 120-Brad Davis, RV, dec. Elijiah Simpson, 8-4; 126-Finnigan McFadden, K, maj. dec. Nieko Malone, 6-2; 132-Jake Gentile, K, dec. Jiya Ganone, 3-1; 138-Quinn Kinner, K, pin William Curtain, 0:52; 145-John Sambogna, K, tech fall, Chris Labrose, 16-1, 4:29; 152-Ryan Crane, K, pin Kamar Bradford, 2:23; 160-Daquan Jackson-Swoope, RV pin Kevin Pandorf, 4:21; 170-Ethan Craft, RV, pin Noah Falabella, 2:45; 189-Drew Bowker, RV, pin Dalvin Johns, 1:44
285-Ryan Joyce, HC, pin Ryan Ostrowski, 1:17; 106-Brett Ungar, HC, pin Lance Crawford, 1:03; 113-McKenzie Bell, K, dec. Colin Wasleski, 3-1; 120-Jack Bauer, HC, dec. Cheney Kinner, 3-1; 126-Finnigan McFadden, K, dec. Anthony Romanielo, 15-12; 132-Hunter Graf, HC, maj. dec. Jake Gentile, 9-0; 138-Pasquale Vizzoni, HC, pin Matt Klaiss, 3:24; 145-Quinn Kinner, K, won by forfeit; 145-John Sambogna, K, tech fall, Chris Labrose, 16-1, 4:29; 152-Vincent Romaniello, HC, pin Ryan Crane, 1:31; 160-Kevin Cieresa, HC pin Kevin Pandorf, 1:01; 170-Dan Furmato, HC, pin Dennis Lee, 3:28; 189-Kyle Barrett, HC, pin Noah Falabella, 2:43; 195-Luke Balkarien, HC, dec. Alieis Almanzar, 13-6; 220-Anthony Crespo, HC, dec. Sean Horner, 8-2.
220-Sean Horner, K dec. Anthony Grozozski, 5-4; 285-Steven Kaiafas, D, dec. Sylvestr Vanmorter, 7-2; 106-Kyle Bombinbilt, K, pin Mark Harrison, 3:26; 113-McKenzie Bell, K, pin Nick Eastburn, 1:40; 120-Cheney Kinner, won by forfeit; 126-Finnigan McFadden, K, tech fall Zach Zuckerman, 18-3, 3:24; 132-Jake Gentile, K, tech fall Jake Doriso, 19-4, 4:42; 138-eren Ibas, D, John Sambogna, 4-3; 145-Quinn Kinner, K, pin Malakai McNeil-Ways, 0:27; 152-Ryan Crane, K, dec. Randy Savage, 6-1; 160-Kevin Pandorf, K, dec. Berkant Halilelglu, 5-0; 170-Dennis Lee, K, won by forfeit; 189-Noah Falabella, K, pin Zach Bohn, 0:56; 195-Alieis Alamanzar, K, maj. dec. Sean Theis, 12-3.