|VIDEO: Pompton Lakes beats Cedar Grove for first sectional title|
Friday the 13th proved to be anything but unlucky for the Pompton Lakes wrestling team.
The Cardinals defeated Cedar Grove, 39-28, to win the North 1, Group I sectional title. For a program that has compiled more than 500 dual-meet wins and 20 league titles, this was its first-ever sectional championship.
Pompton Lakes won the first five bouts as the match started at 170 pounds, including a key pin by Nico Negrini at 182 and a huge overtime win for heavyweight Nick Sanders. With a forfeit win at 106, the Cardinals built a 26-0 lead.
Cedar Grove made things interesting by winning the next three bouts, including a pair of pins. But the Panthers decided to forfeit at 132, and 138-pounded Sal Puglisi locked up the victory with a 6-1 decision.
The Cardinals won nine bouts in total including the two forfeits. Nico Negrini had the only pin, but Craig Calderone, Drew Flynn and Chris Grecco scored major decisions.
Cedar Grove made the final score closer when Vasili Cook scored a surprising pin in the final bout at 160. Anthony Clarizio and Matthew Lay had the other falls for the Panthers, who are now 6-14 after wrestling a brutal schedule in Essex County this winter.
Pompton Lakes is now 19-3. The Cardinals will face Bound Brook, ranked #11 in the state coming into the tournament, in the Group I state semifinals at 12:30 Sunday at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton. The finals take place later that day.
For sports video highlights of this New Jersey high school state tournament wrestling match, click play in the box at left.