Wrestling: Hammonton pulls away from Cedar Creek to win
EGG HARBOR CITY - Mark it down.
The Hammonton High School wrestling team won the first dual match it wrestled in the post-Bakuckas era on Wednesday.
The Blue Devils wrestled without anyone named Bakuckas in the lineup for the first time in seven seasons and looked just fine in a 45-27 win against Cedar Creek.
"It was kind of different without one of the Bakuckas brothers here," Hammonton senior David Williams said.
Williams picked up a 55-second pin at 220 pounds for his 92nd career win as the Blue Devils picked up first-period pins in four of the final five matches to put the Cape-Atlantic League National Conference match away.
"It was a little weird," Hammonton coach Dave Mauriello said. "It was different but we still have to hold ourselves to a certain standard that we want to achieve."
The Bakuckas brothers - John, Mike and Phil - spanned seven seasons between them and were one of the top wrestling families in state history with 350 combined wins.
But the Blue Devils still have high expectations without them around and expect to be among the CAL National's best.
The match started at 106 pounds and was tied 27-27 after 182 pounds when Cedar Creek's Stacey Solomon pinned Hammonton's Jack Hartman in 1 minute, 15 seconds.
Hammonton's Brandon Beebe pinned Christian Sandfort at 195 to set up Williams at 220 pounds with Cedar Creek's Thomas Rheault.
Williams, a two-time defending District 30 and defending Region 8 champ, showed off a bit of his phenomenal leg strength as he literally pinned Rheault with his legs to officially put the match out of reach.
"I don't even know what that was," Williams said with a smile. "It was supposed to be a half (nelson), but I ended up getting him tight with my legs."
Bobby Frederico capped off the night with another pin for the Blue Devils at 285.
Nick DeFiccio (106) and Kellen Whitney (170) also had pins for Hammonton.
Matt Jiampetti (132), Eric Hanusewicz (145), Kyle Murray (152) and Solomon all had pins for the Pirates, who have seniors on the team for the first time.
Murray, who won his weight class at the Paulsboro Tournament on Saturday, was losing 9-0 to Hammonton's Nico Porretta when he muscled him to his back and pinned him.
"We're calling him the Murray-ator now," Cedar Creek coach John Cheatham said. "I'm very happy. We've got to get a couple of weight classes straightened out with certification, but I'm happy with the way they wrestled.
"I think their conditioning showed tonight. There has been a lot of hard work in the room."
Hammonton beat Cedar Creek 58-14 last season. The Pirates went from winning no matches in 2011 to winning 13 last season and could be even better this season.
"They are much improved." Mauriello said. "Their coaches are passionate and they do a very good job.
"They have a few really, really good wrestlers and overall as a team they're very tough. They work hard and you can see that."
Contact John O'Kane:
*106-Nick DeFiccio H p. Dean Mazza :34; 113-Timothy McFerren H by forfeit; 120-Scott Figueroa H d. Carlos Rivera 6-0; 126-Patt McGinnis CC d. Austin Figueroa 8-7; 132-Matt Jiampetti CC p. Marcos Alers 3:34; 138-Matt Brumbera H d. Dillon Garth 4-0; 145-Eric Hanusewicz CC p. Logan Fiorentino 5:00; 152-Kyle Murray CC p. Nico Porretta 5:17; 160-Justin Fucetola H d. Bryan Bellace 9-6; 170-Kellen Whitney H p. Jose Quinones 1:07; 182-Stacey Solomon CC p. Jack Hartman 1:15; 195-Brandon Beebe H p. Christian Sandfort 1:17; 220-David Williams H p. Thomas Rheault :55; 285-Robert Frederico H p. Ben Keating 1:48.
Records-Hammonton 1-0; Cedar Creek 0-1.
*Match started at 106