The state individual wresting tournament ends today with the finals at 2 p.m. Here's a quick look at each individual weight class final. The top bracket wrestler is listed first.
Anthony Cefolo, Hanover Park, Fr. (37-3) vs. Carl Buttitta, JFK-Iselin, So. (38-3)
Hanover Park's Anthony Cefolo is one of only two freshmen to reach the state finals and he got there in impressive fashion, winning a 6-3 decision against defending state placer and top bracket No. 1 seed Jan Rosenberg of Morris Knolls. Cefolo won District 9 and Region 3 titles. Bottom bracket No. 1 seed Carl Buttitta of JFK-Iselin won a 10-0 major decision against Brick Memorial defending state placer Joe Ghione in the semis. Buttitta is a two-time District 19 champ and won this season's Region 5 title.
Brenden Calas, Seton Hall, Jr. (20-3) vs. David McFadden, DePaul Catholic, Fr. (37-2)
Seton Hall junior Brenden Calas is a three-time state qualifier with three District 10 titles on his resume. He won the 103-pound title last season. He won a 4-2 decision in the semifinals in overtime against North Bergen's Luis Gonzalez in a rematch of last season's 103-pound state final. McFadden, along with Hanover Park freshman Anthony Cefolo, is one of two freshmen wrestling in today's finals. The bottom bracket No. 5 seed (the lowest to reach the final at any weight along with Hammonton's Phil Bakuckas) won District 4 and Region 1 titles and won a 6-1 decision against Region 6 champ Kevin Corrigan of Toms River South.
Troy Heilmann, South Plainfield, Jr. (40-3) vs. Mike Magaldo, Watchung Hills, So. (40-3)
South Plainfield's Troy Heilmann and Watching Hills' Mike Magaldo each finished second in the state last season (Heilmann at 119 and Magaldo at 112). Heilmann and Magaldo are more than familiar with one another. The two met in the District 12 and Region 3 finals with Heilmann winning both. Amazingly, Magaldo has never won a district or region title but has the chance to leave Boardwalk Hall today with a state title. Heilmann is a three-time District 12 champ and a two-time Region 3 champ
Anthony Ashnault, South Plainfield, Jr. (43-0) vs. Gary Dinmore, Hunterdon Central, So. (28-7)
South Plainfield's Anthony Ashnault enters today's state final with a 129-0 career record and is attempting to become New Jersey's first unbeaten four-time state champ. Ashnault is No. 4 in the country, according to online wrestling magazine InterMat. Hunterdon Central sophomore Gary Dinmore is a two-time District 17 champ and a two-time Region 5 champ but he has never faced anyone of Ashnault's caliber.
Scott DelVecchio, South Plainfield, Jr. (44-0) vs. Brandon Keller, Timber Creek, Jr. (35-5)
South Plainfield junior Scott DelVecchio gave South Plainfield three wrestlers in the finals in consecutive weight classes (126-138). DelVecchio is a three-time District 12 champ and three-time state qualifier and has two pins in the state tournament. Keller earned his spot in the final with a win over fellow two-time state placer Connor Melde of Bergen Catholic in the semifinals.
B.J. Clagon, Toms River South, Jr. (41-0) vs. Tyler Hunt, South Plainfield, Sr. (43-0)
Toms River South's B.J. Clagon finished second in the state last season after a seventh place finish his freshman season. The Indians' junior is a three-time District 24 champ and two-time Region 6 champ. South Plainfield's Tyler Hunt is never out of a match as one of the state's leaders in pins. Hunt finished fourth in the state at 130.
Ken Theobold, Toms River South, Sr. (40-1) vs. Alexander Richardson, St. Peter's Prep, Sr. (34-3)
Toms River South's Ken Theobold won his way into the finals with one of the tournament's biggest upsets. Theobold won a 7-6 decision against defending state champion T.J. Miller of Camden Catholic. Theobold finished seventh in the state last season and will wrestle at Rutgers next season. Richardson also upset a top seed, beating bottom bracket No.1 seed Nick Gravina of Northern Highlands in the semis. Richards, who will wrestle at Old Dominion, is ranked 20th in the country by InterMat.
Sal Mastriani, Don Bosco Prep, Sr. (40-0) vs. Raamiah Bethea, Trenton Central, Sr. (36-0)
Don Bosco's Sal Mastriani finished fourth in the state last season at 145 pounds and is the No. 1 seed in the top bracket. Bethea is a perfect 36-0 this season and was the top seed in the bottom bracket.
Johnny Sebastian, Bergen Catholic, So. (39-2) vs. Phil Bakuckas, Hammonton, Sr. (41-0)
Hammonton's Rutgers-bound senior Phil Bakuckas puts his perfect record on the line while looking for a bit of revenge. Bakuckas was knocked out of states last season by a freshman from Bergen Catholic that went on to finish fifth in the state – Sebastian. Bakuckas is wrestling as well as anyone in the tournament and is more than capable of the upset. Sebastian finished fifth in the prestigious Beast of the East tournament.
Ryan Harrington, Mendham, Sr. (42-0) vs. Steve Nelson, Haddon Heights, Sr. (36-0)
A final featuring a pair of unbeatens in Mendham defending state champ Ryan Harrington and Region 7 champ Steve Nelson of Haddon Heights. Nelson took fourth in the state at 160 last season.
Dallas Winston, Jackson Memorial, Sr. (32-3) vs. Tevin Shaw, Piscataway, Sr. (33-0)
Jackson Memorial's Dallas Winston and Piscataway's Tevin Shaw each finished second in the state last season and are phenomenal athletes for a pair of upperweights. Shaw will play football at the University of Kansas.
Eric McMullen, North Bergen, Sr. (31-1) vs. Razohnn Gross, Don Bosco Prep, Jr. (34-5)
Eric McMullen wrestled at Paulsboro last season before transferring to North Bergen for his senior season. Gross is the top seed in the bottom bracket and a Region 2 champ.
Brandon Hull, Phillipsburg, Sr. (37-3) vs. Lex Knapp, Lacey Township, Sr. (42-0)
Lacey Township's Lex Knapp joins Hammonton's Phil Bakuckas as the only locals in the finals. Knapp is a perfect 42-0 this season and has won eight straight matches by decision. Hull finished eighth in the state last season.
Cody Melton, Northern Burlington, Sr. (35-2) vs. Jermaine Eluemunor, Morris Knolls, Sr. (33-3)
Melton handed previously unbeaten Mike Spencer of Pequannock his first loss of the season in the semifinals to earn his spot in the finals. Eluemunor was the fourth seed in the bottom part of the bracket.
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