HAMMONTON - The Hammonton High School wrestling team has had some good days this season.
Thursday was not one of them.
Shawnee won eight of the last nine weight classes and cruised to an impressive 50-15 win against the Blue Devils in a nonconference match.
Shawnee is the No. 9 team in The Press Elite 11 and may have emerged as one of the top contenders to No. 1 Southern Regional in South Jersey Group IV. Hammonton is No. 11 in the Elite 11.
"They are very good technically and they are certainly very tough," Hammonton coach Dave Mauriello said. "Most of those guys are back from last year's team so they're tough and we expected them to be. Obviously we need to improve."
And the Blue Devils may have added injury to insult on Thursday.
Mike Dimeo (113 pounds) and Nico Porretta (152) each injury defaulted their respective matches. Each trailed by less than two points at the time of the injury.
Hammonton was already without Kellen Whitney, a 30-match winner last season who usually wrestles at 160 pounds, for what Mauriello said were precautionary reasons from a previous injury.
"We've been very fortunate here with injuries over the last several years," Mauriello said. "The injury bug hasn't hit us but right now it's got us a little bit so we're going to have to bounce back from that and hopefully get some guys healthy enough to wrestle."
One bright spot for the Blue Devils was the team's upperweights.
The match started at 170 pounds.
Hammonton won three of the first five matches but trailed 12-9 when the lineup turned over after 285.
Shawnee did a solid job of limiting bonus points (Hammonton had just three in the match on Matt Brumbera's pin at 138) and scoring when they could.
"Shawnee surprised me," Hammonton 182-pounder David Williams said.
Williams wasn't feeling well on Thursday but gutted out a 5-3 decision against Shawnee's Alex Foley.
"They have a lot of stocky, strong kids that know how to wrestle," Williams said. "They have a lot of three-year varsity wrestlers and they did what they had to do."
Brandon Beebe followed with an 8-1 decision at 195 and Robert Frederico picked up a 6-0 decision at 285.
But it was all Shawnee from there.
"We're starting to hit the tough part of our schedule right now so this is a good measuring stick for us to wrestle a quality team," Shawnee coach Tom Mann said. "Mauriello teams are always tough. They're always coached well and they always do a good job.
"You know coming in here that you're going to have to be physical or else you're going to get beat up."
Thursday was Williams' 99th career win.
He could face some solid competition on Saturday as the team travels to Kingsway for the South Jersey Duals but will likely pick up No. 100.
Williams said he has bigger plans.
"Honestly 100 doesn't mean anything to me," he said. "It's just another win. I'm not worried about 100 - I'm worried about the state tournament."
Contact John O'Kane:
106-Ed Moody S p. Nick DeFiccio 1:13; 113-Ryan Surman S by injury default vs. Mike Dimeo; 120-Sean Cahill S d. Scott Figueroa 4-1; 126-Tim Lattimer S d. Austin Figueroa 8-4; 132-Grant Wetterau S md. Lee Struble 10-2; 138-Matt Brumbera H p. Sam Mitchell 1:40; 145-Brennan Humphrey S p. Logan Fiorentino :54; 152-Matt DeBaradinis S by injury default vs. Nico Porretta; 160-Jared Meeks md. Jack Hartman 12-4; *170-Austin Wetterau S p. Jeff Picariello 1:50; 182-David Williams H d. Alex Foley 5-3; 195-Brandon Beebe H d. Brian Keyser 8-1; 220-Evan Wayns S p. Lenny Habinowski 1:39; 285-Robert Frederico H d. Liam Holmes 6-0.
Records-Shawnee 3-0; Hammonton 4-1.
*Match started at 170