Memorial advances with win over Hightstown

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Brick Memorial junior Michael Richardson won by a 17-1 tech fall against Kether Thornton in a 45-21 win against Hightstown on Monday, Feb. 4. [STEVE WEXLER/THE OCEAN STAR].

BRICK — The No. 3 seeded Brick Memorial wrestling team held off a late comeback to defeat No. 7 Hightstown, 45-21, in the opening round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV tournament at home, Monday, Feb. 4.

Memorial’s Michael Cate [106] and Braden Scott dashed all hopes of an upset with a pair of pins, sealing the win for the Mustangs with one match remaining and a 39-21 lead.

“We’re in pretty good shape, the kids are training hard and I just want them to stay the course,” head coach Michael Kiley said. “A win with that type of lineup, that’s not bad.”

With inexperience at the top of the lineup, bonus points were important for Memorial early on.

Michael Richardson bumped up from his usual weight class [126] and tech-falled Hightstown’s Kether Thornton 17-1 at 132 lbs.

“I knew this team was not that bad and with [David] Szuba and [Ryan] Smith out, we really needed the points,” Richardson said. “I expected it really, I know I am that good now, last year I was not that confident and this year, just my confidence got me better.”

Vincent Santaniello [120], Jared Crippen [138], Caleb Alvarado, Ruben Lizardi [152] and Michael Angrosina [170] and Sam Azzaretti [195] all won for the Mustangs.  

Memorial’s sectional run continues on against No. 2 Colts Neck on the road, Wednesday, Feb. 6. With Angrosina, Azzaretti and Scott winning as freshmen, Kiley is relying on his younger wrestlers to answer the call.

“Those guys kind of got thrown into the fire, they didn’t have a choice to be in there and they are adapting really well,” Kiley said. “This is only going to help us for years to come.”

For more on this story, read next week's edition of The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.

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