Beach claims B Central with late win over Shore

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Point Pleasant Beach hosted Shore Regional for a varsity wrestling match on Wednesday March 17, 2021. 182 lb. bout Beach’s John Liotta taking on Regional’s Dylan Drahos. (MARK R. SULLIVAN/THE OCEAN STAR)

POINT BEACH — The Garnet Gulls wrestling team edged out B Central rival the Shore Regional Blue Devils 42-36 with a Macky Liotta [182] pin in the final bout at home on Wednesday, March 17. 

The victory not only handed the Gulls their 23rd division title — and second-straight since Shore stole back the crown in 2019 — but helped head coach Jeff Bower to his 200th career win. 

“Coach Bower is such a great guy and I couldn’t be happier for him to have this opportunity and be the one to give it to him,” Liotta said. “I didn’t know that this was going to be the big moment I was searching for, but once I found out that I was the last bout, and the coaches were like ‘Let’s give Liotta the chance to take it home,’ I kind of knew it was going to be that moment.”

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Placing Liotta in a winning position were pins from Jason Schulz [170] and Joe Beley [152] to tie the match twice.

Early in the meeting Beach trailed 15-0 and earned its first points from back-to-back Shore forfeits at 106 and 113. The Blue Devils would forfeit one more bout at 145 that would eventually close the gap for the Gulls. Following the forfeits, Beach needed to pin in order to stay in condition and did so with four total. In addition to Liotta, Schulz and Beley, Rowan McLaughlin also won by fall. 

Outside of the three forfeits, nine of the 10 bouts ended in pins; Shore finishing with five.

“It was an amazing feeling,” Beley said. “It was something we all knew we had to do to win the match, it came down to the numbers and we had to go out there and give it our all. We had to get them on their backs and lay them flat. We did just that and ended up winning the match.”

To start the match, Ryley Thomas [195] was pinned [1:14], Rowan Doyle [220] lost by decision, 6-5, Josh Ramos [Hwt] was pinned [1:10], Aidan Loughran [106] and Michael Storino [113] won by forfeit, Justin Mazzatta [132] was pinned [0:52] Josh Golda [138] was pinned [0:35], Riley Simon [145] won by forfeit and Kip Lovgren [160] was pinned [2:40].

Now with Shore behind them, Beach will shift focus to its next match at home against Freehold Boro on Saturday, March 20, at 11 a.m.

This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.