Region 4 quarterfinals: Andriani wins a crazy one, Krosser survives, Jackson stuns Velardi

What a crazy night at Region 4 in West Orange.

While most of the top seeds advanced, as expected, to the semifinals, there was also plenty of drama in the quarterfinals on March 1.

Let’s start at heavyweight, where Patrick Andriani, my choice to win the title, needed every bit of perseverance to edge Belleville’s Nate James, 7-6, in overtime.

Andriani, the third seed, trailed, 6-4, in the closing seconds of the third period before gaining two points on a fourth stalling call against James to tie it and go into overtime.

A new rule this season says if a wrestler is tagged with four stalls, and the match goes into overtime, then the wrestler who benefited from the stalls gets to choose position, as opposed to the normal first overtime, where both wrestlers begin in neutral.

Andriani chose bottom and escaped 15 seconds into the extra session for a 7-6 win.

“That was crazy,” Passaic Valley coach Joe Benvenuti said. “But that’s the rule this year, and it helps the more aggressive wrestler.”

Livingston’s Brad Krosser, the top seed at 152, trailed Andrew Ulloa, 5-4, in the closing seconds of a 152-pound quarterfinal. He escaped in the last second to tie it, then won on a take down in the first overtime, 7-5.

Newark West Side’s Samuel Jackson defeated second seeded Joseph Velardi of West Essex, 9-5, in a 160-pound bout. Jackson will be in the semifinals on Saturday morning.

A surprise at heavyweight, where top seeded Jose Marrero of Passaic Tech lost by forfeit.

West Orange and Passaic Valley each advanced four to the semifinals.

Andriani, Jala’a Darwish, Nick Armagno and Tom Dunphy all advanced for the Hornets.

Here are the semifinal matchups for Saturday. The semis start at 9 a.m., with concurrent wrestlebacks. Two more rounds of wrestlebacks will be contested, culminating with the dramatic third place bouts, before the championship round starts at 6 p.m., which is ridiculous, but what can you do? (There’s no reason to wait until 6 p.m. to start the championships).

106-Anthony DeLorenzo, Nutley, vs. Dean Caravela, Caldwell. Alec Kelly, St. Peter’s Prep vs. Isaiah Adams, West Orange.

113-Michael Russo, St. Peter’s Prep, vs. Brendon Seyfried, Newark Academy. Eric Hicks, Ft. Lee, vs. Jean DuBois, Clifton.

120-Robert Trombetta, Nutley, vs. Jordan Velez, West Orange. Tommy Heller, Livingston, vs. Marc Mastropietro, Hasbrouck Heights/Wood Ridge.

126-Anthony Giraldo, North Bergen, vs. Steve Bonsall, Newark Academy. Sonny Simonetti, St. Peter’s Prep, vs. Mohamed Farhan, Clifton.

132-Jason Estevez, Livingston, vs. Tom Dunphy, Passaic Valley. Matthew Joskowitz, Cliffside Park, vs. Connor Burkert, St. Peter’s Prep.

138-Ryan Burkert, St. Peter’s Prep, vs. Jala’a Darwish, Passaic Valley. George Lui Terrero, West Orange, vs. Roy Forys, Becton.

145-Mike Marotti, West Essex, vs. Nathaniel Garcia, Bloomfield. Chris Fitzgerald, Ridgefield Park, vs. Patrick Gerish, Newark Academy.

152-Brad Krosser, Livingston, vs. Tyler Loughlin, Becton. Carlo Zazzara, West Essex, vs. John Faugno, Glen Ridge.

160-Brandon Keena, Nutley, vs. Nick Armagno, Passaic Valley. Sean Roesing, Secaucus, vs. Samuel Jackson, Newark West Side.

170-James Kellner, St. Peter’s Prep, vs. Christopher Morgan, West Orange. Kyle Christiansen, Bloomfield, vs. Nathan Bueno, Becton.

182-Vin Mainiero, Nutley, vs. Jordan Fox, St. Peter’s Prep. Charles O’Connell, Secaucus, vs. Frank Greco, Verona.

195-Jake Regina, Rutherford, vs. Marc McDonald, West Essex. Mauro Altamura, Hasbrouck Heights, vs. Christian Colucci, St. Peter’s Prep.

220-Armond Cox, St. Peter’s Prep, vs. Peter Burbank, Nutley. Emmanuel Soriano, PCT, vs. Vin Cordasco, Cedar Grove.

HWT-Jose Palomino, St. Peter’s Prep, vs. Nathanael Louis, West Orange. Patrick Andriani, Passaic Valley, vs. Adrian Oceguera, Union City.

By mike051893

Dan Davatelis and his ‘Heroes’ did well at Sparta; Carcich: 273 days to go

So, the 2012-2013 boys basketball season at Passaic Valley is now in the books, following a 51-34 setback at Sparta in the quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA, North Jersey, Section 1, Group 3 tournament.

The seventh seeded Hornets battled throughout the game, but the team could never get into an offensive rhythm while Sparta, the second seed, consistently hit the key perimeter basket. PV was as close as nine points, 37-28 (and had missed seven foul shots at that point) early in the fourth quarter before a 13-4 run by Sparta put the game out of reach.

The Hornets finished 16-10, marking the eighth straight winning season in the nine years since Rob Carcich arrived at Little Falls to take over a program that was 6-63 in its previous 69 games. The 2012-2013 season was highlighted by a Big North championship, the first conference title for the boys basketball program at PV since 1979.

Passaic Valley was well represented at the game by a vocal fan base. Dan Davatelis, a junior at PV, had his championship belt well displayed for everyone to see. The Hornets had a packed fan bus to Sparta, and even as the bus was pulling out after the game, there was Davatelis holding the belt out of the bus window, basically saying ‘we’ll be back in 2014.’

pvThe championship belt will make a return next year at Passaic Valley, as Holsworth’s Heroes, led by Dan Davatelis, will tell you.

Dan’s prognostications aside, there are many who feel that the Hornets will be back with a vengeance next season, since the entire team returns, with the exception of senior guard Ian Hanley, who turned in another solid effort in his final high school game last night.

Carcich, never one to beat around the bush, called a well placed time out in the closing seconds of last night’s game at Sparta. With his team trailing by double digits, there was little game strategy involved, but a clear message.

“I told them, ‘there are 273 days before the start of practice'”, Carcich said. “And basically, ‘what are you going to do between now and then?’ We have a strong senior class coming back and a lot of big kids who now have a year of varsity experience. We have the potential to be a Top 20 club. We can also be a 16 win team that wins a game in the state tournament and loses to a team like Sparta in the second round. This year, it was about gaining varsity experience from kids with talent, but not a lot of playing time.

“They have that playing time now. The next step is winning games consistently, and that starts with any game we’re playing in the spring, the summer, the fall. Whenever we’re out there, that’s the focus, winning. If you’re not on board with that, fine, say so. But I’m pretty sure these kids want more. And if they do, that work needs to start right away. If you want to get to the level of Sparta, or Teaneck, you can’t let down.”

And let me congratulate the PV student body, which got a boost from first-year assistant coach Jim Holsworth, a social studies teacher who challenged his students, including Dan Davatelis, to be more vocal at home games after an article I wrote which described the gym at PV as “The Library”.

The students took that as an insult and began to rev it up at home games. Eventually, the enthusiasm went on the road, culminated by the fan bus which took the 50 mile drive to Sparta last night and the adoption of “Holsworth’s Heroes” as the fan base, hopefully for years to come.

By mike051893