Verona High School’s wrestling team improved to 3-0 in conference play Wednesday night when they defeated Livingston after winning a tiebreaker to take the match, 37-36.
After the first bout where Brian Wagner defeated a Livingston wrestler VHS was ahead 3-0. Then Mark Riggio won by forfeit and VHS was up 9-0. This was biggest lead VHS would have all night.
VHS was then tied after five bouts, 12-12. Andrew Oliver won his bout by a score of 8-2 pulling VHS within 3 points of the lead after a Verona wrestler was pinned. VHS then took the lead back when Frank Gabriele pinned his opponent to give VHS a 21-18 point lead.
Then it was Joe Ballantyne who came up big for VHS: He pinned his opponent in the fifth minute of the bout to give Verona a nine-point lead, they now were leading 27-18. But over the next three bouts VHS was dealt horrible blows. Verona had to forfeit one bout and two other wrestlers were pinned within the first three minutes of their bout. VHS now trailed 36-27 with two bouts left.
It all came down to Mike DeSomma, who was able to pull the Hillbillies within six points, making the score 36-30 Livingston, with one match left to go. But Livingston did not have another wrestler and forfeited the final bout.
The score was tied with no more wrestlers at 36. The winner was decided by the amount of the individual bout wins each team had. Verona won the tiebreaker by a score of 8-6 and was awarded the game winning point.
The Hillbillies now boast a 6-2 (3-0) record. Their next match is against Cedar Grove in Cedar Grove, Friday at 7 p.m.
Photos copyright Donna Giuliano. Used by permission.