Monroe pins down victory over Marlboro in the state sectional wrestling tournament

Monroe Township High School wrestler Chris Fanelli pushes Marlboro High School's Mike Malucelli down to the mat during their 160-pound match on Feb. 10. Monroe defeated Marlboro, 49-15, to advance to the semifinals of the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 5 Tournament.

The Monroe Township High School wrestling team’s stellar winter continued in a big away on Feb. 10.

In Monroe, the host Falcons roared through Marlboro High School to post a 49-15 victory and advance to the semifinals of the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 5 sectional tournament.

“All our seniors came through for us and made the most of it,” said Monroe coach Joe Eurell. “A lot of our guys have been here before and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to have a chance to advance to the semifinals.”

It marked the second straight year that Monroe defeated Marlboro in the opening round of the state sectional tournament. Monroe won last year, 61-15.

Monroe (14-4) will now face powerful Hunterdon Central Regional High School in the Central Jersey, Group 5 state sectional semifinals on Wednesday in Flemington. Hunterdon Central was the Group 5 state runner-up last year.

Monroe took full advantage of the match starting at the 145-pound weight class.

Cooper Boyum, the 145-pounder,  152-pounder Ian McCabe and 160-pounder Chris Fanelli all showed how strong the Falcons are in the middle of their lineup when each wrestler recorded a pin to help Monroe race to an 18-0 lead.

The Falcons won the first six matches of the night to build up a 34-0 lead over the Mustangs.

After Marlboro recorded two straight victories to cut the Monroe lead to 34-12, Nick Stump (113 pouns) and Jayton Otlowski (120) helped the Falcons roar back to clinch their quarterfinal victory and advance back to the semifinals.

Stump won his match by a 14-8 decision, while Otlowski earned a hard-fought 8-2 decision victory in his contest.

Joseph Fiordaliso (132) won his match for the Falcons with a nice reversal and then cradled up Marlboro’s Andrew Di Liberto for a second-period pin, while Anthony Profaci (138) pulled off a takedown in the final 10 seconds to win his match by a 13-11 decision for Monroe.

Harrison Gordon (106) and Adam Mirza (285) both won their match by a pin for the Mustangs. Teammate Vinny Franzone (126) battled to a 8-4 victory for Marlboro, which stands now at 13-11 on the season.

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