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Wrestling: Guts, will power fuel Mainland’s Roberts, EHT’s Agostino in Region 8 quarterfinals

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By NICK KOSKO Staff Writer EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — The Region 8 tournament sports some of the best wrestling in New Jersey, and there usually is one weight class that stands out above the rest. This year, the 195-pound weight class featured its top eight wrestlers in bouts Friday night that could have gone either way. Mainland Regional’s Kolin Roberts won with a quick pin on Wednesday night and was matched up with Timber Creek’s Kashon Gordon. Roberts, who was last season’s Region 8 runner-up, won a tight match 3-2 after getting a quick takedown in the first period. Despite the quick lead, Roberts had to fend off the rugged Gordon for the majority of the match in what ended up being a bit too close for comfort. “It was all about getting to the next level for me. I knew I had a tough match in front of me and I had to wrestle my hardest,” Roberts said. “I actually didn’t expect him to be that strong, so that was a mistake by me. But I had to get through it.” Mustangs coach Clayton Smith knew it was going to be a tough match, but felt Roberts was prepared after a fast win on Wednesday. While Smith said he thought Roberts didn’t wrestle his best match, he knew he did enough to squeak out a win and get to Saturday’s semifinal round. Mainland Regional's Kolin Roberts scored a win over Timber Creek's Kashon Gordon on Friday night to advance to the semifinals of the Region 8 tournament at 195 pounds. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O'Sullivan) Mainland Regional’s Kolin Roberts scored a win over Timber Creek’s Kashon Gordon on Friday night to advance to the semifinals of the Region 8 tournament at 195 pounds. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O’Sullivan) “He was really confident on Wednesday and we knew he was definitely prepared for tonight’s match,” Smith said. “We didn’t treat this one any differently than any other match. Gordon and Kolin are big, strong kids, and Kolin was just able to outwrestle him tonight.” Defending champion Connor Agostino, of Egg Harbor Township, seeded second, came into the toughest quarterfinal match of the night against Pennsville’s Frank Wyshinski. With the match deadlocked at 1-1 in the third period, Agostino was illegally slammed by Wyshinski on the edge of the mat, which gave Agostino a 2-1 advantage. The EHT junior scored a takedown a few seconds later to hang on for 4-1 victory. Egg Harbor Township coach Mike Caiazza maintained it was the right call under the circumstances, despite raucous opposition from the Pennsville faithful. “The slam call is there for a reason. It is designed to protect the kids and I am not a fan of a kid losing or winning a match that way, but it is what it is,” Caiazza said. “I knew Wyshinski was a real tough kid and that it was going to be a brawl tonight, and sometimes calls go your way.” Agostino and Roberts will be facing off Saturday in the semifinals. It will be the fifth time they have faced each other the last two seasons. Agostino has won the last three, which include last year’s Region 8 final and last week’s District 32 final. “Our goal is to get these kids to Atlantic City and tomorrow is going to be another tough day. Our kids know what they have to do, so they need to go out and perform,” Caiazza said. Roberts’ lone win over Agostino came in last season’s District 32 semifinals, where he earned a pin late in the third period. St. Augustine Prep senior 220-pounder Jim Brady tries to get the advantage on EHT's Dietrich Trumbauer. Brady was able to hang on for a 3-2 to advance to the semis. St. Augustine Prep senior 220-pounder Jim Brady tries to get the advantage on EHT’s Dietrich Trumbauer. Brady was able to hang on for a 3-2 to advance to the semis. Egg Harbor Township sent two other wrestlers to the semifinals with wins on Friday night. Terrell Coleman and Paul Valian both won matches in the 113-pound and heavyweight brackets, respectively. Coleman’s victory featured a first-period pin of Millville’s Jose Santiago. Valian scored a 9-5 victory over Clayton’s Tammoy Clarke in double overtime and will take on Maquay Richmond of Cumberland in the semis. St. Augustine sent six wrestlers to the semis, including Steven Schwab, Reid White, Dillon Taylor, Nick Clark, Jose Tabora and Jim Brady. Brady escaped with a 3-2 victory over Egg Harbor Township’s Dietrich Trumbauer in a tough bout at 220 pounds. Saturday will feature the semis at 10 a.m. at Egg Harbor Township High School, plus a lot of wrestlebacks to determine third place. The finals are scheduled for 4 p.m. At 113 pounds, Coleman will have a rematch with Highland’s Lucas Siegfried to determine the finalist, likely against Gateway’s Antonio Mininno. Absegami’s James Geigold remains the only Braves wrestler alive in the championship bracket, as he will take on top-seeded Trace Kinner of Kingsway at 120 pounds. Buena will feature five wrestlers in the semis. Justin Inman, Tim Suter, Mason Brestle, Jake Maxwell and Antonio Rodriguez all need one victory to punch their ticket to Atlantic City. Suter will have an exciting matchup with Taylor, of St. Augustine Prep, in the 145-pound semifinals. Mainland’s Justin Bishop, who scored his 100th win earlier this month, will be taking on Cedar Creek’s Andrew Solomon at 138 pounds in the wrestlebacks as each wrestler looks to stay alive for third place. This bout will be a rematch of the District 32 semifinals, which Solomon won. [adsense]

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