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Another fine showing for Hubmaster

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ELMWOOD PARK _  A determined and focused Kiera Hubmaster just keeps racking up the wins on the long and winding road back to Atlantic City.

Hubmaster, Kittatinny's powerful sophomore, pinned Elmwood Park's Maria Taseva (state place-winner last year) in 1:28 in the 180-pound final at at the first annual Bergen County Women's Coaches Association (BCWCA) Invitational girls wrestling tournament on Sunday, Jan. 5th at Elmwood Park High School.

A year ago, in the initial girls wrestling season in New Jersey, Hubmaster made it all the way to the 235-pound final where she was edged by Kaila Mungo of Rancocas Valley, 2-1, by tiebreaker after three overtime sessions, for the gold medal in the state state final at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. In that match, Hubmaster was giving away about 50 pounds to Mungo and had difficulty creating scoring opportunities on the bigger Mungo.

This time, Hubmaster was wrestling at her normal weight and showed a great deal both on her feet and when wrestling from both on the bottom and on top.

"I was confident but I also had a lot of respect for everyone. I used some arm bars and a cement mixer and I was able to prevail," said the 16-year-old Hubmaster, who earned a North Regional championship last year and pinned Caleigh Minnich of River Dell in 1:01 in the semifinals of this tournament.

Another Kittatinny wrestler, freshman Samantha Fletcher, also did well at the BCWCA tournament, placing fourth at 151 pounds. The 14-year-old Fletcher lost in the consolation round to Jaitlin Mora of Morris Hills, who pinned her Sussex County opponent in 2:41. Alexandra Ferrone of Morris Hills pinned Fletcher in 1:01 in the semifinals.

Morris Hills wrestlers also put on fine performances at the Bergen County event.

Alexandra Ferrone took a silver medal in the 151-pound weight class, getting pinned by Kayla Zeppetelli of Bogota/Ridgefield Park in 48 seconds in the final.

Kyara Montoya of Morris Hills took home a bronze medal by pinning Amanda Connors of Northern Highlands in 3:14 at 128 pounds in the consolation round. Jaitlin Mora also took third at 151 pounds for the Scarlet Knights.

Junior Izabella Frezzo of Becton Regional in East Rutherford was the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler, pinning Anastasia Regalado of Lakeland in 29 seconds in the 107-pound final.

Hubmaster has started the season strong for the Cougars, earning a silver medal at the Bloomfield Tournament in late December with a second place at 180 pounds, falling in the final to New Brunswick's Kerly Borber-Ordonez, who pinned in 2:16.

"It feels good to have a teammate (Samantha Fletcher), too, this season," said Hubmaster. "She and I are able to work out together and our coaches (longtime and legendary coach John Gill (at the helm of Kittatinny for 40 seasons, 582-189-5 career dual-meet record) and assistants Thomas Hubmaster (Kiera's dad) and Steve Butler do a great job, too."

Also on Sunday, the South Jersey Wrestling Hall Of Fame Tournament was held at Timber Creek High School in Sicklerville in Camden County. Hubmaster's opponent in last year's state final, Kaila Mongey of Rancocas Valley, was pinned by Joelle Klein of Lower Cape May Regional High School in the 215-pound final. Mongey had defeated Klein, who finished third in the state last year at 215, in the South Regional final a year ago. Klein, who also won the Queen of the East Tournament in her weight class in late December at Pennsauken High School in Camden County, also played football for the Caper Tigers as an offensive and defensive lineman for the Cape May County high school football team.

Twelve weight classes, instead of the eleven that will be employed for the girls at the Regionals (North Region at Union High School on Sunday, Feb. 23rd; South Region to be determined, state tournament at Atlantic City from March 5 to 7 at Boardwalk Hall), were employed at the BCWCA Invitational and County Tournament. A year ago, there were 10 weight classes employed for the girls regional tournament (both North and South Region tournaments in 2019 were at Red Bank Regional High School in Little Silver) and state tournament, fourteen weight classes for the boys).

More than 500 people were in attendance at Elmwood Park for the BCWCA event Sunday and it had a high-energy feeling that charged throughout the stands on onto the mats. Over 300 girls competed in wrestling's first year as a varsity sport in the 2018-2019 season and more than a 1,000 could hit the mats this season in the ever-expanding role of the sport in the Garden State. And, with 2020 being an Olympic year, wrestling could receive an even higher profile for the 2020-2021 high school winter wrestling campaign.

Running the tournament was Elmwood Park assistant wrestling coach Dennis Murri, who made the proposal to the BCWCA for the tournament in July along with Fort Lee track and field coach, former NV/Demarest coach and Emerson graduate Nicole Pacciani, the President of the BCWCA.

"I thought this was a great turnout, both from the number of girls involved (82 from many county schools, including all-girls Immaculate Conception of Lodi, Morris Hills from Morris County, Lakeland from Passaic County, Bloomfield, Newark East Side and Columbia from Essex County, Secaucus and North Bergen from Hudson County, Kittatinny from Sussex County, Bridgewater-Raritan from Somerset County)," said Elmwood Park assistant coach Murri. "Nicole really did a great job as did many other people helping to put this tournament together."

Elmwood Park's Kaya Augustyniak won the 121-pound gold medal at the BCWCA tournament, pinning Emily Aguilar of North Bergen in 4:27 in the final round. Taseva at 180 pounds picked up a silver medal. A winner for Immaculate Conception of Lodi was Jenna Fillieri at 143 pounds, who pinned Amelia Woefel of River Dell in 3:44 in the final. Immaculate Conception's Christina Braid, also an excellent softball player, earned a silver medal, getting pinned by North Bergen's Amanda Pace in 45 seconds in the 161-pound final.

Bloomfield had three champions at the BCWCA event - freshman Kira Pipkins at 114 pounds (who also won the Bloomfield Tournament at her weight class), Noura Kakadendi at 215 pounds and Gianna Faura at the 215-pound plus weight class. A champion from Newark East Side was Colleen Archer at 100 pounds, who decisioned Secaucus' Brianna Cervantes, 8-4, in the final. The 128-pound victor was Paramus' Emily Klein, who pinned Claire Dalty of Bloomfield in 1:33 in the final. Sophomore Grace Kaczanowski of Bridgewater-Raritan won the 135-pound weight class with a pin in 17 seconds over Taylor Peterson of Garfield in the finals.

Amanda Connors took fourth place at 128 pounds for Northern Highlands.

Dan Rehain has been at the Northern Highlands boys and girls helm for three years and his father, Jeff Rehain, was the wrestling coach at Rutherford for many years, picking up more than 200 career wins.

William 'Bucky' Rehain, Dan's grandfather and Jeff's father, among the most legendary wrestling and baseball and football coaches in state and Bergen County history, had a long and ultra-successful career at Pascack Hills High School in Montvale and also coached at St. Joseph of Montvale for one year and also at Pascack Valley High School in Hillsdale.

Bucky Rehain, in his 56th season coaching wrestling, started his wrestling coaching career at Kearny High School in 1964, getting the physical education job as long as he would coach wrestling and he helmed the Kardinals' matmen to a remarkable 9-4 mark that year. Then he took over the Pascack Hills wrestling and football programs in 1965 and coached for more than 40 seasons into the early mid-2000s at the Northern Bergen County school.

Last modified onFriday, 24 January 2020 13:16

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