In an early-season test of wrestling skills and wills between ranked teams, West Deptford piled up bonus points and emerged with a 42-26 victory Wednesday night at St. Augustine Prep.
West Deptford (2-0), ranked No. 6 in South Jersey by The Inquirer, recorded pins at 152, 215, 103, 112, and 119 pounds, and a forfeit victory at 171, against No. 7 St. Augustine (0-1).
"We preach bonus points, so I'm not surprised by them," West Deptford coach John Craig said. "That was something we had to do in order to win this match."
The Eagles also won toss-up bouts at 160 and 140. And two of their pins came in the final seconds at 152 and 215 to create a little suspense in an otherwise lackluster evening.
"We were undisciplined this week in practice," said St. Augustine coach Joe Melchiore, whose Hermits were state Non-Public A runners-up last season. "Undisciplined in their weights, we had to run two practices to keep their weights down instead of working on their skills."
Melchiore thought a toss-up bout between James Bennett and James Shields at 152 was winnable for Bennett. But Shields pinned him with 40 seconds left to give West Deptford a 12-6 lead.
The Eagles, the state Group 2 runners-up last season, never looked back.
An interesting matchup occurred in the second bout, at 140. District 29 champion Drew Spector of West Deptford clashed with District 32 champ Joe Devone, who was shut out, 7-0.
"I was pleased with the way I wrestled him, but I thought I should have gotten a pin," Spector said.
"We can be the best team in New Jersey. We have lots of experience and good teamwork."
Devone, who had lost to Spector last season, was disappointed.
"He took me down," Devone said. "He had good legs. It was hard to get out.
"I overestimated myself. I expected to be better."
The Hermits jumped to a 6-0 lead when Mark Patterson pinned Scott Dennis in 1:50. Spector's decision over Devone made the score 6-3, and Dan Eckley tied the match, 6-6, with a 3-0 decision over Tyler Sentman.
Brian Snow at 215 pinned Ray Ellis with 13 seconds left to give West Deptford a 27-10 lead. Pins by Dustin Zuzulock at 103, Tyler Kaminski at 112, and Evan Zuzulock at 119 sealed the victory.
West Deptford 46, St. Augustine 26
135: Mark Patterson, St. Augustine, pinned Scott Dennis, 1:50. 140: Drew Spector, West Deptford, dec. Joe Devone, 6-0. 145: Dan Eckley, West Deptford, dec.Tyler Sentman, 3-0. 152: James Shields, West Deptford, pinned James Bennett, 5:20. 160: Sean Bonner, West Deptford, dec. Adam Schroeder, 5-3. 171: Rory Bonner, West Deptford, won by forfeit. 189: Tom Abbot, St. Augustine, maj.dec. Frankie Willerton, 10-2. 215: Brian Snow, West Deptford, pinned Ray Ellis, 5:47. 285: Andrew Baumgardner, St. Augustine, pinned Jamil Pollard, 2:59. 103: Tom Gattinella, St. Augustine, pinned Dustin Zuzulock, 5:42. 112: Tyler Kaminski, West Deptford, pinned Matthew Dellinger, 1:12. 119: Evan Zuzulock, West Deptford, pinned Eric Mog, 1:19. 125: Joe Esposito, St. Augustine, maj. dec. Christian Terinoni, 14-5. 130: Josh Gilliano, West Deptford, dec. Tom Huesser, 5-2.