WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Three wrestlers from the Sacred Heart wrestling team took part in and advanced deep into competition at their respective weight classes at the Wilkes Open. Anthony Priore and Justin Belanger each reached the semi-finals of the consolation round before facing elimination.
Priore, a senior from Garwood, N.J., lost his first round match in the 165 lb. weight class to Zachary Lundgren (Pittsburgh-Johnstown), 4-0. In the consolation round, he rattled off wins Dylan Caprio (Lock Haven) and Ross Myers (Wilkes) by a score of 3-0 and a pin of Myers in 2:34. Priore advanced with a win by medical forfeit and took down Patrick Labuz (UNA-Brown) 10-1 in the consolation quarters. In the semis, Priore was knocked out following a 4-2 decision to Anthony Volpe (UNA-Rutgers).
Junior Jonathan Rizzitello (Paramus, N.J.) also competed in the 165 lb. weight class. He lost his first round contest to Matt Magill (NYU), 6-5. Rizzitello scored wins over Evan Brewer (UNA-Rutgers), Sam Shirey (Bloomsburg), and Brandon Vernalli (Millersville) by scores of 10-1, 12-3, and 10-6 in the consolation round. In the conti-quarters, Rizzitello was eliminated as he fell to Magill again, this time by a score of 4-1.
In the 141 lb. weight class, Belanger, a red-shirt junior from West Greenwich, R.I., won his first round match-up by technical fall, 16-1, over Carson Brooks (Williams) before falling to Dave Cawley (Pittsburgh-Johnstown), 7-2, in the second round. Belanger registered an 11-5 win in the consolation bracket over Aaron Trimpey (Millersville) then pinned Uditinder Thakur (American) in 2:24. He then advanced to the conti-quarters with a win by medical forfeit, followed by a 6-4 victory over Kenneth Knapp (Franklin & Marshall). Belanger was eliminated by Mark Hartenstine (UNA-Maryland) by a score of 4-0 in the consolation semis.
The Pioneers are back in action as they host Bloomsburg at the William H. Pitt Center at 4:00 pm on January 5 for their first home contest of the season.