2 High Point wrestlers head to states

SUSSEX. Nick Clayton and Ella Poalillo win region championships.

Sussex /
| 27 Feb 2024 | 04:44

Nick Clayton and Ella Poalillo of High Point Regional High School are headed to Atlantic City as region wrestling champions.

Clayton, a 132-pound junior, won that weight class by edging Andre Morero, 6-5, at the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Region 1 championships Saturday afternoon, Feb. 24 in West Milford.

Poalillo, a freshman, captured the 138-pound championship at the NJSIAA Girls North Region 1 Tournament with a 4:28 pin over Eva Barry of Newton/Kittatinny on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 25 in Vernon.

Clayton, 28-6 this season, is the lone High Point boys wrestler advancing to the NJSIAA state tournament. The final event of the high school wrestling season will be held at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City from Thursday, Feb. 29 through Saturday, March 2.

The top four place-winners in each weight class at each of the eight boys region tournaments qualify for the annual state tournament.

Colin Jaust, who won a District 4 title at 120 pounds on Feb. 17, placed sixth Saturday at that weight. Gavin Mericle, who was second at heavyweight at District 4, upset top-seeded Robert Elkins of Don Bosco Prep, 3-1, in the quarterfinal round Friday night, Feb. 23 and placed sixth Saturday.

For the girls, Kayley Bruner finished in 5th/6th place at 145 pounds.

Here’s how other High Point teams fared last week:

Boys basketball

Brayden Franko scored a game-high 20 points, Jacob Guinta added 10 points and Noah Reilly dropped in nine points to pace sixth-seeded High Point to a 51-47 victory over 11th-seeded West Milford in the first round of the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2 tournament Wednesday, Feb. 21 in Sussex.

The Wildcats (19-6) are scheduled to play against third-seeded Vernon in a sectional quarterfinal Monday, Feb. 26. The sectional semifinal round is Wednesday, Feb. 28 with the championship game slated for Friday, March 1.

Against West Milford, High Point led, 34-33, at the end of three periods before closing with a 17-14 fourth-quarter effort.

Girls basketball

The 12th-seeded Wildcats bowed to fifth-seeded Morris Tech, 52-35, in the first round of the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2 tournament Thursday, Feb. 22 in Denville.

High Point, which finished 15-10 this season, was led by seniors Leah English (12.5 points per game), Mikayla Conklin (9 ppg), Rachel Teague (6.9 ppg) and Olivia Wagner (8.4 ppg).

Ice hockey

High Point received two goals from senior Michael Sadowski and a goal from junior Brady Reid but the 18th-seeded Wildcats bowed to 15th-seeded Mount Olive, 8-3, in the opening round of the NJSIAA North Jersey, Co-Op Tournament on Feb. 16 at the Flemington Ice Arena.

High Point (12-8) was led offensively this season by Sadowski (39 goals, 16 assists), Alex Sonvico (22 goals, 14 assists), Sebastian Hamarcak (five goals, 18 assists), Reid (10 goals, 14 assists), Anthony Tokar (seven goals, 16 assists), James Sonvico (nine goals, 12 assists) and Joshua Custode (nine goals, six assists).

Sophomore goalie Landon Healy stopped more than 400 shots, good for an 83 percent save percentage.