Ribitzki, Marchetto to wrestle in state tournament

WEST MILFORD. Both the girls and boys basketball teams lose in opening round of the state sectional tournaments.

| 26 Feb 2023 | 08:34

West Milford High School juniors Spencer Ribitzki and Benjamin Marchetto are headed to Atlantic City.

Ribitzki finished third at 285 pounds and Marchetto placed fourth at 113 pounds to lead the Highlanders at the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Region 1 tournament Saturday, Feb. 25 at the high school.

The top four place-winners in each weight class at each of eight regions across the state advanced to the state tournament March 2-4 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

Ribitzki was the lone Highlander to garner a district championship on Feb. 18 in the District 3 tournament at Dumont High School.

At Region 1, Ribitzki was seeded fifth and pinned Ren Yoshikubo of River Dell in 1:06 in the quarterfinal round before getting pinned by top-seeded Jimmy Mullen of St. Joseph of Montvale in 16 seconds.

Ribitzki then rebounded by pinning Timmy Connolly of Jefferson in a wrestleback semifinal in 2:12 and packing Yoshikubo in just 33 seconds in the third-place bout.

Marchetto was seeded second in the 113-pound bracket and earned a 46-second pin over Jack Lorper of Don Bosco Prep in the quarterfinals before being edged, 1-0, by Devin Ryan of New Milford in the semifinals.

Marchetto was able to defeat Jason Chrostowski of Butler, 9-0, in a wrestleback semifinal before bowing to Mikey Bautista of St. Joseph of Montvale, 5-3.

The Highlanders had two other wrestlers compete at Region 1: junior Colin Menier (fifth at 132 pounds) and sophomore Nicholas Carbone (sixth at 150).

West Milford, with head coach Taylor Pevny at the helm, fashioned an 18-5 record this winter, reaching the semifinal round of the North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2 tournament and winning the Independence Division of the Big North Conference with a 4-1 record.

Girls basketball

West Milford, the 13th seed, saw its season come to an end with a 53-25 loss to fourth-seeded Ramsey in the opening round of the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2 tournament on Tuesday, Feb. 21 in Ramsey.

The Highlanders (11-14) were led by Laurel Space (seven points), Avery Vacca (six points), Margaret Spagnuolo (three points), Sarah Benowitz (three points), Sara Wardlaw (two points), Kailey Maskerines (two points) and Adison Arciniega (two points).

Vacca, a junior, averaged 9 points per game to lead the team, followed by sophomores Space (7.4 ppg) and Arciniega (7.3 ppg) and freshman Benowitz (4.7 ppg).

Boys basketball

The Highlanders’ 2022-23 campaign came to a close with a 53-38 loss at top-seeded Ramsey in the opening round of the North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2 first round Feb. 21.

West Milford (7-20), the 16th seed, received 11 points from Seamus Basket and six points apiece from Brandon Scrimenti and Ognjen Ljusic in the defeat.

West Milford was led offensively this year by seniors Basket (17.9 ppg) and Wyatt Space (5.6 ppg) and sophomores Ljusic (7.5 ppg), Dean Deaver (7.2 ppg) and Tyler Liguori (6.7 ppg).