Wrestler heads to states

WEST MILFORD. Senior Benjamin Marchetto wins the region championship before hometown crowd.

| 28 Feb 2024 | 05:39

Benjamin Marchetto of West Milford High School punched his ticket to Atlantic City before his hometown fans.

The top-seeded senior at 144 pounds earned the championship in his weight class with a 1-0 victory over Seton Hall Prep’s Nicholas Orejola in the final Saturday afternoon, Feb. 24 at the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Region 1 tournament at West Milford.

Marchetto, 32-1 this season, also won the District 4 title Feb. 17 at High Point Regional High School in Sussex.

The top four place-winners in each weight class at each of the eight regions advance to the NJSIAA state tournament, which will be contested Thursday, Feb. 29 through Saturday, March 2.

Colin Menier (132 pounds) and Spencer Ribitzki (285) also competed at Region 1 but didn’t place.

The West Milford girls wrestling team had one participant, Jacqueline Sloan, in the NJSIAA North Region 1 tournament Sunday, Feb. 25 at Vernon Township High School.

Sloan, a 132-pound freshman, recorded two wins by fall before bowing in the semifinal round.

Here’s how other West Milford teams fared last week:

Ice hockey

The West Milford-Pequannock-Pompton Lakes tri-op squad, seeded fifth, earned a 4-2 victory over 13th-seeded Fair Lawn in the quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA Public North Co-Op Tournament on Thursday, Feb. 22 at the Ice Vault in Wayne.

The Highlanders (15-7-1) were scheduled to play top-seeded Tenafly in the sectional semifinal round on Tuesday, Feb. 27. The sectional final is slated for Thursday, Feb. 29 at Codey Arena in West Orange.

West Milford defeated 12th-seeded Nutley-Columbia-Bloomfield in a first round game Tuesday, Feb. 20 led by Kyle Gregory (three goals, one assist), Joe Barroquerio (three goals), Sean Hughes (two goals, one assist), Raymond Goetz (one goal, one assist), Aiden Lindgren (one goal, one assist), Matthew Watt (one goal) and Nick Lombardo (nine saves).

Girls basketball

Avery Vacca and Laurel Space each scored 14 points and Adison Arciniega added 12 points to power the Highlanders, seeded 10th, to a 66-38 victory over seventh-seeded Elmwood Park in a NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2 tournament first-round game Wednesday, Feb. 21 in Elmwood Park.

Sarah Benowitz chipped in with nine points on three three-pointers and Kailey Maskerines added eight points for West Milford, which was scheduled to play at second-seeded Mahwah on Monday, Feb. 26.

Boys basketball

West Milford, seeded 11th, bowed to sixth-seeded High Point, 51-47, in the opening round of the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2 tournament Wednesday, Feb. 21 in Sussex.

The game was close throughout, with High Point closing with a 17-14 fourth-quarter showing.

The Highlanders (11-15) were led by Ognjen Ljusic and Nash Appell, who each had 14 points, and Tyler Liguori, who added 10 points.

Ljusic, a junior, averaged 13.4 points to lead the team in scoring.