Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Hallak Helps Boost Bergen Cath. Status

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Hallak Helps Boost Bergen Cath. Status

Article excerpt

BOUND BROOK - This was the bout that Gianni Hallak had waited his entire career for.

So the senior from Bergen Catholic wasn't going to let a little thing like a 5-0 deficit early on get in the way.

Hallak battled back to pin Bound Brook's Abe Saavedra in six minutes at 170 for one of the biggest wins of the night Saturday as Bergen Catholic, ranked No. 3 in the state in every wrestling poll, dumped second-ranked Bound Brook, 39-18, in one of the most anticipated matches of the season.

"That was the match of my life, so I had to fight off my back," said Hallak, who has been battling for three years to get into the starting lineup. "I had to get 6. A regular win wasn't going to cover it."

The win, coming on the heels of BC wins against state-ranked Brick Memorial, Toms River South and High Point, cements the Crusaders' status as the No. 2 team in the state behind unbeaten South Plainfield. The Tigers are the only team to beat Bergen Catholic (15-1) this season.

"We've been dancing around the top 5 and top 10 in the state for years," BC coach Dave Bell said. "With this win, I think we firmly planted ourselves up there as one of the best teams in the state."

"I think it shows everybody that we're not afraid to wrestle the best," said Hallak. "We're looking to wrestle the best."

And with everything on the line, the Crusaders came up with their best performance of the season.

After a win by Bound Brook's Ronald Picado at 220, Bergen Catholic came back with consecutive wins from Carmine Goldsack, Nick Suriano and Tyler Casamenti for an 11-3 lead after 113. …

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