|VIDEO: West Essex eliminates Lenape Valley in semis|
Lenape Valley knocked out the third seed in the North 1, Group II wrestling sectionals, and the Patriots had high hopes of doing the same to the second seed, West Essex. But a couple of tough breaks doomed their chances.
West Essex won eight of the first 10 bouts to build an insurmountable lead, and went on to beat Lenape Valley 44-28. Among those eight wins were a disqualification and an injury default, two results that made a Patriots victory all but impossible.
Lenape Valley did rally to win the final four bouts, including a pair of pins, to make the final score closer. The Patriots defeated #3 seed River Dell in the first round after qualifying for the states despite a sub-.500 record at the cutoff date.
The win means it will be West Essex that makes the trip up to High Point for the sectional final. The Knights won this section each of the last two years, but High Point was in Group III, and beating the Wildcats will be a huge challenge for West Essex.
Click play in the box at left to see video highlights from the West Essex-Lenape Valley wrestling match.