By BRIAN CUNNIFF
Shane Whitney made the most of his only season of New Jersey high school wrestling.
A transfer from Virginia Beach, the Lower Cape May Regional High School senior went on a solid run at the state wrestling championships at Phillipsburg High School Sunday to finish fifth at 220 pounds.
Seeded 11th out of 16 wrestlers in the weight class at the tournament, Whitney won four of six matches on the day, three of which came over higher-seeded wrestlers.
Whitney’s teammate, junior Marcus Hebron, also competed at the event and won one of three matches at 195 pounds, although his victory came via forfeit in a first-round wrestleback.
Whitney opened the tournament with a win by fall 40 seconds into the second period over No. 6 Bryan Bonilla of Hightstown. He then suffered a tough 2-1 loss to third-seeded Remy Brancato in the quarterfinal round.
That sent Whitney to the wrestleback portion of the tournament. He won his first two bouts there, gaining an 8-0 major decision over No. 12 Dominic Petracci of Washington Township in the second round of wrestlebacks before pinning No. 10 Andrew Franklin of North Hunterdon in 2:45 in a wrestleback quarterfinal.
Whitney then suffered his second loss of the tournament, losing by fall in 1:11 to No. 4 Jackson Crawn of Kittatinny in the wrestleback semifinal round.
Whitney came back to score a 6-0 decision over No. 5 Jack Stoll of Pope John in the fifth-place match.
Whitney, who was a Virginia state finalist at 195 as a junior, finished his final high school wrestling season at 15-3. Whitney’s only other defeat came in the championship bout of the Regions 7-8 Tournament to Williamstown’s Mike Misita, who went on to win the 220-pound state championship.
Hebron finished his 2021 season at 12-4.