It was evident early on that unbeaten heavyweights Billy Smith (No.8 @ HWT) of High Point and North Hunterdon’s Jack Delia (H.M. @ HWT) weren’t taking any chances with each other on center mat in the opening bout of the state tournament yesterday at Boardwalk Hall.
For two periods, the evenly matched heavyweights put on a chess game of sorts, looking for an opening while avoiding a mistake that could easily leave one of them looking at the lights on the massive structure.
Tied late in the third, Delia (38-1) shot in for what appeared to be a deep single, but Smith (43-0) never stopped moving his feet. On the scramble, he reversed around Delia’s hips and caught the senior with a double of his own for two points in the closing seconds of regulation to pull out a 3-1 victory.
It was the first heavyweight title for Smith while Delia was in his second straight state final, having lost to three-time champion James Lawson of Manchester Township last season. Smith had placed third in the state at 215 last March.