By DAVE O’SULLIVAN Publisher EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — When it comes down to state playoff wrestling, teams have to pick up bonus points whenever possible to have a chance to move on. A young Egg Harbor Township team learned a lesson Wednesday night in just how valuable bonus points are. Kingsway, the No. 3 seed in the South Jersey Group 5 tournament, trailed 31-18 with just three bouts to go, but the Dragons actually were in great position because they didn’t give up critical bonus points in previous matches, and had some of their best wrestlers lined up for the final three bouts. The Kinner brothers, Trace and Quinn, and Atlee Collison finished out the match with three straight pins as the Dragons came from behind to win, 36-31, to advance to the sectional championship. The Dragons will face top-seeded Southern Regional, a 50-21 winner over No. 4 Cherokee, in the sectional championship match on Friday night. “Every way we looked at it, it was kind of the way we expected it. We needed a break here or there but that didn’t seem to happen,” said Egg Harbor Township coach Mike Caiazza. “They got bonus points where they needed to. We split matches, 7-7, but they got the pins and they got the bonus points, and that’s what it comes down to.” Egg Harbor Township 145-pounder Jason Kaenzig works a move on Kingsway's Kyle Crawford during the teams' state playoff matchup on Wednesday night. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O'Sullivan) Egg Harbor Township 145-pounder Jason Kaenzig works a move on Kingsway’s Kyle Crawford during the teams’ state playoff matchup on Wednesday night. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O’Sullivan) The match began at 138 pounds with Kingsway’s Trent Tutko scoring an 8-1 win, but the Eagles tied things up at 145 as Jason Kaenzig scored a 12-3 win. Kingsway got a key victory from Colin Wexler at 152, as Wexler outlasted Antonio Leone 15-8 in the wildest match of the night to give the Dragons a 6-4 lead. Each wrestler had a near-fall in the first period before Wexler jumped out to a 9-4 lead. But Leone scored a reversal and a near-fall in the second period to eventually shave the deficit down to 10-8. Wexler came back in the third to tilt Leone twice, picking up three back points on a near-fall early in the period and two more later to seal a win that gave Kingsway a 6-4 lead in the team scoring. “We really had to rack up some bonus points early on. We thought we had a shot at 152. We thought we could possibly squeeze that out and that didn’t go our way,” Caiazza said. “That was a big match. And I’m not blaming that one kid, we left a lot of points out on the mat that we needed to get. We needed to get some pins, we needed to get some more bonus points, more majors. But, they are high school kids. So now we have to get ready for districts, try to forget about tonight, and move on.” The real key for Kingsway was not so much gaining bonus points, but its ability to avoid giving them up. Egg Harbor Township heavyweight Paul Valian scored a second-period takedown of Shane Love and tilted him to get back points in an eventual 6-1 win, but Love’s ability to stay off his back and avoid the pin was big for the Dragons. In the very next bout, EHT’s Jerry Vo jumped out to a big lead on Matthew Klass and looked headed for a major decision, but Klass fought back with a reversal in the third period and nearly pinned Vo. Instead of a 14-4 major decision, Vo had to settle for a 14-7 win. Still, EHT held a 25-18 lead at that point and extended it to 31-18 when Christian Smith was awarded a forfeit at 113 points. Terrell Coleman bumped up to 120, but had to face Trace Kinner, one of the best wrestlers in the state at that weight class. Kinner was able to get a second-period pin that started the three-bout winning streak that proved to be the difference. Eagles 106-pounder Jerry Vo looks for a pin against Kingsway's Matthew Klass. Eagles 106-pounder Jerry Vo looks for a pin against Kingsway’s Matthew Klass. The Eagles had success in the middle and upper weights, getting wins from Dan Wollermann (160), Dietrich Trumbauer (195) and Connor Agostino, who bumped up from 195 to 220, but needed to win at least eight bouts, not seven, to get past the Dragons. “That’s been what we’ve been preaching to them all year. Technically, we are a fairly good team, but my question Day One to the team was how tough are you guys going to be? We were out-toughed today,” Caiazza said. “I don’t they were that much better than us. We’re very comparable. They were just the tougher team. They wanted it a little bit more than us tonight.” Despite the loss, Caiazza said he was proud of his squad for making it to the semifinals of the sectional tournament for the second straight year. “The kids have done a nice job. We’ve had some kids who have been banged up who should have been in the lineup, but everybody goes through that. Everybody has kids who are banged up. That’s part of the sport,” Caiazza said. “You just have to find a way, figure it out and get a win. They were better. They wrestled better than we did, and that’s the bottom line.” Contact Dave O’Sullivan: sully@acglorydays.com; on Twitter @GDsullysays [adsense]