- We're live from Albany, where we will be reporting a full day of state championship wrestling.
The East End has four wrestlers suited up in Suffolk's navy blue singlets today - Westhampton Beach's Pete DeTore (Division I 112 pounds), Hampton Bays' Tim Jordan (Division II 135), and Southampton's Nick Alessandrini (Division II 96) and Julius Anglickas (Division II 215).
I haven't had a chance to talk to Westhampton Coach
Paul Bass and Southampton Coach Ryan McCready. I'm sure they have an opinion on the seeding process, which placed DeTore, a three-time county place-winner, as well as Anglickas, who finished fifth at the same weight class, in the 16th and final spots in their brackets. I'm not sure how that makes sense. There have been a number of complaints about how the wrestlers were placed. We'll see how things unfold here. You get the sense that top seeds could fall early.
They're just performing the parade of champions in what's a half full Times Union Center. Surely we'll begin to see the upper sections populate later today and most certainly tomorrow, when the state champions are crowned.
Here comes Section XI. Stay tuned for up-to-the-minute results.
Southampton's Nick Alessandrini won a 10-6 decision in his first round
match to advance to the quarterfinals.
Alessandrini Wins By Decision
Great start for the Mariners. Nick Alessandrini took the mat first at 96 pounds in Division II and proceeded to outpoint Gouverneur's Skyler Way 10-6. He trailed 6-4 going into the third period but reversed Way with 50 seconds remaining, and immediately put him on his back. Alessandrini drained the final 30 seconds on top and earned the three-point near fall as well as a point for a Way clasp.
Alessandrini draws top seed Tom Page of Eden in the quarterfinals. His teammate, Anglickas, won't wrestle for at least another hour-and-a-half.
DeTore's minutes away from taking the mat.
DeTore Overpowers Previously Unbeaten Top Seed
Westhampton's Pete DeTore might have felt slighted when he drew the 16th seed in the 112-pound weight bracket. He was the fourth and final wild card at the weight. The Hurricane junior more than showed he belonged here in Albany, beating MacArthur's Sean Kempf, the top seed who entered the weekend with a record of 39-0, by the count of 8-4.
A double blast takedown put DeTore on the board, and after Kempf escaped, DeTore scored another two-point takedown. Kempf escaped just before the buzzer to draw within two. In the second period, DeTore chose neutral and it paid dividends. He yanked Kempf to the mat with a headlock and kept his feet in bounds to take a 6-2 lead. Kempf was ineffective on the bottom.
In the third, DeTore reversed his opponent with 1:10 left and rode it out to score the biggest upset in the early going. DeTore faces Grant Green of St. Anthony's in the quarterfinals. I don't think Suffolk County has lost a match to this point. Excellent start.
Stand by for results from the Division II 135-pound bracket. Hampton Bays' Tim Jordan ought to be up just after noon.
Westhampton's Pete DeTore toppled the top seed at 112 pounds, Sean Kempf of MacArthur.
HB's Jordan Sent To Consolation Bracket
By seed, Waverly's Brett Sewalt isn't the favorite to win the Division II title at 135 pounds. By the way he wrestles, he might very well be on the short list of legitimate contenders.
Tim Jordan of Hampton Bays found that out in their first round match. Jordan was pinned in the second period against Sewalt. He had trailed 4-0 after one period and 8-0 when Sewalt finally pressed Jordan's shoulders to the mat at the 3:46 mark.
Hampton Bays' Tim Jordan was upended in the first round by Waverly's
Brett Sewalt by way of a pin at 3:46
Jordan slips to wrestlebacks where he will face the loser of the match between third-seeded Koby Barcomb (Beekmantown-Section VII) and 14th-seeded Justin Signorelli (Highland-Section IX).
Looking Ahead ...
We're amid the 152 pound first round matches here, so Anglickas, who has sheered his mane in favor of a mohawk, has at least an hour until he takes the mat. Let's look ahead here.
Anglickas getting the 16 seed still doesn't make any sense. He placed fifth at the same weight
last year and went 23-1 this year. His only loss came to the third seed at 189 pounds in Division I, Miller Place's Zach Buonaiuto. There have been upsets, but to this point, I believe the only win by a 16 seed thus far belongs to DeTore. Anglickas faces Morrisville Eaton's Alex Meyers, who boasts a 36-3 mark and hails from the traditionally strong Section III.
DeTore faces Grant Green, who at 112 pounds won a pair of matches at last year's states before losing to Rocky Point's Brandon Escobar. It can't be expected that he'll buckle under any pressure.
Quarterfinal matches are slated for 2:30 p.m. After that are two rounds of wrestlebacks, so we ought to put a bow on today by 9. Wrestling then resumes tomorrow at 10 a.m.
The bottom section at the Times Union Center is full except for the end zones, where it's a little sparser. I'm interested to see how many people arrive for tomorrow's semifinals and finals.
Nick Alessandrini of Southampton next takes the mat at roughly 2:30 p.m., when he is set to face Eden's Tom Page.
Anglickas Rolls Into Quarters By Manhandling Top Seed
Southampton Head Coach Ryan McCready was beside himself when Julius Anglickas, a returning place-winner in the state at 215 pounds, ended up with the 16th seed in the Division II draw. That meant he'd start his day by facing the top seed, Morrisville-Eaton's Alex Meyers.
There's no question who looked more the part of the top seed. Anglickas dominated the final two periods against Meyers, blowing open a once tight match to win 18-8. He advances to the quarterfinals where he will face Petrides' Patrick Thornton or Pal-Mac's Pat Krenz later this afternoon.
Anglickas trailed 6-5 when he took Meyers down with 15 seconds remaining in the second period. A two-point near fall before the buzzer put him up 9-6. The senior finished with a flurry, going up four courtesy of a caution on Meyers. He then promptly broke Meyers' grasp and then scored a five-point move - a takedown and three-point near fall - to open up a 16-6 advantage. Anglickas dodged danger from there to emerge victorious.
The match was riddled with injury timeouts as Meyers battled blood running from his nose.
Pete DeTore's loss to Grant Green of St. Anthony's drops him to the 112-pound
DeTore, Alessandrini Ousted In Quarterfinals
Dreams of a state championship went by the wayside for two local wrestlers in the last half-hour. Minutes ago, Westhampton's Pete DeTore was on the short end of a 6-4 decision against St. Anthony's 112-pounder Grant Green. Earlier, Nick Alessandrini of Southampton was knocked down to the wrestleback bracket with a pin at 3:31 by top seed Tom Page of Eden.
DeTore fell behind 5-0 against Green, yet was able to draw closer just before the close of the second period by rising to his feet for a one-point escape. He went to work early in the third, breaking free from Green to make it 5-2 five seconds in, and then taking him down with just under a minute left. In order to set up a two-point takedown, DeTore released the eighth-seeded Green, yet he was unable to draw even in the final minute.
Westhampton's sole representative in Albany could face Seaford's Anthony Facchino, who lost his first round match, in his first consolation match, which ought to take place around 4:30 p.m.
In Division II, Page is the top seed for good reason. He led 4-0 against Alessandrini before finally hearing the slap of the mat at the 3:31 mark.
Alessandrini, who was seeded ninth and won fairly comfortably in his opening round match, now drops to the consolation bracket. The highest he can now finish is third; he must win at least two matches to secure a spot on the podium.
League VII Hanging On
League VII has been begging for respect from the wrestling world from day one this season. It has just seven teams, and the roster sizes are generally small in number. This week, the NYSPHSAA awarded Section XI with exactly zero wild card berths in the Division II tournament, for which only wrestlers from League VII could be drawn.
Suffolk's small schools have had their share of difficulties in Albany to this point. Only four of the 15 wrestlers who made the trip north made the quarterfinals. Two of them came from Southampton - Alessandrini and Anglickas. The others are Center Moriches' Greg Lavazoli (119) and Babylon's Sean Melow (285). As it now stands, only Anglickas and Melow are eligible for a state championship, as Alessandrini and Lavazoli have bowed out in the quarters.
From Section XI, only Anglickas (5th, 215) and Center Moriches' Andrew Leone (4th, 130) placed at last year's state championships in Rochester. Section XI's reps will have to make some hay in wrestlebacks to get that many this year.
Section XI lines up for the parade of champions which kicked off 10 hours of wrestling in Albany.
Anglickas Pins Quarterfinal Opponent; Gets Set For Tomorrow's Semis
He was more shocked than angry when the seedings revealed that he was seeded 16th. Julius Anglickas of Southampton is now in the final four and has earned a spot on the All-State team for the second straight season.
Julius Anglickas of Southampton is through to the semifinals after
pinning Pal-Mac's Pat Krenz.
Anglickas picked apart Pat Krenz of Palmyra-Macedon and ultimately pinned him with just over a minute gone in the second period. The victory vaults the Mariner senior into the 215-pound state semifinals.
Krenz, who came in with a gaudy 45-5 record, stayed even with Anglickas until a takedown and near fall just before the first period elapsed. That gave Anglickas a 4-0 edge. It took Anglickas 17 seconds to escape for a 5-0 lead, he added to it with another takedown and a cradle for three more points. Krenz avoided the pin but only temporarily. Anglickas secured the win by pin at the 3:03 mark.
Of his seed, Anglickas said, "When I first heard of me getting seeded 16th, I didn't know 'am I that bad this year or was it just a mistake?' ... I wasn't so much angry. It just sounded funny to me."
McCready, like many, called the system "flawed." However, because Anglickas knocked off the top-seeded wrestler in the draw, he supposedly has the easiest path. Southampton's corner will be plenty cautious tomorrow morning when the semifinals take place.
"I told him, 'Now that you got the spot where you believe you should be, just remember that if these guys aren't where they should be," McCready said. "'Don't let up. Don't think now that you moved into the one spot it's going to be an easy road because it's not. You have to work your butt off because there are going to be great guys [in future matches].'"
Day Is Done For Hampton Bays' Jordan
Mike Lloyd, last year's county champion at 160 pounds and current assistant coach with Hampton Bays, warned Tim Jordan of what to expect upstate. When Jordan returns home and speaks to his teammates this year, he'll confirm that report.
Hampton Bays' Tim Jordan scopes out Koby Barcomb of Beekmantown
early on in their 135-pound wrestleback match.
Jordan was bounced from the Division II 135-pound bracket with a 6-2 loss to Beekmantown's Koby Barcomb, who is seeded third at the weight. Down 6-0 through two periods, Jordan trimmed the lead to four by reversing Barcomb midway through the third. He worked to score back points but couldn't, and when the buzzer sounded, his wrestling career at Hampton Bays was over.
"You have to battle with the big dogs and they were pretty big," Jordan said. "Overall, I couldn't be happier. It's sad that I'm done already but I'm just glad to be here."
Jordan said that the wrestlers in other sections are more built and skilled than he was accustomed to on the Island. Nevertheless, Jordan set out to win a county championship before his career was complete, a feat he accomplished two weeks back at Hofstra.
"That was my main goal all year," Jordan said. "I wanted to be a county champion. I wasn't getting my hopes at the state tournament because I know how hard it can be."
Alessandrini Exits With Loss In Wrestlebacks
It's not often that eighth graders go to the state championships and dominate the way they all envisioned it might unfold. Southampton's Nick Alessandrini will not wrestle on day two in Albany; however, he also has four more years to amend that situation.
Facing Pal-Mac's Jeff Olena in his second wrestleback match in a three-hour span, Alessandrini was sent packing by way of a pin at 1:47. He completed his debut effort at states with a 1-2 record.
Coach Ryan McCready said that, if anything, Alessandrini's first experience at such a high level of competition should open his eyes for the off-season and the coming years.
"I couldn't be more proud of him for being an eighth grader, but now he knows that you have to be determined, you have to be aggressive and you have to be a maniac," McCready said. "He'll take what he learns back to Suffolk County, work on it and become better. It's motivating. If you want to keep winning, you have to do what he just did to you. It's a tough lesson to learn but it's a lesson that you need.
"He's upset now, nobody likes losing. When he gets over it and he starts looking back on the experience, he's going to see what he needs to do to get better."
Westhampton's Pete DeTore cleaned out Seaford's Anthony Facchino in the prime-time wrestleback to advance to Saturday.
DeTore Cruises Into Saturday With Rout
The disappointment was evident when Pete DeTore walked off the mat on the losing end of a 6-5 decision against St. Anthony's Grant Greene. Wrestling Seaford's Anthony Facchino in the consolation round, DeTore was moving like a man possessed. He was angry.
Facchino was no match for the Westhampton tri-captain. DeTore took him down four times in the span of six minutes to record an 11-1 victory and book his spot on Saturday's schedule.
"I don't know if satisfied is the right word, but you have to make the best of your opportunity," Head Coach Paul Bass said. "That's what he has to do right now. You just have to keep winning matches."
DeTore now stands one win away from guaranteeing a spot on the All-State team. He'd become the second wrestler in Westhampton history to do so. Nick Broccoli placed sixth at 145 pounds in 2006.
Bass noted that previously unbeaten Sean Kempf, the 112-pound top seed who was defeated by DeTore this morning, was knocked off a second time. He said at states a wrestler's mettle is tested after a defeat and only some respond.
"That's why this sport is a roller coaster," Bass said. "Wrestlebacks is when you find out what a kid's character is like."
Julius Anglickas will face fourth-seeded Kyle Colling of Pioneer in his
semifinal at 215 pounds.
First Day About Done
Things are winding down here at the Times Union Center. It's been quite a good day for Suffolk County. In the Division I team standings, it trailed Section I (Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland, Westchester) by a half-point through about 6:30 p.m. this evening. Behind Anglickas and Babylon's Sean Melow, who pinned his opponent in the 285-pound quarters, Suffolk sits in seventh place in Division II. Updated team scores will be available once all matches are completed this evening.
Section XI has the most semifinalists of any county in the Division I tournament. Its 11 are one better than Section I and two better than Section IX (Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan, Ulster).
As for the Hamptons - not bad at all. Two wrestlers ranked 16th in their respective brackets - beat the top seed - and now have a shot at All-State honors, with Anglickas two wins away from a state title.
Big day tomorrow. Be sure to check back for full results.