In a tightly contested league wrestling match every point is valuable. That was never more apparent than in East Islip's 39-31 League IV victory over Hauppauge Wednesday night.
East Islip led 13-3 early in the meet after a pin by Chris Chambers over Dylan Brophy at 195 pounds and a major decision by Jesse Dellavecchia over Jake Silverstein at 99 pounds.
But Hauppauge's Ben Tepperman seemed to be on his way to a decision win at 106 pounds before Griffin Brown of East Islip, wrestling up a weight class, swung the momentum of the match -- and the meet.
Brown's pin in 4:34 gave East Islip (16-2, 1-0) a 19-3 lead after the nine-point swing, and despite a rally by Hauppauge, the Redmen never trailed in the meet.
"Griffin came up big with a nice pin," East Islip coach Guy Leggio said. "That was his first varsity win this year. He's had some tough luck and he really came through for the team today."
Brown trailed 6-2 at the beginning of the third round and voluntarily let Tepperman up from the bottom position. The strategy paid off when Brown pinned his opponent less than 30 seconds later. "I was just trying to go for the pin, I saw I had an arm and I took it," Brown said. "That was the strategy and it helped us out a lot."
Sal Cipolla's pin at 113 pounds put the Redmen up 25-3, but Hauppauge made a run and at one point was within 25-24 after three straight pins from its strong core of Austin Munro (120), Mark West (126) and Chris Mauriello (132).
It wasn't enough though, as consecutive major decisions by Dennis Ferro at 145 and Erik Adon at 152 were enough to keep East Islip ahead.
"They're tough in the middle, that was their tough spot and we're tough at 145 through 160," Leggio said. "We knew where the matches had to be won. The 106 match was probably the biggest swing match in the meet."