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Half Hollow Hills boys and Smithtown girls win badminton titles

Half Hollow Hills' Riley Cavanagh, left, and Jacob

Half Hollow Hills' Riley Cavanagh, left, and Jacob Tuchinsky position themselves for the return in their first doubles match on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at Suffolk CC-Selden. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Riley Cavanagh and Jacob Tuchinsky say they know each other's tendencies so well on the badminton court that they never rely on verbal cues.

So it was fitting that it was their teammates who spoke up and told them that their 15-11, 9-15, 15-12 victory at first doubles clinched top-seeded Half Hollow Hills' 8-1 win over second-seeded Smithtown East in the Suffolk boys championship Thursday at Suffolk CC-Selden.

The Thundercolt boys, who last won a Suffolk title in 2013, finished 18-0 in a season in which only two matches were decided by margins closer than 8-1.

"We deserved it," Tuchinsky said. "We were undefeated this season, and we wanted it."

The senior duo, which took second in the individual championships and went 20-2 overall in its first full season paired together, trailed Liam Waring and Rich Zampieron 10-8 in the third game before rattling off six straight points and hanging on for the 15-12 win.

"It feels nice to go out on top," Cavanagh said.

For teammate John Stanis, a county championship trophy was the only hardware missing from a trifecta that already included individual titles in doubles (2014) and singles (2015).

Stanis, a senior who went 21-1 at first singles, defeated Alex Gugliotta 15-9, 15-12 in a personal rubber match for the season.

He said it was the perfect way to end a campaign marked by his team's domination.

"We had a lot of close games in those wins that were 9-0 and 8-1," Stanis said. "They could have gone either way. We had to keep playing our hearts out."

Smithtown East girls win. Third-seeded Smithtown East defeated fourth-seeded Commack, 5-4, in the girls final.

Smithtown East's Brooke Mraz beat Alexis Glogower 11-3, 11-7 in the clinching match at fourth singles. Glogower won the first two points in the second game, as teammates Carly Dukoff and Heidi Elsayad advanced toward a 15-9, 15-11 victory at second doubles that tied the team score at 4.

Coach John Hart said this was the first Suffolk title for the Smithtown East girls.

"It's fantastic," said Mraz, a senior and third-year player. "I'm quite impressed by how far we came."

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