Redemption is so sweet. Just ask Rocky Point wrestler Don Hammarth.
The junior started the day on the wrong side of a devastating pin in the quarterfinal round of the Suffolk dual meet championships against Mount Sinai and then sat through Rocky Point’s win over Connetquot in the semifinal round.
“Don had a bad loss in our win over Mount Sinai and we kept him out against Connetquot,” said Rocky Point coach Darren Goldstein, who has led the Eagles into the county championship three years in a row. “He had a lot of time to think about it and he refocused. When given the opportunity to redeem himself in the championship, he was incredible.”
Hammarth broke open a match tied at 2 with a five-point move in the second period and then cradled Anthony Visto for a pin in 4:20 at 138 pounds to key Rocky Point’s 37-31 win over Hauppauge in Saturday night’s dual meet championship before a crowd of 700 at Suffolk CCC-Brentwood.
It was Rocky Point’s second straight dual meet title, having beaten Hauppauge 38-33, a year ago. Hammarth’s win gave the Eagles an 11-point lead.
Hammarth was especially broken up after losing earlier in the day against his former school. He wrestled for Mount Sinai in eighth and ninth grade, before moving to Nova Scotia for a year and then back to Rocky Point.
“I wanted a chance to redeem myself and contribute to my team,” Hammarth said. “The day didn’t start well, but it had an amazing end.”
Rocky Point (21-1) beat Mount Sinai, 46-19, and eliminated Connetquot, 59-13, before the championship rematch with Hauppauge (16-2). After an opening bout loss at 99 pounds where Hauppauge’s third ranked Luke Smith downed second ranked Justin Amendola, 6-4, Rocky Point reeled off three straight first-period pins for an 18-3 lead.
Hauppauge countered when Dan Mauriello pinned Brian Whitman in 1:13 at 126 pounds to make it 18-9.
“We were strong in the lower weights and they were strong in the middle weights,” Goldstein said. “And there were a few pivotal bouts.”
Rocky Point got a huge boost at 170 pounds when senior Anthony Lucia hit a head chalice for a five-point move with 43 seconds remaining for a 6-1 win over Steven Holder.
“Lucia hasn’t wrestled for two years and he’s been an outstanding leader on this team,” Goldstein said. “He’s been a big addition to the lineup and one of the reasons why we’re so good.”
Lucia improved to 28-1 with the win. “I countered his move and caught him pretty good,” Lucia said. “I stepped over him for the back points and tried for the pin.”
Rocky Point’s Matt Capell clinched the win when he beat Christian Galarza, 3-1, in overtime at 220 pounds. The two were tied at 1 heading into overtime before Capell hit a standing headlock and put Galarza to the mat for the takedown just 21 seconds into the overtime.
“The guys all came over to me before my match and told me ‘you win, we win,’ ” he said. “When I took him down it was the greatest feeling because I knew we won.”