The pins came in a three-bout flurry one after the other. East Islip, in search of its first Suffolk league dual-meet title in eight years, put forth a dominant effort against visiting Half Hollow Hills West.
"We’ve been building the program and we could see it coming last year that we were right on the cusp of having something special with our wrestlers," said East Islip head coach Mike Longobardi. "This feels really good to see all the hard work and effort come to fruition with a league dual-meet title."
It all started right in the heart of the East Islip lineup. Sophomore Justin Shayew pinned Ryan Bakhshoudeh in 3:26 at 126 pounds. Anthony Avitable followed with a pin in 3:28 over Alex Lee at 132 and Louie Cinquemani pinned Brandon Brule in 1:49 at 138 as East Islip built an 18-point lead on the way to a 53-12 win over Hills West to claim the Suffolk League V dual-meet crown Thursday in East Islip.
"We’re a young, tight group," Longobardi said. "They’ve really stuck together through the pandemic and it hasn’t been easy following all the safety protocols, making weight and staying connected academically. I’m really proud of them."
East Islip (6-0) totaled five pins and a win by technical fall against depleted Half Hollow Hills West (2-4), which was forced to forfeit three weight classes.
East Islip is the final qualifier in the eight-team field for the Suffolk dual-meet championship tournament that starts Friday at the higher-seeded schools.
Perhaps one of the bright spots for East Islip came at 285 pounds, where freshman Sebastian Regis pinned returning league champion Henrik Pierre-Louis in 2:50.
"I pinned with a half-Nelson," said Regis, who is 6-0 with five pins and one win by forfeit. "I work on that move a lot. My balance and body control are keys to my wrestling technique. I’ve trained Jiu-Jitsu since I was four years old and that has helped me to become a successful wrestler."
Regis, a 6-0, 270-pounder has pinned three All-League wrestlers this season.
"He wrestled varsity as an eighth-grader and weighed 218 pounds and was just starting to learn the sport," Longobardi said. "He came back this year at 270 and is on a whole different skill level. It’s exciting to see young guys in the sport excelling."
East Islip’s senior captain Nick Vetrano, who is 6-0, turned in a win by technical fall in 3:26 at 160 pounds. He gained four takedowns on Anthony Torrelli and had him on his back before the bout was stopped.
"He’s a staple in our lineup and wrestling at a high level," Longobardi said. "He’s good enough to wrestle at the college level."