The calendar said it was early December but intensity on the mat made it feel as if it was late February.
In a bout that easily could have a rematch as the season goes on, Hauppauge’s Anthony DiBartolo rallied to defeat Christian Gannone of Eastport-South Manor, 11-9, in the first overtime period in the 126-pound final of Hewlett’s King of the Mat wrestling tournament Saturday.
DiBartolo was named the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler and Hauppauge edged ESM 261.5 to 249 for the team title.
“I came out a little flat but it’s always just about getting the next point and wrestling through positions,” DiBartolo said. “I didn’t really care that I was down — I put myself in that position in practice every day so it didn’t really matter. I’ll see him again and it should be fun.”
DiBartolo trailed 7-3 entering the final period and was down 9-7 before securing a takedown to send it to overtime.
“These tournaments really help to see where you’re at with other guys and we just use it as a learning experience for February when it matters most,” he said.
Hauppauge and Eastport-South Manor, both in Suffolk V, each had six finalists. The Eagles won all six championship matches and ESM went 3-3.
“I think we wrestled very well overall and we’re only going to get better from here,” Hauppauge’s Luke Smith said. “The fact we did so well today is a good start.”
Smith pinned Freeport’s Jerry Ellis in 1:37 in the 120 final.
“Now that Eastport is back in our league we can be rivals again,” Smith said. “Winning this tournament is a good victory to start the season.”
Hauppauge won three of its finals by pin.
“It helps to know how far you have to go because the most important thing is cardio and to see how much better shape you have to get into before it gets harder at the end of the year,” said Danny Mauriello, who pinned Hewlett’s Tyler James in 1:27 at 160 pounds.
Cold Spring Harbor’s Ray Costa doesn’t have to worry about getting back into shape. Fresh off quarterbacking his school to the Class IV Long Island Championship, Costa picked up a 10-0 win over Ben Hawthorne of ESM in the 145-pound final.
“It’s just about getting back into the groove, especially for the football guys,” Costa said. “It’s about getting comfortable on the mat again.”
CSH’s Gaven Bell followed Costa with a pin of Long Beach’s Dylan Martinsen in 3:43 to win at 152 pounds.
“It’s all about getting as many quality points as possible for upstate,” Bell said. “Adding up the points helps in rankings so you can go up there and do some damage.”
ESM’s Adam Busiello and Zach Redding — showed that they’re more than ready to repeat as state champs.
Redding pinned Long Beach’s Amir Hodge in 3:38 at 132 and Busiello defeated Eagle Academy’s Hector Rodriguez, 13-1, at 138.
“It helps prepare us for the season,” Redding said. “But we don’t want to peak too early — we want to be our best for counties and states.”