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Hills East’s Phil Spadafora starts fast at Sprig Gardner Tourney

PHIL SPADAFORA, Hills East, Junior, 113: He went

PHIL SPADAFORA, Hills East, Junior, 113: He went 42-6 as the Suffolk Division I runner up last season. Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

It may be early in the year but Half Hollow Hills East’s Phil Spadafora is in midseason form.

The senior wrestler capped a 4-0 weekend with an 18-9 major decision over Cold Spring Harbor’s Christian Tartaglia in the 152 pound final of the Sprig Gardner Tournament at Mepham.

“I’m trying to test myself against good competition,” Spadafora said. “It’s a good warmup for the counties and states.”

Spadafora is no stranger to wrestling in the postseason. He’s made it to the state tournament in Albany each of the last two years, finishing sixth last year at 132 and fifth at 113 in 2015.

“He’s been waiting for this opportunity,” Hills East coach Bill Davey said. “Everything is kind of all set and aligned for him to have the opportunity to do very well this year. It’s there for him if he wants to put in the time and energy and I’m sure he will.”

Beating the reigning Nassau Division II 145 champion early in the season is a good start.

“I took him down and was able to hold him down,” Spadafora said. “I’ve been trying to work on my top game and trying to turn kids because last year I wasn’t able to as much as I would have wanted. I think I did pretty well overall.”

That’s a scary thought for future opponents.

Kershner wins via pin. At 126 pounds, Hills East’s Tate Kershner pinned Mepham’s Kyle Althenn in 49 seconds.

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