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Hunter Dusold, Jon Gomez lead LI Div. II contingent in state quarters

Locust Valley's Hunter Dusold looks on against Island

Locust Valley's Hunter Dusold looks on against Island Trees' Tyler Butrico in the 126-pound weight class championship match during the Nassau Division II wrestling finals on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

ALBANY — Hunter Dusold didn’t want to go to overtime.

The Locust Valley junior had been in that situation against the same opponent last year.

With a stall warning in effect, Dusold held off Derek Spann of Adirondack in the last ten seconds of their 126-pound quarterfinal to win, 2-1, and avenge last year’s sudden-victory semifinal loss. He advances to Saturday’s Division II state wrestling semifinals at the Times-Union Center.

Trailing 1-0 and with the clock becoming as much of an issue as Spann being on top of him, Dusold secured a reversal with just under 10 seconds remaining.

“I knew the clock was ticking down so I had to do whatever I could,” Dusold said. “I didn’t want it to get into overtime. I needed to find a way to win. Last year’s match has been in my head the whole year.”

Dusold, a 2014 state champion at 113 pounds, and Spann, who won a title at 99 in 2013, were just two of the returning state champions doing battle in Division II.

Among them were Locust Valley’s Jon Gomez, a champion at 106 a year ago who was seeded third in a loaded 120-pound bracket.

Gomez made a statement with two dominant technical fall wins in which he shut out his opponent 16-0 in each, including a quarterfinal win over C.J. Walz of Central Valley Academy.

“I want to be the most dominant wrestler in this tournament,” he said. “I’m trying to go out there and score as many points as I can and put on a show for the fans.”

In a semifinal, Gomez will face Theo Powers of Mexico, a three-time state placer and the 2015 champion at 113 pounds. A potential match looms against 2014 state champion Dane Heberlein if they both make the final.

“I’m feeling great,” Gomez said. “I’ve never wrestled this well in the state tournament and it’s my third year up here. The first two years I was nervous but I feel seasoned now.”

The same could be said for Port Jefferson senior Matteo DeVincenzo. A 2014 state champion at 106 pounds and a two-time state finalist, DeVincenzo is looking to put last season’s disappointing third place finish behind him.

He’s halfway there after two major decision wins, including a 9-1 defeat of Daniel Mullin of Gouverneur at 126 in a quarterfinal. DeVincenzo is the only Suffolk wrestler to ever win a Division II state title.

Jack Bokina and Tanner Zagarino of Mattituck are looking to become Suffolk’s second and third.

Bokina will make his second consecutive semifinal appearance after hanging on for a 3-1 win over A.J. Putt of Maple Grove at 113.

A late scramble left Bokina vulnerable to a reversal but the junior kept his composure.

“I knew I had short time,” Bokina said. “I just had to hold on and not do anything stupid.”

Zagarino made short work of his quarterfinal opponent Chris Breit of Nanuet, pinning him in 23 seconds.

“I have no idea how that happened,” Zagarino said. “I can’t believe it. He went upper body and I felt him leaning in to me but I got scared because he was bigger than me. It ended up working in my favor and I got him on his back. I figured I’d let it fly because it’s the state tournament so why not go all out?”

In all, 12 Long Island wrestlers made it to the quarterfinals, including six from Mattituck and three from Locust Valley.

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