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Massapequa tops Long Beach in battle of unbeaten wrestling teams

Chase Liardi of Massapequa has control of Long

Chase Liardi of Massapequa has control of Long Beach's Mike Berube in the 132-pound weight class during a dual meet in Massapequa on Wednesday. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

There’s a difference between hearing and listening. It is one of the key components that Ron Serrano uses to teach his wrestlers.

"You listen, you learn," Serrano said. "We are a very disciplined team. We had 55 guys in the room and we had no COVID issues in a month of working. We stayed away from parties and social gatherings and followed the government-issued safety protocols. And we go out there and win."

In a battle of two unbeaten programs, Massapequa bested Long Beach, 45-16, before an enthusiastic crowd Wednesday night in Massapequa.

And Serrano made it very clear who he thinks is the best wrestling team in the state.

"We are such a disciplined group and we feel we’re unquestionably better than every team in the state," he said. "I’m very proud of this team."

Massapequa improved to 6-0 and Long Beach fell to 5-1.

After the teams split the first four bouts, Ohio State-bound Chase Liardi broke a 10-10 tie with a first-period pin in 1:46 over Long Beach sophomore Mike Berube for a 16-10 lead.

"We had to get the momentum back and having a great crowd brings so much energy," said Liardi, who improved to 6-0. "I wanted to get the team fired up."

He did.

The middle of the Massapequa lineup helped it pull away after Long Beach drew within 16-13 on Jeremiah Echeverria’s 2-1 win over Cal Milano at 138.

Long Beach junior Wyatt Parker gained a first-period takedown for an early 2-0 lead on Alex Giuliani at 152 pounds before the two battled through a scoreless second period as the Marines threatened to tie the team score.

"We had an opportunity there in a tight bout," Long Beach coach Ray Adams said. "It was a tossup at that weight and both guys wrestled really well but you have to get off the bottom to win."

Giuliani gained an escape in the third period and used a takedown with 53 seconds left for a 3-2 win.

"I had to control him for a long time," Giuliani said. "I knew it was a key match."

Giuliani started a string of three consecutive Massapequa wins for a 31-13 lead. Luke Ciolino and Anthony Conetta put together back-to-back pins in the spurt.

Ciolino pinned Luke Anfossi in 1:23 at 152 pounds and Conetta (160) topped Yehuda Bitton in 1:30.

The dual-meet clincher came when Anthony DiGennaro outpointed Peter Navarette, 9-6, at 189 pounds for a 34-16 lead.

"We’re very tough at the top of the lineup with the bigger guys," Serrano said. "They’re very athletic and for such a shortened season our guys have put in the work and came here in incredible shape."

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