SYRACUSE — The state’s Division II dual meet title hung in the balance.
Mount Sinai, the defending Div. II champion, trailed Central Valley Academy by three points and the final weight class at 182 pounds was going to decide the state team champion.
As the pressure mounted, Mount Sinai’s Adham Shata came out from behind the Mustangs' bench and smiled at his coaches.
“He was completely confident on his way out there,” Mount Sinai coach Matt Armstrong said. “He believed he was going to win.”
Shata took his 14-12 record and a bundle of confidence into the biggest bout of his life.
He took a 5-0 lead into the third period, then rode Jacob Lawrence into the mat and used a half-Nelson for a pin in 4:45 to give Mount Sinai a 37-34 win over Central Valley Academy and the state’s Div. II dual meet title for the second year in a row at SRC Arena.
Shata’s pin helped complete an unbelievable comeback from a 31-12 deficit. When the official slapped the mat there was bedlam on the Mustangs' bench. After Shata’s hand was raised, the celebration was on.
“Greatest feeling ever to win the state title for my team, for my school,” Shata said.
Mount Sinai improved to 18-4 with the four dual-meet wins, including a 47-27 victory over Cold Spring Harbor.
The last bout heroics were set up by series of big wins for the Mustangs, who climbed back with some stunning performances. Matt Campo outlasted former state champion Hunter Shaut for a 4-2 overtime win at 152. Joe Goodrich followed with a compelling 16-second pin over Christian Cacciatore at 160 to tie it at 31.
“We had all the momentum and we climbed back into the match,” Mount Sinai assistant coach Eric Strovink said. “Even when they regained the lead our guys still felt like Shata would come through.”
Central Valley’s Michael Dihrberg edged Vin Valente, 7-5, at 170 to set up the dramatic final.
“What can I say?” Armstrong said. “Two years in a row we found a way to go home state champions. There’s no better feeling.”