It was an early season match that is certain to have late season implications.
Rocky Point, which defeated host Hauppauge, 42-26, in the League V wrestling opener for both teams Wednesday night, hopes it set the tone for the rest of the season.
“Having this match first played a big role in our training,” Rocky Point’s Anthony Cirillo said. “We really had guys step up big and we sealed it off where we needed to.”
Cirillo set the tone early when he pinned Hauppauge’s Jett Dequatro in 57 seconds at 126 pounds in the fifth match of the night.
The teams met twice last season in late January — once in a regular season match that decided the League V championship and again in the Suffolk dual meet tournament final. Rocky Point won both matches.
“The key for me is to come out and get the whole team amped up and going,” Cirillo said. “Every time I go out to wrestle my coach tells me two things — don’t get disqualified and don’t slam the kid.”
Cirillo’s talent and aggressive style has led him to third and fourth-place finishes at the last two state tournaments. He also has helped guide Rocky Point to three straight League V titles.
“He’s been on varsity for a long time and he’s our leader,” Rocky Point coach Darren Goldstein said. “To have him come out and get the pin in that fashion — we’ve come to expect that from him. He’s no joke. He’s a horse and when you want to be a championship team you have to have a couple of kids like that and we have that on this team.”
Justin Amendola’s 5-3 win over Luke Smith at 99 and Logan Sciotto’s 4-0 victory over Chris Boudreau at 106 gave Rocky Point and early 6-0 advantage before Cirillo’s pin pushed the Rocky Point lead to 18-3.
Hauppauge was able to rally back with the strongest part of its lineup as Ben Tepperman pinned Donald Hammarth in 1:18 at 138 and Jake Silverstein’s 18-3 technical fall at 152 highlighted a four match stretch that put Hauppauge ahead 20-18.
But Joe Genova’s pin in 3:15 at 160 followed by two Hauppauge forfeits all but sealed the victory for Rocky Point.
“Having this match early was awesome and really amped us up,” Genova said. “We need to make sure we keep our composure and not get too high over this win. We just need to keep working hard.”