Bayport-Blue Point's Kyle Barber.

Bayport-Blue Point's Kyle Barber. Credit: George A Faella

ALBANY — Kyle Barber likes being the underdog.

But after he pinned Shoreham-Wading River’s Craig Jablonski to win the Suffolk Division II 145-pound title two weeks ago he knew he wouldn’t have that same element of surprise in their rematch Friday in the quarterfinals of the state wrestling tournament at MVP Arena.

In a back-and-forth affair that was tied after both the second and third periods, Bayport-Blue Point’s Barber secured a takedown in sudden victory to win 8-6 and advance to Sunday’s semifinals.

"This showed that I have heart and that I’ve kept working," Barber said. "We were both gassed at the end so it was all about heart and I beat him there."

Jablonski got the only takedown of the third period but escaped using a granby roll with just under 30 seconds remaining to send it into overtime.

"In that first match I got the cradle in and he knew I was working that and I had to broaden my horizons," Barber said. "He also dominated me on top so I knew I had to stay lower and circle to his other foot because that’s where he caught me most of the time."

Barber, the four seed, will face No. 9 Caleb Sweet of South Seneca after Sweet upset top seed Ryan Sweeney of Iroquois.

Mattituck’s Joe Sparacio also had to defeat an opponent he had just beaten two weeks ago to advance to the semifinals.

He defeated Tristan Petretti of Shoreham-Wading River, 10-4, to advance at 132 pounds.

"It’s so hard to beat somebody twice in any amount of time," Sparacio said. "But that’s just when you just have to know the game plan, fight through it and execute the way you know how to."

Barber’s teammate Max Gallagher also moved onto the semifinals at 126, dominating both opponents along the way. Gallagher has placed second and third in his last two trips upstate.

"I feel really good and confident in my performance so far," Gallagher said. "I’m glad I could go out there and score some points and get a good feel."

"I’m happy I’m going to be there with him," Barber said. "Normally he’s up there alone but I’ll be joining him and I’m so excited."

The two-highest seeds in Nassau — No. 1 Jackson Polo of Cold Spring Harbor at 145 and No. 2 Jordan Soriano of Clarke at 138 — held serve and advanced into the semifinal round.

Both have experience at the tournament, each having placed twice.

"I thought I wrestled great in my matches today," Polo said. "I scored a lot of points and I got my 100th career high school pin which was a goal of mine this season."

He won his first match by tech fall, 20-5, over Mitchell Barcus of Eagle Academy and he pinned Luke Tomlinson of Maple Grove in 4:29 in the quarterfinals.

"I am going to get a good night's rest heading into tomorrow and try and take my mind off of the tournament," he said. "Tomorrow morning I will be ready to go and win a state title."

Nassau is in sixth in the team scoring with 53.5 points and Suffolk was seventh with 48 points after the quarterfinals. Syracuse (Section III) was first with 111.


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