Jake Pohl wanted to get the Rocky Point wrestling team headed in the right direction. The Eagles big man at 285 pounds led off Saturday’s Suffolk Dual Meet championship tournament.
He responded with a near perfect win over Jean Jasmine, 5-0, and Rocky Point never trailed in a 37-33 win over Brentwood to capture the title at Bay Shore High School before a packed house of 1,200. It was the third straight dual meet title for the Eagles.
“There was a little bit of pressure because Brentwood was coming off a big win over the top seed,” said Pohl, who improved to 27-10. “And I wanted to give our team some momentum with the first win.”
Seventh grader Nick LaMorte, the youngest starter in the Rocky Point lineup, followed Pohl’s win with a rousing 12-9 win over Fernando Romero at 99 pounds. LaMorte scored a reversal and two back points in the final 13 seconds for the comeback win.
“That was a key win to build the momentum with LaMorte,” said Rocky Point coach Darren Goldstein. “He battled to the very end and came through with an excellent move.”
Rocky Point (17-1) won nine of the 10 bouts wrestled to build a 37-3 lead and clinched the title when junior Corey Connolly pinned Hugo Vasquez in 1:35 at 145 pounds. The Eagles elected to forfeit the final five weight classes and head upstate to the state’s first-ever dual meet championships with an entirely healthy lineup.
“We put them away early and that afforded us the option of not wrestling the final five weights,” Goldstein said. “We’ve had a very competitive month of wrestling all over the state and our guys could use some time to heal and get ready for the state tournament. It’s exciting that we’re representing the best section in the state next week.”
Logan Sciotto used a third period takedown to key a 5-2 win over Wenchard Pierre-Louis at 113 pounds and Evan Matias edged Richard Diaz, 5-3, at 120 for the 12-3 team lead.
Runnerup Brentwood (14-2) will look for an at-large bid to the state tournament, which will be announced Sunday along with the team seeding.
Brentwood coach Ralph Napolitano won his 254th dual meet in 16 years when the fifth-seeded Indians upset top-seeded Eastport-South Manor, 41-24, in the semifinal round. Napolitano became the all-time wins leaders at Brentwood passing legendary coach Joe Campo, who retired in 1985 with 253 wins.
Port Jefferson and Mount Sinai battled for the Suffolk Division II title and the right to go to the state dual meet championships. Junior Joe O’Brien pinned Ryan Robertson in 3:47 at 138 and Mount Sinai went on to record six total pins in a 45-28 victory over Port Jefferson.
The key win for the Mustangs came at 145 pounds when Mike Zarif edged Joe Evangelista. Mount Sinai improved to 11-1 in dual meets and Port Jefferson (5-1) lost for the first time this season.
“We wrestled well today and we had some role players that really came through in this dual meet,” said Port Jefferson coach Matt Armstrong. “I thought Ryan Shanian and Zarif really did a great job. Sometimes not winning is still a team win by not giving up key points. We have a very competitive squad and I think we can place in the state tournament. We’re fired up to represent Suffolk upstate.”