Saturday did not start well for the Mattituck/Greenport high school wrestling team, not well at all.
The Tuckers found themselves in a hole after dropping their first two matches at the Westhampton Duals. However, they made sure the day ended on a high note, bouncing back to win their last two encounters at Westhampton Beach High School. Mattituck edged the Miller Place Panthers, 39-37, and defeated the Deer Park Falcons, 48-27.
“It’s huge,” Mattituck Coach Cory Dolson said of the comeback. “That’s what you try to tell the kids when you’re 0-2. [Zero] and two can go to 0-4 real quick. We fought back. You win your last two matches, you can go out of the gym with your heads up. It turned out being an alright day.”
As it turned out, Mattituck had to face its most difficult matches of the day first. The Tuckers stumbled early on, losing to the favored Westhampton Beach Hurricanes, 57-22, and then to the Newfield Wolverines, 48-22. Westhampton Beach won three team matches at the duals.
“They’re two top teams,” said Dolson.
So the Tuckers had their work cut out for themselves.
“Without a doubt, we were underdogs in the Westhampton match,” Dolson said. “We knew Newfield was much improved. We would have liked to have kept the match a lot closer.”
There was little doubt who was the Tuckers’ top wrestler during the long day — senior Brandon Lake, who pinned all four of his opponents in the 180-pound division.
“Brandon supplied 24 points on the day,” Dolson said. “That is phenomenal. Bonus points can help a team. He took care of us.”
So did sophomore Tomasz Filipkowski. He also won all four of his 160-pound matches — two by wins, two by decisions, including a major decision.
“Those guys really did their best to help the team,” Dolson said.
Saturday’s performance topped a memorable 24 hours for Filipkowski, who defeated defending Suffolk County champion Dylan Flynn of Hampton Bay, 9-7, a day prior. His triumph was one of the highlights of Mattituck/Greenport’s a 63-9 victory over the Hampton Bays Baymen.
David Martinez also came up big in a key 145-pound match against Newfield on Saturday, winning a close encounter, 8-5.
“With that match we sealed the deal,” Dolson said, referring to Mattituck’s two-point victory. “There was a lot of pressure. He sealed the win for us.”
In League VI action this week, the Tuckers were scheduled to host the Southampton Mariners on Wednesday, weather permitting, and travel to Babylon on Friday night.