TUCKERS 69, BAYMEN 12
The longest six minutes in sports may be the six minutes that constitute a typical wrestling match. Those three two-minute periods can be exhausting, more so for some than others.
While opponents tire in the third period, Mattituck/Greenport senior Chris Baglivi scores points. His match on Thursday was a case in point.
Like Baglivi, Hampton Bays senior Kevin Giron was a Suffolk County champion last season. The two had never met on a wrestling mat before Thursday’s League VII opener between their teams at Hampton Bays High School.
The 195-pound contest was scoreless for two periods, and then came the third period. That’s Baglivi’s time.
Baglivi rallied and scored all of his points in the final period for a 5-0 victory that gave the Tuckers a 39-0 lead en route to a 69-12 rout.
“I usually do that,” Baglivi said of his third-period finishes. “I think I improved because off-season I went to a bunch of camps. I went to a couple of off-season tournaments, and I’ve been lifting, I’ve been running. That’s like the biggest thing with me. When the third period comes, I’m still feeling fresh like it’s the first period.”
Baglivi’s teammate, senior Tomasz Filipkowski, liked what he saw.
“The other kid came out strong, but Baglivi, he’s a tough kid,” Filipkowski said. “He weathered the storm.”
If Baglivi doesn’t have wobbly legs in the third period, it’s not by accident. For one thing, he has a pretty good practice partner in Filipkowski, a fellow county champion who earlier this season became the fourth wrestler to record 100 career wins for the Tuckers.
And then there is Baglivi’s work ethic.
“I’m trying to peak before the county tournament,” he said. “I’m running hard every day, doing extra workouts after practice, going to the weight room, getting extra runs on Sundays. I’m trying to improve at every position.”
The extra work has been evident in his performances. Baglivi’s only loss this season was to Nick Weber of Kings Park, one of the top-ranked wrestlers in New York State.
Baglivi has no shortage of motivation, either. Last season he won the Suffolk Division II title at 195 pounds, went 1-2 in the state tournament, and finished the season with a 26-9 record. “That was an amazing experience,” he said. His driving ambition this season is to win another county crown and return to the state tournament.
“He’s come a real long way since ninth grade,” Mattituck/Greenport coach Cory Dolson said. “He grew up, he got bigger, he got stronger. He comes in, does extra practices, extra weight-room sessions. He’s big and very athletic for 195 pounds. A lot of 195-pounders are strong, but they’re not as athletic as Chris.”
Mattituck/Greenport (4-0, 1-0) was too much for a young, understrength Hampton Bays team. The Baymen (2-3, 0-1) forfeited six weight classes, and seven of the nine bouts that were wrestled went Mattituck/Greenport’s way.
“We know we have a lot of work to do,” Hampton Bays coach Rafael Lievano said. “They were real tough. … They’re going to have a nice run.”
Tyler Webb of Mattituck/Greenport was trailing, 3-2, when he turned the tables on his 120-pound opponent, Shawn Bowen, pinning him with 43.6 seconds left in the third period.
The Tuckers also received pins from T. J. Beebe at 99 pounds (he pinned Lucas Kraus at 1:32) and Andre Vega at 145 pounds (he stopped John Nolan at 3:43). Another Tucker, Bobby Becker, won at 138 pounds by technical fall. He was leading Ralph Oswald, 19-2, when the bout was stopped at 5:49.
Ryan Bergen won the first match of the afternoon for Mattituck/Greenport with a 7-2 decision over Travis Flynn at 132 pounds.
Filipkowski was dominant in his match at 182 pounds, tiring out Cody Nolan in a 21-9 decision.
“I still feel like I can do a lot better,” Filipkowski said. “At the end, I started to get tired. My shots were sloppy, my takedowns were sloppy.”
The two heaviest weight classes went Hampton Bays’ way on pins. Eddie Perez, wrestling at 220 pounds, put Connor Andersen’s shoulder to the mat at 1:55. Then Tom Tretola did likewise to his opponent at 285 pounds, Nick Tesiny, in a time of 2:32.
It was an easy day for Mattituck/Greenport’s Tim Pelan, Lucas Webb, Tanner Zagarino, Christian Angelson, Anthony Howell and Sal Loverde, who all had their arm raised in victory by forfeit.
“We came in to do what we were supposed to do,” Dolson said. “It’s always good to open up [the league season] with a win.”