Wrestling: Runner-up finish doesn’t meet Tuckers’ expectations

ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Mattituck/Greenport's Ryan Bergen turned Upper Darby's Karl Kamanousa upside down before pinning him 75 seconds into their bout at 152 pounds.
ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Mattituck/Greenport’s Ryan Bergen turned Upper Darby’s Karl Kamanousa upside down before pinning him 75 seconds into their bout at 152 pounds.


Winning the Westhampton Beach Duals championship, something the Mattituck/Greenport high school wrestling team has never done, wasn’t so much a hope for the Tuckers as it was an expectation. Expectation, however, turned to disappointment Saturday, a day that otherwise brought so many positives for the Tuckers.

The Tuckers, who never reached the Westhampton Beach Duals final before last year, had to settle for second place in the tournament for the second straight year. Christopher Johnson’s 6-2 defeat of James Hoeg at 138 pounds in the final bout of the match brought Upper Darby, a team from Pennsylvania, a 41-34 victory and the tournament title.

The Tuckers’ attitude and approach to the tournament says a lot about how far they have come over the past few years. The defending Suffolk County Division II champions have a 7-2 dual-meet record and finished first in two of the four tournaments they have competed in (they took third in the other).

“As we get better, our expectations become higher,” said Tuckers coach Cory Dolson.

The Tuckers advanced to the final of Saturday’s eight-team tournament by finishing atop Pool B. They earned wins over Deer Park, 42-28; Miller Place, 57-17; and Newfield, 61-14.

Upper Darby proved to be the Tuckers’ toughest test.

The lead changed hands six times through the first eight bouts before Upper Darby picked up three straight wins by Jacob Mejias (106 pounds), Anthony Petril (113) and Austin Petril (120) for a 38-24 lead. Mejias scored a 7-0 win over T. J. Beebe, Anthony Petril won by technical fall against Tim Pelan at 5 minutes 13 seconds, and Austin Petril was a 13-7 winner over Lucas Webb.

Undeterred, the Tuckers pulled themselves closer with wins by Brian Pelan at 126 pounds and Bobby Becker at 132. Brian Pelan took a 10-1 decision over Colin Cronin. Becker pinned Max Livingston at 1:57. Those were big results, setting up the decisive contest between Johnson and Hoeg.

Three seniors — Brian Pelan, Becker and Sal Loverde — all went 4-0 on the day for the Tuckers, as did Jack Bokina, an eighth-grader. All four of Loverde’s wins came on first-period pins, including his stop of Upper Darby’s Madhat Fares only 24 seconds into their match at 182 pounds.

Bokina, wrestling at 99 pounds, pinned Upper Darby’s Thomas Reif at 1:45.

Also posting pins for the Tuckers against Upper Darby were Ryan Bergen (152) and Adam Goode (220). Bergen pinned Karl Kamanousa to the mat in 75 seconds. Goode put an end to his match against Michael Simbo at 3:27.

Upper Darby received wins by Thomas Brisbane (5-3 over Christian Angelson at 160), Charles Livingston (pin of Tanner Zagarino at 1:52 of their 170-pound bout), Joshua Yeboah-Gya (pin of Connor Andersen 44 seconds into their 195-pound match) and Peter Augustin (pin of Stephen Ostrowski at 1:50 of their match at 285).

As disappointed as the Tuckers may have been over not walking away with the champions’ trophy, they couldn’t complain about the fine start to their season.

“We’re having a good run,” said Dolson, who called it the deepest team he has had in his eight seasons as the Tuckers’ coach.

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