The connections between the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold and Shoreham-Wading River wrestling programs are strong. Two of Mattituck coach Cory Dolson’s assistants, Nick Fioretti and Peter Delise, both wrestled for SWR. In addition, Fioretti was an assistant at his alma mater for six years. Dolson himself lives in Shoreham.
Both programs have enjoyed success over the years, too.
Oh, and the two teams had one more thing in common Wednesday night: They wanted to beat each other for the right to advance to the Suffolk County Division II Dual-Meet Championships final.
That honor went to host SWR, wrestling and winning, 44-33 over Mattituck, with a victory-clinching pin by Dylan Blanco. With that, the second-seeded Wildcats (21-4) will face No. 1 Mount Sinai (18-4) in the final Saturday in Bay Shore. Those two teams appeared to be on a collision course for a rematch ever since League VII champion Mount Sinai beat SWR, 42-27, in a league match earlier this month.
The semifinal started off swimmingly for SWR, which built a 30-0 lead. But then League VIII champion Mattituck (8-3) took the next six bouts (all but one decided by pins) through Jackson Cantelmo (152 pounds), Antonio Jiminez (160), Jack Giovannello (170), Malachi Boisseau (182), Ethan Schmidt (195) and Colby Suglia (220) to earn its first and only lead, 33-30.
With SWR down by three, the heat was on Blanco in his 285-pound match against Tyler Marlborough, a tough opponent.
“I felt a bit of pressure, but nothing that I wasn’t used to,” Blanco said. “I’ve been in those situations before.”
Blanco came through with a pin at 2 minutes, 25 seconds, bumping up his record to 23-4.
“He’s got ice in his veins,” said Sean Miller, who brought SWR a victory at 145, pinning Cole DiGregorio at 3:23.
Mattituck forfeit the last two scheduled bouts at 99 and 106 pounds and it was over.
“Dylan’s smart,” SWR coach Joe Condon said. “That’s the third huge win that he’s had. He’s got the big pins, and that’s all we can ask of him.”
Condon believed Miller, one of six brothers who have wrestled in the SWR program, was the one with the “pivotal match that sort of turned the tide. He had been pinned by [DiGregorio] last year … Sean is a real focused, relentless hard worker. He learned from it and he didn’t make a mistake and he was very aggressive. He put him on his back three times and took him down.”
Prior to Miller’s time, SWR opened the contest with pins by Craig Jablonski (113), Tristan Petretti (120) and Connor Pearce (126) as well as wins by decision turned in by Jake Jablonski (132) and Chris Anderson (138).
Cantelmo (27-4) had quite a day for Mattituck, which defeated Southampton, 52-27, in the afternoon to advance. In that match, Cantelmo, wrestling at 160, won by technical fall (18-2) over Eduardo Clemente. Against SWR, Cantelmo pinned Dan Dacos in 51 seconds.
“I think he’s been wrestling really well,” Fioretti said of Cantelmo. “He’s come a long way this year and we’re hoping to get a county championship out of him.”
Cantelmo said he was “disappointed because I thought we could have done better.”
Fioretti said: “Pretty much what we expected happened. We told the kids before the match that we couldn’t make two or three mistakes, and we made three mistakes, and that was the match.”
Fioretti, who wrestled at SWR for Paul Jendrewski and then for Condon, is no stranger to the Wildcats. “Many of the kids that are on the varsity program now, I coached through the kid wrestling program before I came to Mattituck,” he said. “They know me.”
What was it like for Fioretti to be wearing a Mattituck wrestling polo shirt and coaching against his former team?
“There’s definitely more anxiety and stress, but it makes it fun and exciting,” he said. “It’s friendly competition. Shoreham wants to win real bad and we want to win real bad.”