05/09/13 7:26pm
05/09/2013 7:26 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck/Greenport/Southold's Connor Stumpf, far left, and Harborfields' John Malico, center, battle for a loose ball.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck/Greenport/Southold’s Connor Stumpf, far left, and Harborfields’ John Malico, center, battle for a loose ball.

TORNADOES 6, TUCKERS 3

They leave with no championships. They leave without having experienced a playoff game. They leave without having enjoyed a winning season. But that doesn’t mean the nine seniors on the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold boys lacrosse team bid adieu to their high school playing careers without having left an impact.

Should the Tuckers someday win a Suffolk County championship, they may look back to this group of seniors and say it started with them.

Some of the seniors played for the Tuckers’ first varsity team as freshmen. This year they were all part of the third varsity season (when they were sophomores, the Tuckers dropped the varsity team and played a junior varsity schedule). This is the year that may be referred to as the year when the Tuckers made a significant move toward becoming competitive.

Mattituck/Greenport/Southold went 3-25 in its first two varsity seasons, but completed its 2013 season with a 6-10 record, 4-10 in Suffolk County Division II.

“I think the seniors, including me, just got tired of losing,” said senior defenseman Chris Baglivi.

This year was undoubtedly a step forward for the Tuckers, who defeated Brentwood, Hampton Bays (twice), Center Moriches, Deer Park and Bishop McGann-Mercy. Unquestionably, the Tuckers were the victims of some blowouts, too, but the progress was evident. The team’s rookie coach, Ryan Mahoney, was quick to credit the players and the coaches who ran the team before him.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Jack DiGregorio, who took a game-high eight shots, scored one of Mattituck/Greenport/Southold's goals against Harborfields.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Jack DiGregorio, who took a game-high eight shots, scored one of Mattituck/Greenport/Southold’s goals against Harborfields.

“With the groundwork that the previous coaches laid, it helped me a lot, and we’re starting to turn it around,” he said. “It’s getting there.”

The Tuckers were hoping to send their seniors off with a win in their final high school game on Thursday, but it wasn’t to be. Harborfields scored the game’s first five goals on the way to a 6-3 win at Mattituck High School. Terrence Haggerty, a sophomore attackman, led five Harborfields scorers with two goals from seven shots and one assist. Troy Bocchicchio and Christopher Tirrito added a goal and an assist each for the Tornadoes (6-9, 6-7), who also received goals from Collin Maher and Ryan Vassar.

Koli Snodgrass (three saves) and Kyle Lumpe (seven saves) each played a half in goal for Harborfields. The Tornadoes held a 32-21 advantage in shots.

Mahoney started all of his seniors. In addition to Baglivi, Christian Davis, Casey Grathwohl, Kevin Izzo, Colin McCoy, Ben Pileski, Connor Stumpf, Nick Tesiny and Justin Tyler trotted onto the field wearing the Tuckers’ uniform for the last time.

“For myself it was definitely difficult,” Baglivi said. “It was definitely emotional. My head wasn’t where I wanted it to be because I was just thinking, ‘This is the last time I’m going to be on the field.’ It’s sad.”

Tesiny, who backed up Alec Durkin in goal for much of the season, played the entire game and played quite well. He made 10 saves, about half of which were especially tough.

Asked afterward if he was inspired by the occasion, Tesiny replied: “I’m always inspired to play well. If it was any other day, I would have played just as well. I guess today because it was Senior Night, there was definitely something in the air.”

The Tuckers didn’t register their first goal until Jack DiGregorio’s unassisted strike 8 minutes 30 seconds into the third quarter. Fourth-quarter goals for the Tuckers were supplied, fittingly, by seniors, Grathwohl and Izzo (assisted by Stumpf). It was also during that quarter when Izzo and Connor Malone fired shots off the pipe.

Harborfields looked like a playoff team even though its coach, Rich Petillo, said the Tornadoes do not have a chance to make it into the postseason.

“That’s the problem,” he said. “It’s been up and down. There was a turning point in the season where we’ve stepped it up and played well against the good teams, and then we didn’t carry it over to the next game, so we couldn’t maintain that high intensity, that high level. That’s something that they have to learn.”

Taking note of Mattituck/Greenport/Southold’s record, Petillo said he noticed an improvement in the Tuckers.

“That’s a huge compliment to the coach and the players out here,” he said. “They’re working hard and you can see it on the field. This is a nice team.”

Some of the Tuckers — like Baglivi, Izzo, McCoy and Stumpf — have college lacrosse in their future. For others, it may be the last time they play.

“It’s weird that it’s over,” Tesiny said. “We were the beginning, but we pass it on to another generation that will keep it going.”

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03/15/13 7:11pm
03/15/2013 7:11 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck/Greenport/Southold attackman Connor Stumpf scoring one of his two first-half goals before Brentwood defenseman Alejandro Romero closes in on him.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck/Greenport/Southold attackman Connor Stumpf scoring one of his two first-half goals before Brentwood defenseman Alejandro Romero closes in on him.

TUCKERS 10, INDIANS 0

The new scoreboard at the Mattituck High School boys lacrosse field may have one defect. Some snowflakes were falling 19 minutes before game time when the temperature listed on the scoreboard read 51 degrees. Surely, some shivering observers noted, that must not be right because it felt a heck of a lot colder than 51 degrees.

Regardless of whether the temperature reading was wrong, the final goal tally on the scoreboard wasn’t. Those who remember Mattituck/Greenport/Southold’s struggles last year when the team went 2-12 might have rubbed their eyes a time or two to make sure they were seeing things right — a 10-0 tally in the Tuckers’ favor.

The start of two new careers with Mattituck/Greenport/Southold was brightened by a first on Friday: the first win by a shutout in the team’s three-year varsity history. It was also the largest margin the Tuckers have ever won by.

Alec Durkin, a freshman in his first varsity game, recorded a rare lacrosse shutout to mark Ryan Mahoney’s debut as the Tuckers’ coach with the 10-0 blanking of Brentwood in the season opener for both teams. When the game ended, the Tuckers rushed toward Durkin to congratulate him on 48 minutes of scoreless goalkeeping.

“It’s so special, my first game [on] varsity, a shutout,” Durkin said. “It’s great.”

Mahoney may have been gratified and relieved at the same time. “I got to be honest, I definitely didn’t see that coming,” was his first comment to a reporter afterward.

“I’ve been pretty nervous for the past three days,” said Mahoney, who at 23 believes he is the youngest varsity boys lacrosse coach in Suffolk County. “Last night I didn’t get much sleep. I thought about my first game, and it was kind of nerve-wracking. I knew my goalie was young, but he played a great game.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | The new Mattituck/Greenport/Southold coach, Ryan Mahoney, talking to his players in between periods.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | The new Mattituck/Greenport/Southold coach, Ryan Mahoney, talking to his players in between periods.

Durkin got the start because senior goalie Nick Tesiny didn’t have enough practices. With his parents, Chris and Danielle, watching, Durkin made eight saves in the non-league game. He was aided by defensemen Chris Baglivi (12 ground balls, 1 interception), Dylan Holmes (4 ground balls) and Matt Carter (3 ground balls).

“I definitely had butterflies, but it was very fun,” said Baglivi.

The Tuckers looked ready and determined from the beginning. Kevin Izzo was involved in the first 4 goals, pumping in two of them and assisting on the other two by Connor Stumpf and Colin McCoy. By halftime the score was 7-0. It remained that way until the fourth quarter when the only question that remained was whether or not Durkin would get a shutout.

Perhaps the toughest save of the afternoon for Durkin came with a little over two minutes remaining in the game when he stopped a point-blank shot by Jose David Sorto.

“All I was thinking was just make yourself big and hope for the best,” Durkin said of that save.

Baglivi, a senior, said Durkin “played great. I remember when I was a freshman on the varsity, I was scared. It’s nerve-racking. He saved my butt today. I made a mistake, but he stepped up.”

Like his coach, Durkin said he felt nerves, which was understandable. “Definitely, yeah,” he said. “I woke up [this morning] and I was like, ‘Wow, it’s real now.’ ”

Asked at what point during the game he calmed down, Durkin replied, “I never get calm because when you get calm, that’s when you let up goals.”

Mahoney said he knew Durkin is talented, which is why he is on the varsity team in the first place. The poise the goalie showed made an impression.

“He definitely showed he can handle the pressure,” Mahoney said. “With a freshman goalie, you wonder how he’s going to play due to the high stress, but he handled it very well. He stayed calm in net, and he made phenomenal saves.”

With only 10 practices behind them, the Tuckers played well. Mahoney liked what he saw from his offense, which outshot Brentwood by 33-16. All 10 of the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold goals were assisted.

McCoy (4 assists), Izzo (3 assists), Stumpf (1 assist) and Zach Holmes (1 assist) shot in 2 goals each. Jack DiGregorio and Connor Malone also found the net.

“They looked like a good team out there, and that was nice to see,” said Mahoney.

Thanks to Baglivi’s efforts, the Tuckers also won the ground-ball war, 30-18. “He was all over the place today,” Mahoney said. “He’s making the right checks. He’s carrying the ball up the field, and he can handle the pressure. It’s really nice to know you have a defenseman like that on your team.”

Mahoney kept things in perspective and said his team has things to work on. Still, all in all, it wasn’t a bad beginning for the Tuckers.

He said, “It’s much nicer to be 1 and 0 than 0 and 1.”

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02/16/13 9:04pm
02/16/2013 9:04 PM
DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Mattituck/Greenport senior Tomasz Filipkowski, left, going head to head with teammate Sal Loverde in the 170-pound final. Filipkowski won a third straight county title.

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Mattituck/Greenport senior Tomasz Filipkowski, left, going head to head with teammate Sal Loverde in the 170-pound final. Filipkowski won a third straight county title.

SECTION XI DIVISION II CHAMPIONSHIPS

It was a three-peat for Tomasz Filipkowski, but a first for the Mattituck/Greenport wrestling team. First, as in the first Suffolk County championship in the Tuckers’ history.

Mattituck/Greenport captured the team title in the L. Robert “Doc” Fallot Section XI Division II Championships on Saturday night at Center Moriches High School. Thirteen Mattituck/Greenport wrestlers secured places among the top four of their weight class, helping the Tuckers collect 233 1/2 points. The defending champion, Bayport-Blue Point, was second with 203.

After all the individual medals and trophies were presented, the public-address announcer had one final piece of business to attend to in regard to the team scoring. “And now the moment you’ve been waiting for,” he said to the crowd, “the 2013 Suffolk County Division II champions, with 223 1/2 points — Mattituck!”

With that, the loud section of Tuckers fans cheered.

“It’s great, man,” said Mattituck/Greenport coach Cory Dolson, whose team is also the League VII champion. “It feels great for the kids, for everybody involved in the program, from the guys who have been helping with kid wrestling to all the time people spend in the tournaments, to parents. It’s just a testament to all the hard work everyone’s been doing all these years. Everyone takes a part in this championship.”

Six Tuckers were among the parade of finalists who marched into the gym for the title bouts. Three of them emerged as county champions.

Highlighting the individual achievements for Mattituck/Greenport was Filipkowski earning his third straight county title. The senior, wrestling in a county final for the fourth year in a row, pinned a teammate, junior Sal Loverde, at 2 minutes 34 seconds of the 170-pound final.

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Bobby Becker's left arm is raised after winning the county title at 138 pounds. He dedicated his season to his mother Susan, who was recently diagnosed as having leukemia.

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Bobby Becker’s left arm is raised after winning the county title at 138 pounds. He dedicated his season to his mother Susan, who was recently diagnosed as having leukemia.

“I guess it’s pretty rare and a cool thing, but like I said, I’m not a very individual person,” Filipkowski (33-2) said before the final team scores were announced. “I love when my team succeeds. If we win that team title, it would just make my day.”

Filipkowski’s tournament was an abbreviated one. He received a bye into the semifinals, advancing on a pin of Babylon’s Tyler Jacinth at 1:41. For Filipkowski, wrestling against Loverde (19-8) in the final was awkward.

“I really hated it,” he said. “It’s very weird because you’re always taught to want your team member to succeed. … We thought it was kind of comical that we were wrestling each other.”

Chris Baglivi, a senior, and Bobby Becker, a junior, also picked up county crowns.

Along with their county titles, Mattituck/Greenport’s three champions earned the right to advance to the state championships that will be held next Friday and Saturday in Albany.

“It’s a huge deal,” Filipkowski said of the county tournament. “This is it. End of the season. You lose, you’re done; you’re not going to Albany.”

Baglivi (31-1) was in full control of the 195-pound final, scoring an 11-0 major decision over Center Moriches junior William Hamilton (19-9) for his second straight county title.

Afterward, the heavily favored Baglivi said he felt relieved to have secured a return ticket to Albany for the state tournament, something afforded only to county champions. That’s a big part of the pressure of the sectional tournament. It’s either win it all or go home.

“Higher stakes always make it more stressful on the big mat,” Baglivi said. “I knew what I had to do and I went out there and did it.”

Becker (24-12), whose mother Susan was recently diagnosed as having leukemia and watched on from the stands, reached the top of the podium at 138 pounds. After he defeated Port Jefferson junior Tyler D’Accordo, 4-2, Becker, standing on the mat, relayed to his mother the message “I love you” in sign language.

Later, Becker said his mother was speechless.

“I just dedicate my season to her, everything, because she’s the toughest in the world,” said Becker, whose mother’s name was written on his headgear. He also wore orange socks. Orange is the color used to promote leukemia awareness.

Dolson said the team rallied around the Beckers. “It’s funny how out of tragedy sometimes that brings you closer,” he said.

Becker survived a tough bracket. Following a bye and a second-period pin of Center Moriches’ Stephen Maltz, Becker defeated two wrestlers he had lost to earlier in the season. He pinned Luke Zappia of Babylon 59 seconds into overtime and then triumphed over D’Accordo (22-8).

Becker said he didn’t realize he was winning until he looked up at the scoreboard with 16 seconds remaining in the final.

“It’s almost like unreal,” he said. “I wasn’t really watching the score so much. I was in the motion, scrambling and stuff. So, I didn’t even know I was winning.”

Becker repeatedly credited his training partner, junior Brian Pelan, with helping him to his first varsity tournament title of any kind.

“He pretty much carried me there,” Becker said. “If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have made that. He pushed me 10 times harder than I would have pushed myself wrestling with anyone else this whole year.”

Pelan, however, and Mattituck/Greenport’s James Hoeg both lost in their finals. Pelan (19-3) faced a tough opponent at 126 pounds in Stony Brook sophomore Hunter Hulse (34-3). Hulse pulled out a 3-2 decision. Hoeg (26-10), an eighth-grader wrestling at 113 pounds, suffered a 5-3 loss to Center Moriches senior Michael Menzer. Menzer (35-5), a five-time all-county wrestler, received the tournament’s award for the most pins in the least amount of time, three in 2:59.

Mattituck/Greenport received third-place showings by T. J. Beebe (99), Lucas Webb (113), Rodolfo Perez (145) and Anthony Howell (160). Three other Tuckers came in fourth: Jack Bokina (99), Ryan Bergen (132) and James Rugnetta (182).

Mattituck/Greenport took second in last year’s county tournament. This year, though, Dolson sensed the Tuckers had what it took to make team history.

“This year was something special,” he said. “I think we had a good mix, a lot of young guys with a lot of talent. I feel like it was a year we had to take advantage of. We couldn’t let this year slip by.”

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DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Mattituck/Greenport's Chris Baglivi, top, picked up a second county title, beating Center Moriches' William Hamilton.

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Mattituck/Greenport’s Chris Baglivi, top, picked up a second county title, beating Center Moriches’ William Hamilton.

01/28/13 10:32pm
01/28/2013 10:32 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO  |  Matt Migliore of Smithtown Christian, left, and Christian Angelson of Mattituck/Greenport locked horns at 152 pounds. Migliore won, 6-3.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Matt Migliore of Smithtown Christian, left, and Christian Angelson of Mattituck/Greenport locked horns at 152 pounds. Migliore won, 6-3.

TUCKERS 78, KNIGHTS 7

There is always another challenge, another title to aspire to, another mountain to climb.

For the Mattituck/Greenport wrestling team, it’s not the Suffolk County League VII dual-meet championship that is the end all. The Tuckers clinched at least a share their first league title in a decade, with the possibility of a county Division II crown to follow next week. They took another giant step toward an undefeated league season with a 78-7 home victory over Smithtown Christian on Monday night.

Mattituck/Greenport can clinch the league championship with a win at The Stony Brook School on Wednesday.

But if you think coach Cory Dolson and his wrestlers will be content with just that, guess again.

“I don’t see any reason why we can’t achieve that goal,” said Tomasz Filipkowski, who has a 30-2 record at 170 and 182 pounds. “The way we’re wrestling, everyone has been really pushing in the [wrestling] room. Everyone has a real good work ethic. No one’s hitting that grind, that lag. Everyone’s still fresh.

“This is one of our more complete teams for a while. This is one of the first years that we’ve ever had from 99 to 285. There are no holes.”

Chris Baglivi, who has forged a 28-1 record at 195 pounds, was just as optimistic. “The sky’s the limit,” he said. “If everyone wrestles to their potential, we’ll definitely win the county. Everyone’s wrestled tough.”

The Tuckers (12-1, 7-0) always have had talented teams, but this year’s team has some added motivation since it finished second in the county tournament last year.

“Coming in second is not fun,” Dolson said. “It’s the worst. Nobody wants to finish second. You’re just that much closer to winning it. After coming so close last year, we got a lot of guys back from that team. They’re hungry, they’re motivated.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Bobby Becker of Mattituck/Greenport won his match at 138 pounds, pinning Josh Shaw of Smithtown Christian at 3 minutes 40 seconds.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Bobby Becker of Mattituck/Greenport won his match at 138 pounds, pinning Josh Shaw of Smithtown Christian at 3 minutes 40 seconds.

Mattituck/Greenport has never won a Suffolk Division II title.

“It’s something special to be the first group of people at a school to do something,” Dolson said. “That’s making history, being the first group to ever do it. That’s extra motivation, too.”

To win every league dual meet would be an important first step up the mountain.

“It’s big for us,” Dolson said. “We’re hopefully going to go undefeated with a win on Wednesday. I think it’s big for the kids, big for the program. It’s nice, the hard work all these years is finally paying off. Winning stuff like this, going undefeated and winning a league title gives these kids a reason to keep coming back, gives them a reason to be excited about the wrestling program, a real reason to keep working hard.”

Monday’s encounter was virtually over before it started. Smithtown Christian (0-8, 0-7) brought only six wrestlers as the Tuckers won nine matches by forfeit.

Of the six matches that were held, Mattituck won four — all by pins.

Eighth-grader Tanner Zagarino pinned Josh Bellinger in only 28 seconds at 126 pounds. Ryan Bergen (132 pounds) pinned his man, Ian Mims, at 1:36. Bobby Becker (138) stopped Josh Shaw at 3:40. James Rugnetta (182) pinned Chris Olynik at 3:45.

“The situation is what it is,” Dolson said. “They had only six kids. They had a couple of tough guys. It’s tough for some of our guys. It’s hard to get up for a match like this. The atmosphere is really not there. There’s not a lot of people in the gym. It’s kind of quiet.”

The lack of competition meant some of Mattituck/Greenport’s best did not wrestle. That included Filipkowski, who has needed a special mask to protect five stitches he received over his right eye after he was head-butted at the North Fork Invitational two weeks ago.

Filipkowski, the school-record holder with 121 wins, admitted he had mixed emotions about being a spectator.

“It definitely has a chance to heal, which I guess that’s good,” he said. “But I’m definitely bummed out. It’s your last home thing ever. It’s disappointing, a little letdown.”

He added that the mask would be off in time for the county tournament. “I don’t think it has hindered my wrestling ability,” he said.

Baglivi wouldn’t have minded competition as well.

“I wish I could wrestle, senior night and all,” he said, adding that it would be the last time he could have wrestled at Mattituck High School. “I’m going to wrestle against Stony Brook.”

And possibly help the Tuckers make some history.

Dolson said that winning the league dual-meet title has helped his wrestlers “realize how good they are.”

“In the past you come so close and you don’t make it to the top of the mountain,” he said. “I think it’s sometimes for them to believe that they are the best. You’ve got to get there first and then kids start believing and buying in. Just us by going through the league and beating everybody and beating everybody pretty convincingly, that has given them a lot of confidence. They are wrestling with confidence. They are the best and they believe we can win.”

01/19/13 9:31pm
01/19/2013 9:31 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Tomasz Filipkowski of Mattituck/Greenport, who sustained a cut on his right eyebrow 10 seconds into the 170-pound final, went on to defeat Half Hollow Hills East's Maleik Henry, 4-3. Filipkowski was selected the tournament's most outstanding wrestler.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Tomasz Filipkowski of Mattituck/Greenport, who sustained a cut on his right eyebrow 10 seconds into the 170-pound final, went on to defeat Half Hollow Hills East’s Maleik Henry, 4-3. Filipkowski was selected the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler.

NORTH FORK INVITATIONAL

With blood streaming down the right side of his face, Tomasz Filipkowski looked like a cast member from a B-grade horror film, but it was the storybook ending that made this tale so captivating.

It was 10 seconds into the 170-pound final of the North Fork Invitational on Saturday night at Mattituck High School when the bout was stopped temporarily so Filipkowski could be attended to. The Mattituck/Greenport senior said he was struck on his right eyelid by either the head or a tooth of his opponent, No. 1 seed Maleik Henry of Half Hollow Hills East.

A trainer, Colleen McGowan, managed to slow the bleeding and wrapped a bandage around Filipkowski’s head so he could resume the match. Two minutes 28 seconds of blood time were consumed, but that was the only stoppage of the match because of bleeding. The second-seeded Filipkowski went on to bounce back from a 2-1 deficit and defeat Henry, 4-3, in perhaps the most enthralling match of the finals.

After the final buzzer sounded, a joyous Filipkowski clapped for himself and received applause from spectators. He was later recognized for his efforts under adversity by being selected the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler.

“It’s pretty sweet,” Filipkowski acknowledged later in the locker room. “It’s one of my top [wins]. It’s at home. It’s against a kid that I lost to before in the season.”

Filipkowski, who was a champion in last year’s tournament as well, defeated Henry twice last season, but then lost to him in the Half Hollow Hills East Tournament final earlier this season. That was motivation enough. When Filipkowski sustained the cut, which was expected to require several stitches, it appeared as if it would endanger his plans.

Asked how much the cut hindered him, Filipkowski replied: “I didn’t think about it at all. I don’t think it affected me too much, to be completely honest. I just went out there and stuck with doing what I had to do during the match.”

Mattituck/Greenport coach Cory Dolson said Filipkowski endured “a little adversity, but nothing major.” The coach said that what Filipkowski did was “nothing eye-opening. That’s what he does. He grinds guys down, he scores takedowns, he doesn’t let guys ride him. That’s a typical match for him.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Brian Pelan of Mattituck/Greenport, left, putting a hold on Harborfields' Ed Henriquez during the 126-pound final. Pelan won, 6-3.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Brian Pelan of Mattituck/Greenport, left, putting a hold on Harborfields’ Ed Henriquez during the 126-pound final. Pelan won, 6-3.

Two other Mattituck/Greenport wrestlers reached the top of the podium in their weight classes, junior Brian Pelan and senior Chris Baglivi.

Pelan, a junior seeded No. 1, scored a 6-3 decision against No. 3 Ed Henriques of Harborfields in the 126-pound final.

“I expected myself to win it,” Pelan said. “I wanted to win it, so I put my mind to it and got what I wanted.”

The Tuckers also received a fine performance from Baglivi at 195 pounds. Baglivi, the tournament favorite, was leading his opponent, No. 2 Nick Marcinek of Connetquot, by 5-0 before pinning him at 2 minutes 46 seconds. It was Baglivi’s second tournament title of the season.

“I’ve been going for it for three years, trying to win this tournament,” Baglivi said. “I’m really pumped. It’s always a tough tournament.”

Riverhead sent two wrestlers into the finals, sophomore Raheem Brown (160 pounds) and junior Ryan Gevinski (120).

The sixth-seeded Brown upset the tournament’s top three seeds in his path to winning a champions’ medal and his first career tournament crown. He defeated the No. 1 seed, Nick Mastro of Connetquot, in the final, 6-4.

“You’re tired, you’re fighting,” Brown said. “You just want to win. You want to be the one with your hand raised at the end.”

Brown said he was motivated by his coaches, who got on him following his loss in a dual meet against Hauppauge the night before.

“I’m trying to move up better and better because there are other people out there 10 times better than me,” he said, “and I want to be just like them.”

A week earlier, Brown received the Riverhead team’s weekly most outstanding wrestler award.

“He’s a kid that’s still on his way up,” Riverhead coach Wade “Rocky” Davey said. “He doesn’t realize how good he can be.”

Gevinski, the third seed, dropped a 5-1 decision to No. 1 Steven Bolzomi of Connetquot in their final.

Connetquot and Rocky Point, recognized as being among the top teams in the state, lived up to their billing. Connetquot won the team title for the third year in a row, posting 376 points in the 12-team tournament. Rocky Point was the runner-up with 279, and Mattituck/Greenport third with 210.

“Our guys wrestled great today,” Dolson said. “Third place is a tremendous performance for our team.”

Following his tremendous performance, Filipkowski removed his headgear, revealing a stream of blood trickling down his face while photographers snapped away.

Said Pelan, “That’s going to look sweet in the paper, that’s for sure.”

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01/03/13 6:51pm
01/03/2013 6:51 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck/Greenport’s Bobby Becker, who had a hold on Hampton Bays’ Ralph Oswald, won the 138-pound bout by technical fall.

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.”

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GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Chris Baglivi of Mattituck/Greenport got the better of Hampton Bays’ Kevin Giron in a matchup of two county champions. Baglivi won the bout at 195 pounds, 5-0, scoring all of his points in the third period.