Westhampton Beach wrestling head coach Paul Bass said he was extremely happy after the third annual Cory Hubbard Duals—not just that his team went 3-0, but that the tournament proceeded, even if it was an abbreviated version, despite the snowstorm that buried the East End on Saturday.
Westhampton Beach hosted six schools—Bay Shore, Bellport, Hampton Bays, Newfield, Sayville and Valley Stream North—which allowed each school to get in three different dual meets. Holy Trinity had been scheduled as well but backed out at the last minute due to the storm; otherwise, each team would have had four matches.
Bass gave credit to his superintendent, Michael Radday, and athletic director Kathy Masterson not only for keeping the school open but for bringing in help for the tournament. “They really did us right,” he said. “A lot of administrators would have just said, ‘We’re canceling it,’ but we came up with a worst-case scenario and worked hard to put this thing together and get everyone out of the gym by noon.
“We only missed out on one dual meet,” Bass added. “Normally, we have the whole day—there’s two hours between dual meets for exhibitions, among other things. But wrestling started at 7:50 a.m., and we flew through those three duals.”
On top of getting the tournament off without a hitch, the Hurricanes went 3-0 against Hampton Bays, Newfield and Valley Stream. Gavin McIntyre (99 pounds), Jason Montagna (106), Tyler Skala (113) and Liam McIntyre (160) all went 3-0 with three pins in their matches. Jackson Hulse (126), Scott Rementer (170) and Ryan Wagner (220) went 3-0 throughout the day as well.
Westhampton Beach held a dual-meet tournament for years before renaming it the Cory Hubbard Duals following the alumnus’s death on January 17, 2014, which sent shock waves throughout the community. Hubbard was hit by a car near the University of Maryland, where he attended college, and eventually died from his injuries. He was 22 years old.
Earlier in the week, the Hurricanes lost a League VI dual meet, 58-16, at Islip on January 4, which dropped them to 0-4 (9-6 overall). Bass noted that the team had a front-loaded schedule against some tough teams, but with Rementer, Thatcher Cord (152) and Jeremy Endara (285) all returning, the Canes should get in the win column in league matches soon.
Westhampton Beach was slated to host Amityville on Wednesday and will be at East Hampton on Friday; the first bout there is scheduled to go at 6:15 p.m. The following day, Saturday, the Canes will be looking to defend their title at the 32nd annual Kujan Brothers Memorial Tournament at William Floyd High School.
The Baymen didn’t win any of their three matches at the Cory Hubbard Duals, but interim head coach Mike Lloyd said he felt a number of wrestlers competed well. Joey Panetta (120) was named the team’s Most Outstanding Wrestler after going 2-1. His loss came in a 7-6 decision. Nico Antieri (152) also went 2-1 in his three matches and came away with 10-6 and 15-4 victories.
Lloyd admitted the day was a bit of a whirlwind. “We were unsure if the duals would still be held due to the impending snow,” he said. “Once we got there, I found that our pool was changed due to a team cancellation. We started wrestling right away and had Westhampton first, then Newfield and, finally, Valley Stream North.
“Going into each match, we were forfeiting anywhere from 12 to 24 points due to openings in our lineup,” Lloyd continued. “All three were a tough group of teams.”
Hampton Bays (1-2) did come away with its first League VII dual-meet victory of the season, 51-36, at home over Southampton on January 4. The Baymen have dominated the Mariners dating back to 2013, and Lloyd said he felt the win was a turning point for his team.
“I spent the week over the winter break and the days leading up to the match trying to cover all the bases,” he explained. “We needed to review our weak points, make sure that everyone was on weight and get the kids focused to succeed for the rest of the season.
“Hampton Bays has seen Southampton as our unofficial rival for quite a long time, and pulling out a win has helped us to realize that we can do great things as a team when everyone if focused on a goal,” Lloyd added.
Tom O’Shea of Hampton Bays and Jack O’Brien of Southampton had the bout of the night, at 170 pounds. The two county-finalist hopefuls went toe-to-toe, but it was O’Shea winning the match in a 9-4 decision.
Derrick Espinosa stole a victory for Southampton at 182 pounds. Down 7-1 heading into the final minute of his match against Bayman Jefferson Mendez, Espinosa was nearly pinned himself before he put a side headlock on Mendez, took him down and pinned him with 40 seconds remaining.
Both teams forfeited five weight classes, meaning even though both teams were giving up points, the match was still going to be decided by those who were actually wrestling. Panetta, Antieri and Jackson Perez (195) all enjoyed victories with pins, giving the Baymen the edge for the victory.
Hampton Bays wrestled at Mattituck on Wednesday and will compete at the Oyster Bay Duals this Saturday.