When it comes down to the Suffolk League I wrestling title each point comes at a premium.
Despite trailing by 16 team points through the first eight matches, Sachem East rallied back with a furious 22-point swing to take the League I crown over Brentwood, 37-31, during Starlin Jimenez Memorial Night at Brentwood High School.
Brentwood honored the passing of the late wrestling great who was killed on May 5th, 2010 after a motorcycle accident. Jimenez wrestled for Brentwood from 1996-2000, and in that time he went 87-10 while earning three-time League champion and two-time All-County honors.
With heavy hearts, Brentwood started off brilliantly. The Indians led 25-9 halfway through the meet after the Indians’ Kevin Rivas put Rich Andersen on his back for the pin 1:37 into the second period at 120 pounds. This capped a 6-2 individual match start for Brentwood to open up the night.
However, it was the 126-pound weight class that started to turn the tide in the favor of the Flaming Arrows (19-1, 4-0 in League I).
Anthony Messina, currently standing eighth in Long Island, met up with the tenacious B.J. Jackson in a brutally even matchup. After the first period, the unranked Jackson held a 2-1 lead, but in the second period Messina was able to escape the clutches of Jackson to even the score a two apiece. The third period proved to be all Messina as he was able to outmaneuver his counterpart in tune of 5-1 in the period to take a 7-3 decision.
“Yeah I knew that [B.J. Jackson] was very good and I just wanted to win my match,” said Messina. “I gained my confidence and I knew that if I kept going at it that it would work out.”
Messina would be named Most Outstanding Wrestling for Sachem East after the match for his battle with Jackson. Despite trailing at the end of the first period Messina wasn’t fazed, “I’ve been in a few situations like that this year, so I didn’t want to change my approach.”
The momentum clearly had swung to the visitors when the Messina victory. Sachem East closed out the dual meet winning the last five weight classes, three via pins from Conor O’Hara (132), Jakob Restrepo (138), and Mark Tracy (160), as well as Jackson Mordente’s major decision win over Alex Romero at 145 pounds and Mike Pistone’s 3-2 overtime decision over Luis Rodriguez to clinch the victory.
Brentwood (20-4, 3-1 in League I) started off the match on fire.
The Indians would take the opening match with a 7-2 decision from Josue Blanco, sixth-ranked on Long Island, over A.J. Solomito. Though Brentwood’s strong start was engineered by David Rodriguez, sixth-ranked on Long Island, in the 285-pound weight class.
Rodriguez was able to pull off a pin with merely nine seconds remaining in the second period over Connor Farrell to pull Brentwood even with the Flaming Arrows at nine team points each. Rodriguez was named Brentwood’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.
“Going into the match I had to go into there thinking that I had to do whatever I could for my team,” Rodriguez continues, “ all I wanted to do was get the win for my team, put us in good position, and try to wrestle the best I can.”
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Sachem East 37, Brentwood 31
January 18, 2013
182 – Josue Blanco (Brent) dec. A.J. Solomito (SE) 7-2
195 – Cristian Nunez (SE) pinned Steven Nunez (Brent) 3:47
220 – John Vigh (SE) dec. Calvin Mora (Brent) 3-1
285 – David Rodriguez (Brent) pinned Connor Farrell (SE) 3:51
99 – Carlos Aucancela (Brent) MD Bobby Fazio (SE) 12-2
106 – Danny Murray (Brent) dec. Doug Iadanza (SE) 4-2
113 – Isac Brizuela (Brent) dec. Jack Benjamin (SE) 10-6
120 – Kevin Rivas (Brent) pinned Rich Andersen (SE) 3:37
126 – Anthony Messina (SE) dec. B.J. Jackson (Brent) 7-3
132 – Conor O’Hara (SE) pinned Mike Cardona (Brent) 3:42
138 – Jakob Restrepo (SE) pinned Mendel Lahens (Brent) 4:29
145 – Jackson Mordente (SE) MD Alex Romero (Brent) 10-0
152 – Mike Pistone (SE) dec. Luis Rodriguez (Brent) 3-2 OT
160 – Mark Tracy (SE) pinned Luis Rodriguez (Brent) 5:44
170 – Carlos Toribio (Brent) by FFT