The Huntington wrestling team turned in a spectacular performance at the Louis D. Giani, Sr. Invitational Tournament last weekend. Five Blue Devils won individual weight class championships and 17 placed in the top six of their respective weight class to lead the squad to a runner-up finish in an eight team field.
Huntington’s Lucas Cirlincione (99 lbs.), Joe Petrone (106 lbs.), Joe Nicotra (152 lbs.), Robbie Smith (195 lbs.) and Nick Tudisco (220 lbs.) all won titles in the daylong competition that was wrestled on four mats and drew hundreds of fans to the high school gym. Enzo Pupillo (113 lbs.) and Samir Rathore (138 lbs.) both finished second in the tournament.
Billy Burton (120 lbs.), Max Casciano (126 lbs.) and Kaleef Riley (285 lbs.) all captured third place. Bryan Maldonado was fourth at 195 lbs. Michael Kline (113 lbs.), Christian St. John (132 lbs.), Aedan McDonald (145 lbs.) and Lucas Petrizzi (182 lbs.) placed fifth. Sam Nicotra (99 lbs.) and Anthony Annunziata (138 lbs.) finished sixth.
Despite not being at full strength, Huntington looked very good for such an early season competition. In its 49 year history, the tournament had never before been held in November. Changes in state scheduling regulations moved the date of the tournament up and the Blue Devils proved they were up to the challenge.
Cirlincione won a 12-2 decision in the semifinals before edging Port Jefferson’s Frankie D’Elia in sudden victory overtime in the finals, 7-5. Petrone pinned foes in 3:16 and 0:15 before wrestling his way past Kings Park’s Dean Renna in the championship match, 5-2.
Joe Nicotra was sensational all day with three pins in a cumulative 3:09 to capture the Most Pins in the Least Amount of Time Award. The junior pinned Benjamin N. Cardozo’s Josh Indiviglio in the finals in 0:35.
After picking up a semifinal round pin in 0:45, Smith had to battle during every second of his match in the finals, eventually outlasting Port Jefferson’s Jack Neldeberger, 3-1. A late takedown by Smith proved to be the difference in the match.
Tudisco had three wins in the tournament, including a 0:54 second pin in the semifinals and a 0:57 second pin of Massapequa’s Jake Menichini in the finals.
The Blue Devils were also heartened by the performances of Casciano and St. John. The two eighth graders both won three matches in their first high school competition.
Blue Devil Mat Notes: Huntington Superintendent James W. Polansky presented the awards to the wrestlers and teams at the conclusion of the tournament . . . Huntington High School Principal Brenden Cusack was also in the crowd at the competition . . . Huntington will next take the mat for a league dual meet on Wednesday, December 11 at Half Hollow Hills East at 5:30 p.m.