“Hell week” was scheduled to start on Wednesday, January 28, for the Westhampton Beach wrestling team.
A League VI match against Shoreham/Wading River was the first in what will be three straight matches against quality teams in the league. On Thursday, January 29, they’ll take on Miller Place at home at 5:45 p.m. in a match that was rescheduled after the team had a health scare last week. On Friday, the Hurricanes will conclude the regular season by traveling to face Bayport/Blue Point at 4:30 p.m.
Westhampton Beach head coach Paul Bass said on Sunday that he expected all three teams to give his squad a serious run for its money. But if the Canes can pull out victories in all three matches, the payoff will be huge, as they’ll set a new school record for dual meet wins in a season with 15. The current record of 14 was set during the 1976-77 season, according to Bass, who was a junior wrestler for the Canes at the time.
“I’m doing this from memory, but I’m 99.9 percent sure,” Bass said of the record. “I know we were 14-0 that year.
“We’ll find out what these boys are made of this week,” Bass continued, adding that breaking the school record would be even more impressive considering he thought this season would be a rebuilding year with only one senior on the squad.
Prior to the meet against Shoreham, the Canes held a 12-2 record in dual meets, which includes results from league meets as well as dual meet tournaments. They added their 12th win on Friday, when they defeated Mattituck 43-24 on the North Fork.
Senior captain Brian Lagoumis (135 pounds) started the night with a 4-0 win, while Mattituck standout Ryan Connell followed by pinning Brian Higgins in 3:05. Hurricane Scott Carey (145), who has been on a tear lately, won with a pin in 3:24, and Matt Mazarakis (152) followed with an 11-1 win. At 171 pounds, Hurricane Bobby Garone suffered a 10-1 loss before junior captain Pete DeTore (112) and sophomore Zach Bass (119) each won with pins, with DeTore ending his match in 1:05 and Bass finishing his in 3:21.
At 130 pounds, Danny Maddock suffered a tough 8-6 loss in the final match of the day. Originally, Maddock was told that the Tuckers were going to forfeit at his weight class, so he received permission from coach Bass to work out in the Mattituck weight room while the other matches were going on. But when he came back to the gym to receive his forfeit, he learned that Mattituck had decided not to forfeit and he had to wrestle without his normal reserve of energy.
“That wasn’t his fault,” Bass said of the loss. “He was tired and he wasn’t mentally ready.”
Mattituck forfeited at 103, 125 and 160 pounds, while the Canes forfeited at 189 and 215 pounds.
Bass said he thought Lagoumis wrestled particularly well in his win and added that Higgins did a good job against Connell, down only 2-0 before making a mistake that resulted in a loss.
On Saturday, Westhampton Beach competed in the Herricks Tournament, where wrestlers were divided by weight class and also by ability level while wrestling in a round-robin format.
Six Hurricane wrestlers won their weight classes in the most competitive divisions. Conner Bass (103) and DeTore won easily, while Cory Hubbard (125), Higgins, Carey and Mazarakis all were tops in their weight classes as well. Both Conner Bass and DeTore were 3-0 on the day with three pins
Zach Bass finished third in what his father and coach said was the toughest weight class, going 2-2 on the day. Hubbard was 4-0 while Maddock took third in his weight class, going 2-2.
Lagoumis finished fourth in another tough weight class, with a 2-3 record. Coach Bass was happy with the way Higgins performed in particular.
“He looked good,” he said. “He hadn’t been wrestling well, and I don’t know what it was, but this last week he’s looked like the Brian of old.”
Carey had a strong day, going 5-0 with three pins.
“He’s really getting hot,” Bass added.
Mazarakis had a tough road to his title, winning several close matches. He scored a 6-5 overtime win that was particularly impressive, as he rebounded from going down 4-0 in the first 20 seconds of the match to win.
“It really showed how far he’s come,” Bass said. “He didn’t panic. He got it back to 4-1, then 4-2 and had a takedown in the third to tie it. It was a hell of a match.”
Brian Kobus (160) finished 2-2 and took third while Garone was unfortunately grouped into the lower bracket but dominated the lesser competition, finishing 4-0 on the day.
The Hurricanes, who are currently ranked ninth in Suffolk County among dual meet teams, will honor their lone senior, Lagoumis, on Thursday against Miller Place.
The League VI tournament will take place at Shoreham/Wading River on Wednesday, February 7, and the Suffolk County Championship will take place on February 13 and 14 at Hofstra University.