9:18 Gotta write my story now. I’ll be back tomorrow with a wrapup.
9:04 Section 1 has a second champion! Brundage beats Neidhart 17-10.
8:59 Brundage appears to have Neidhart pinned but the ref sticks his hand under and says no. Still, the near fall gives him a 12-3 advantage.
8:57: Brundage gets a reversal just before the horn to go up 6-1 after one.
8:56 Long break while we waited through another awards ceremony. But Brundage is underway now.
8:15 The finals are not matching the optimism of the rest of the tournament. The LoHud is 1 for 5 so far, with Realbuto the only winner. If Brundage doesn’t win at 160, our area won’t have more champs than we did last year. Although some of you don’t care about Lenzi, even if he is a Westchester resident. Anyway, one champ doesn’t feel like enough when you send six to the finals. So Brundage will have a lot of weight on his shoulders.
8:09 Steve Dutton majors Lenzi 10-1 at 135 pounds, dethroning our area’s defending champ. Section 11 is running away with this thing.
8:03 Lenzi down 7-1 after one period.
8:00 Two more losses for Section 1. Murayama loses to Hyman 8-6. Grippi falls to DiGravio 8-5.
7:57 After two periods Genta is down 6-2 and Grippi is down 3-2.
7:53 After one period Genta is up 2-0 and Grippi is down 2-0.
7:51 Grippi and Murayama are both in action. My eyes are going to bounce back and forth like I’m at a tennis match.
7:35 They’re taking a break to photograph winners on the podium.
While we’re waiting for Joe Grippi to take the mat, I should mention that his coach Joe Amuso was inducted today into the New York State Wrestling Hall of Fame. A Fox Lane graduate, he’s coached at the school for 39 years. From what I understand from talking to other coaches, Amuso is the dean of Section 1. He’s racked up 334 dual meet wins, 23 sectional champs, and 12 state place finishers. The last two seasons he’s placed six in states.
One of the other two coaching inductees was Tony Mellino, father of Clarkstown North coach Tony Mellino, Jr. Mellino, Sr., is the third-winningest coach in Section 11 history. Currently he assists his son at North.
7:25 Keith gets a takedown in OT to win 6-4. He and Flamio exchange a big hug. Clearly a lot of respect between these two nemeses.
7:23 After a restart, Keith gets a reversal for a 4-2 lead. But Flamio counters with his own reversal with six seconds left to tie at 4-4.
7:20 Flamio reversal makes it 2-2. Heading to the third period. Flamio gets top.
Sal Imbimbo is looking sharp in a suit and tie.
7:12 No luck. Greene wins 11-7. Rodrigues sprints back to the locker room. Fox Lane still has hope for a title in Joe Grippi.
7:08 S-Rod gets Greene on his back but he manages to flip. Still that’s a five-point move to reduce a 8-1 hole to 8-6 after two periods.
7:04 Greene jumps on S-Rod early to go up 5-0 in the first minute.
6:54 Our first state champ! Realbuto gets a takedown in the third period to beat McQueen 9-8.
6:45 Realbuto’s up.
103 – No. 5 Brian Realbuto vs. No. 2 Damon McQueen (Huntington-11). McQueen beat Realbuto 10-8 in last year’s 96-pound consi final. The two have a combined 88-1 record this season; McQueen is 36-0. Each of his three tournament wins were by moderate decision: 5, 7, and 5 points.
112 – No. 2 Steven Rodrigues (Fox Lane) vs. No. 9 Grant Greene (St. Anthony’s-CHSAA). Greene wasn’t especially heralded coming in but the sophomore burst his way into the finals with a 24-second pin over 3-seed Bob Dierna. S-Rod can make this a historic day for Fox Lane by bringing home a title.
119 – No. 2 Justis Flamio (Mahopac) vs. No. 1 Steven Keith (Shoreham-Wading RIver-11). Just as Flamio predicted. After needing sudden-death overtime to win a sectional title, Flamio made a bold prediction that he would meet Keith in the state final. These two have quite a rivalry cracking. This is the third year they’ve met at states. Two years ago Keith won. Last year Flamio won. Will the alternating continue or will Flamio end the 45-0 senior’s career with a loss?
130 – No. 4 Joey Grippi (Fox Lane) vs. No. 6 Vinnie DiGravio (Wayne-5). Grippi already made his massive statement by knocking off top seed Cody Ruggirello, who was 45-0. He can’t let down against the 40-5 DiGravio. Grippi placed sixth last year. DiGravio, who’s a year younger, didn’t place.
135 – No. 3 Andrew Lenzi (Fordham Prep) vs. No. 2 Stephen Dutton (Rocky Point-11). Lenzi is the one local in the finals for whom losing here would be a disappointment. The junior looks better than ever and wants another state championship. Even if it means going through 45-0 junior Dutton, who finished third last year and second in 2007. Dutton has allowed two points total in his three matches, winning by a combined 34-2.
160 – No. 5 James Brundage (Ossining) vs. No. 6 T.J. Neidhart (Shoreham-Wading RIver-11). Yet another Section 11 guy in the finals. If Realbuto, Flamio, and Lenzi win, Brundage could be in position to lift Section 1 over 11. Maybe. Section 1 still needs breaks. Brundage has pinned his way through states, just like he pinned his way through sections. So that’s, what, seven pins in a row against the best wrestlers in the state? Dude is a monster. Neidhart, a wild card, jumped two weight classes from last year. He took third at states as a 145-pounder.
And finally, the only Division II final:
130 – No. 2 Genta Murayama (Edgemont) vs. No. 1 Derak Heyman (Tioga-4): Heyman beat Murayama by a couple of points in the consolation finals at Eastern States. But Genta looks focused. He could make Division II very proud here.
I will post all finals updates here.