Both wrestling teams met at 6 a.m. on Saturday in the frigid darkness of the parking lot and boarded a bus to begin the hour ride to Mattituck High School.
There was some very tough competition with the likes of Rocky Point, Connetquot, Riverhead, North Babylon and Calhoun among the 11 schools in the individual tournament. When all was said and done, the Hills West Colts finished third and the Hills East T-Birds finished ninth.
Heroes: Hills West senior Chris Golinowski continues to have a tremendous year, winning the 189-pound division; and Hills East junior Rami Saad-el-Din defeated Hills West senior Michael Quinn in the finals of the heavyweight division.
Individual results for the remaining HHH athletes included:
Cory Jones, junior (130 lb) 4th
Nick Terzi, senior (135) 6th
Deshawn McNeil, senior (152) 2nd
Rami Saad-El-Din, junior (285) Champion
Zach Aal, junior (112) 3rd
Chris Reilly, sophomore (119) 5th
Devin Williams, junior (135) 5th
Tyler Grimaldi, sophomore (145) 2nd
Jagger Rebozo, sophomore (171) 2nd
Chris Golinowski, senior (189) Champion
Michael Quinn, senior (285) 2nd
Some individual match highlights included Hills West sophomore Chris Reilly battling into triple overtime with a Mattituck wrestler only to lose after being slammed to the mat on a questionable call.
Another great matchup that lived up to the billing was sophomore Tyler Grimaldi (ranked 5th in Section xi) against senior Matt Ross of Rocky Point (ranked 2nd in Section xi and winner of 201 varsity matches in his career).
Grimaldi controlled the match from the start leading 4-2 going into the 3rd period, only to make one mistake and the wily veteran capitalized and scored a late takedown and turn to pull out a 6-4 victory. Many coaches and observers commented that this could be a preview of the county semifinals.
Quotes: Hills East Head Coach Bill Davey said, "The boys wrestled very well for our last tournament of the season. It was nice to see them wrestle to their abilities as we approach our league tournament."
Coach Mike Patrovich from Hills West was a bit more critical: "While we did well as a team, we made some mistakes. We have some guys who absolutely should be on the podium come county time, but we need to be sharp as we end our season. If we win the last two dual meets this week, we will be League IV Dual Meet Champions. Focus is the most important thing this time of year."
Up Next: Hills West battles West Babylon on Tuesday (at WB) and then ends the dual meet season Friday at home against Comsewogue, which will be Senior Night, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Hills East ends its dual meet season at Newfield on Friday at 6:30 p.m.