PUTNAM VALLEY – It was expected to be closer. But Pearl River coach Grier Yorks shook off his team’s lopsided 57-26 Section 1 Dual Meet D2 Championship win over Putnam Valley Wednesday as not meaning much in the big picture.
“They were missing a couple of guys,” he said. “That really hurt their chances. They’re a much better team. We know too well they’re going to be around at the end of the year and ready to fight.”
Wednesday, though, the Pirates had more fight, particularly in the later matches.
Multiple forfeits ultimately doomed Putnam Valley, which had beaten Pearl River for the title in 2014 before falling to the Pirates at last year’s championship.
But a turning point, both emotionally and on the scoreboard, occurred with Pearl River’s late pin at 138 pounds.
Pirate Emmet McCann trailed Alec McDonald 2-0 at the end of one period and 2-1 at the end of two before taking a 3-2 lead in the third period.
After a timeout to address an injury to McDonald with 26.5 seconds remaining – one of several injuries during the day – McCann recorded the pin with just five seconds left on the clock.
“I knew I was going to win. I had confidence,” said the sophomore McCann, who has been on the team since eighth grade.
His was one of five Pirates to win by pin, the first being at 99 pounds as Matt Shaw defeated Trent Wacaser.
McCann’s pin cut Putnam Valley’s lead to 26-24 and when senior Sean McGarvey pinned Dean Appel in the first period at 145 pounds Pearl River took the lead and never looked back.
“I wanted to go out there and just wrestle 100 percent,” said McGarvey, who chalked up the back-to-back championships to Pearl River having a “great coach and great team.”
Putnam Valley forfeited five weight classes but did have some highlights.
One was Satoshi Abe’s first-period pin at 126 pounds over Kyle Ayres, which gave the senior 100 wins in his Putnam Valley career.
“He’s just the epitome of a leader,” Putnam Valley assistant coach Joe Mahoney said. “He dictates the tone in practice every day. Other wrestlers strive to be like him.”
And Putnam Valley senior Constantine George served notice he intends to try to recapture the Section 1 285-pound title he won two seasons ago, proving Wednesday, as Mahoney said, he’s “fully back.”
Last year, George didn’t wrestle, instead concentrating on football, the sport Mahoney termed George’s “passion.”
But George seemed pretty passionate in his match against Tyler DiLorenzo, recording a second-period pin when leading 5-0.
In other matches, at 106 pounds, Putnam Valley’s Hunter Lundberg pinned Hugh Durcan after Durcan returned to wrestle after a lengthy timeout after crashing on his head; Pearl River’s Brian Roberts pinned Owen McDonald at 113 pounds; at 120 pounds, Putnam Valley’s Mikey Bruno defeated Dante Simeti 12-1; Putnam Valley’s Kyle Sams defeated Dylan Urban 14-6 at 132 pounds; and at 170 pounds, Pearl River’s Anthony Malfitano defeated Robbie Velichko 6-1.