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Sunday, Feb. 25, 2017: Teemer secures fifth state wrestling championship

   Leading off today: Mission accomplished for Jacori Teemer.

   The Long Beach senior captured his fifth straight NYSPHSAA wrestling championship Saturday with an 8-2 decision over Fox Lane's Matt Grippi in the Division I 152-pound final at the Times Union Center in Albany.

   He completed his scholastic career with a record of 202-5 while matching the state mark for championships set by Chenango Forks great Troy Nickerson from 2001-05.

   "I dreamed about this since the eighth grade," Teemer said. "My speed is a God-given ability and I've worked very hard with my coaches to continue to improve my technique. This feels so good."

   Two competitors notched their fourth New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships.

   Eastport-South Manor junior Adam Busiello tied a Section 11 record with his fourth straight crown. He pinned Justin McDouglad of Niagara-Wheatfield in 2:59 in the Division I 126-pound final to complete a 47-0 season and boost his career mark to a staggering 251-8.

   With two pins and two technical falls, none of Busiello's four matches this weekend reached the third period.

   "He's a machine," E-SM coach Nick Garone said. "It's almost like it comes so naturally and so easy for him. And that's the result of dedication to the sport and working his butt off. He's the ultimate year-round grinder."

   Meanwhile, Penfield senior Frankie Gissendanner collected a fourth title by rallying to take the Division I 145-pound final against Shenendehowa junior Kiernan Shanahan with a 7-6 decision. It was a rematch of the 2017 state final.

   "I train for moments like that," Gissendanner said. "I get taken down in practice. You just have to keep wrestling."

   Gissendanner finished with a 267-11 varsity record, with only one loss coming since the start of his freshman season.

   Gissendanner trailed 6-4 during the final minute of the third period when he found an opening for the takedown he needed. Slowly lifting one of Shanahan's legs, Gissendanner was able to get both of Shanahan's feet into the air and slam him to the mat.

   "That was legendary, to find that takedown, under the pressure," Penfield coach John Leone said.

   Brother acts: Arm injuries cut short Yianni Diakomihalis' senior season, keeping him from what appeared to be an inevitable fifth state crown last winter. His brother is 60 percent of the way to accomplishing the feat.

   Hilton sophomore Greg Diakomihalis won his third title in three seasons by repeating in the 113-pound class in Division I. Diakomihalis defeated Dylan Ryder by riding out the Half Hollow Hills West senior in the ultimate tiebreaker for a 3-2 victory.

   Diakomihalis finished his season with a 43-0 mark after defeating Ryder, the Division I champ at 106 pounds a season ago.

   "I beat him here in eighth-grade, but he (gave me) my first loss," Diakomihalis said. "I had to grind through a couple of positions, he was tough on his feet."

   Mattituck senior brothers Luke (132 pounds) and Jack Bokina (145) scored victories in their respective Division II finals.

   Luke Bokina trailed Nicholas Young of Alexander by a point with 14 seconds remaining when he countered a shot attempt, circled his opponent and earned two points for the 2-1 decision and a championship.

   "It motivated me," said Jack Bokina, who is one minute older than his twin. "I couldn't let him be the only state champ in the house."


   Jack Bokina then went on to a 5-0 decision over Hunter Shaut of Central Valley Academy. With that, the Bokimas became the first Long Island twins to win NYSPHSAA titles in the same season, Newsday reported.

   Three for Anderson: Schuylerville's Orion Anderson, a losing finalist as a freshman, ended his high school career with his third straight championship with a first-period pin of Vince Miceli from Port Jefferson in the Division II 126-pound final.

   "He's the prototype of what you want in a wrestler," Shenendehowa coach Rob Weeks said recently. "He's athletic and he's gifted. But he also works incredibly hard at it."

   Wild final of the night: Brewster senior Grant Cuomo pulled off an improbable grand finale.

   Hindered by a dislocated his left elbow sustained in elbow and going up against an undefeated foe, Cuomo upset 2017 state champion Tyler Barnes of Ballston Spa with a 13-10 decision in the Division I 170-pound class.

   "It all feels like a dream to me right now. I've literally dreamed in my sleep of this moment -- so many times. Now, I'm living it," Cuomo said.

   With the score 9-9 late in the third period, Cuomo let Barnes escape. With :18 to go, the 2017 state finalist took Barnes down and put him to his back for a four-point move.

   "At 9-9, I was like, 'I'm going to go for the win.' I let him up and took him down to his back," Cuomo said. "It was the right call. Wrestling is a mental game. If you're mentally tough, you're going to win."

   Third time's the charm: Senior Joe Benedict of South Jefferson/Sandy Creek earned his first Division II championship at 220 pounds with a 3-1 decision over Reggie Poulin of Cohoes.

   It was the third straight year Benedict reached a state final. He was unsuccessful in his two previous bids to win at 195.

   Benedict, who began his day with a 36-second pin in the semifinals to improve to 37-0 for the season, scored an early takedown on Poulin, surrendered an escape and then managed to hold on for the elusive title.

   "I came up the short the last two years, but I finally got there." he said.

   Meet agate: We've uploaded the complete brackets and team scoring to our reference site as a PDF.

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