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Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019: Hilton wrestlers bring home four championships

   Leading off today: Hilton put on a dominating show on the final day of the NYSPHSAA individual wrestling championships Saturday, crowning four champions in the Division I tournament.

   Canadian exchange student Gregor McNeil (99 pounds), Ryan Burgos (126) and Sam DePrez (195), who capped off a 55-0 season, all won their finals via decisions. But leading the way for the Cadets was 113-pounder Greg Diakomihalis, who won his fourth New York State Public High School Athletic Association title. He pinned Josiah Encarnacio of Wantagh 1:09 into the title match.

   Diakomihalis, a junior who has already committed to Cornell, will get a chance next season to capture the fifth state crown than eluded his brother. Yianni Diakomihalis had his senior season cut short by medical issues, then roared back last winter by winning an NCAA Division I championship.

   If Greg Diakomihalis captures his fifth he would be the fourth New York schoolboy to accomplish the feat. No. 3 came Saturday as Arizona State recruit Adam Busiello wrapped up a stellar career by pinning Willie McDougald of Niagara Falls in 3:28 in the 138-pound bracket. Only a loss as a seventh-grader in the 2014 finals kept him from a perfect six-year run at states.

   Busiello won the final 111 matches to finish his career with a mark of 280-8.

   "You think about the magnitude of this stage and what he's done over the last six years, it's absolutely incredible," ESM coach Nick Garone said. "And then to cap it off with a pin, it was just so fitting. It was fitting that he ended his career with a pin against a really solid guy."

   Said Busiello: "When I do get someone on their back, I want them to know that I'm going to pin them.    While Busiello was setting a standard for career accomplishment, Hauppauge's Dan Mauriello achieved an oddity by becoming the first wrestler in state history to win a championship by means of surviving four overtime matches.

   The junior escaped for the winning point in an ultimate tiebreaker to earn a 3-2 decision over Warren McDougald of Niagara Wheatfield at 152 pounds.

   "Even my county final was overtime, so now it's five in a row," he said.

   More Division I notables:

    • Hilton's DePrez is the third brother in the family to win at states. Vince won in 2014 and Louie three-peated beginning a year later. A fourth brother, Anthony, was a runner-up in 2014.

    • A.J. Kovacs of Iona Prep quite possibly pulled off a first by adding a New York state title to the Connecticut crown he earned last season for Danbury High.

   Kovacs decisioned Jonathan Spadafora of Half Hollow Hills East 3-2 in the 145 final. Spadafora had pinned Kovacs at the Eastern States Classic last month

   "The competition here is outstanding," Kovacs said. "For me to come here and compete with some of the best guys in the nation -- a lot of these guys in New York are ranked -- and it just felt good to be in the same arena with them."


   A long night of work: Even Yogi Berra would have thought the Division II 152-pound final was over once Zack Lawrence of Duanesburg and Mike Squires of Norwich shook hands and Lawrence's hand was raised in victory.

   But, no, it could never be that easy for Lawrence, who'd had four state-meet podium finishes in the previous five years but had never reached a final until this year.

   "To have to refocus after you think you've won it,"

Duanesburg coach Ryan Patrie said, "anklets off and hands in the air ... then do it for another 15 seconds. Nobody deserves it more."

   Lawrence, 276-23 to become the winningest competitor in Section 2 history, won 3-2 despite a do-over for the final 15 seconds. It was the result of Lawrence being assessed a one-point penalty for stalling late in the third period. Neither the action nor the clock stopped, making for confusion. After a review, 15 seconds was added and Lawrence rode out Squires.

   "I don't know how I did it," Lawrence said. "Just got a little leverage and finished it, though."

   If Lawrence's match went too long, then Nick Meglino of Edgemont got done sooner than he should have at 182 pounds, winning via disqualification when referees ruled that defending champion Ross McFarland of Phoenix bit Meglino's hand during the second period.

   Trailing 2-0 and reaching across McFarland's face to attempt a reversal, he suddenly screamed out in pain with apparent bite marks on his finger.

   Although it's possible to continue matches for certain other violations, that's not the case with flagrant misconduct infractions. "It was out of both coaches' hands at that point," Edgemont coach Pete Jacobson said.

   More Division II notables:

    • Honeoye Falls-Lima junior Anthony Noto secured his third state crown with a pin of Lowville's Micah Roesin 3:44.

    • Tioga junior Brady Worthing exacted revenge for a title-match loss in the 2018 tournament by defeating Maple Hill senior Trent Svingala 7-3 in the semifinals at 132 pounds. Worthing trailed 3-2 late before bull-rushing the two-time champion for a five-point move.

   Svingala hadn't lost since the 2016 state tournament.

   "It changed everything and got me more momentum for the finals," Worthing said after completing his day with a 5-1 win over Pleasantville's Victor Perlleshi.

   Minutes later, Worthing's brother John decisioned Tonawanda's Zach Braddell 4-2 in the 138-pound final.

   Full results: You can view the complete meet results here.

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