Long Beach needed Pete Amabile to come up big.
And he delivered in the biggest way possible.
Down by six points heading into the final match of the evening Long Beach’s senior 285-pounder Amabile pinned Doug Hughes in just 1:03 as the Marines pulled even with MacArthur at the night’s end to finish deadlocked at 35-35.
Long Beach was awarded the dual meet win on criteria by winning the most matches, 8-7.
Coming into the 285-pound finale, Long Beach had not had a lead since holding a 14-12 advantage following fifth match of the night and was forced to play catch up ever since. Amabile was the Marines last hope to secure a win over MacArthur heading into the 15th and final match of the night with the Generals holding a 35-29 lead.
Following an injury timeout to Hughes 30 seconds into the contest, Amabile took down the MacArthur grappler and immediately turned over Hughes for a quick pin to give the Marines the dead-heat win.
MacArthur, the fourth-ranked dual meet squad in Nassau County, consistently applied the pressure on the Marines. Following a Long Beach’s Oral Allen’s 14-6 major decision win, the Generals rattled off four out of the next five matches, highlighted by Chris Cataldo’s pin in 4:48 over Freddy Medina.
“I kept pushing the pace, kept going and never stopping,” Cataldo said following his victory. “That’s what I always do. I expect to come here and win.”
MSG Varsity The Magazine coverboy Dylan Palacio continued his current tear through New York with another pinfall win over MacArthur’s Anthony Cormace in the 160-pound division.
Palacio, who has wrestled at the 152-pound division earlier in the year, has been recently contemplating a move to 160 pounds and used this meet to test the waters en route to the NYS tournament.
“I’ve been chasing one goal and a lot of other things came out of it,” Palacio said. “The state title has been alluding me and I need to go for it this year. I have one shot left.”
Match of the night honors went to the 182 pounders as Long Beach junior Joshua Lopez needed just about the entire six minutes to defeat MacArthur’s Joe Tangredi via decision 4-2.
Lopez, who recently returned from injury, kept things even at 2-2 through the first two periods despite being held to the mat for the majority of the first four minutes. With the capacity crowd of about 150 fans vociferously behind both wrestlers in the waning seconds of the third period, Lopez brought Tangredi on his back to receive two back points and a 4-2 decision.
The returning junior’s victory spurned a comeback which saw Long Beach win two of its next three matches, including Amabile’s pinfall at the conclusion of the meet to pull even with MacArthur and win on criteria.