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Huntington Wrestlers Win Two as Giani Nears Another Milestone

Lou Giani has a date with destiny this Friday (Jan. 9) in Blue Devil Gymnasium.  The fabled coach’s wrestlers allowed him to place two more notches on his belt last Saturday as Huntington swamped Mahopac and Nanuet in a double dual. 

The pair of wins brought Giani to within two of the almost unimaginable total of 400, a level no Long Island wrestling coach has ever attained.  Assuming all goes well Wednesday when Huntington hosts East Islip in a non-league meet at 4:30 p.m., history could be made two days later when East Hampton visits for an afternoon (4:30 p.m.) match to kick off the league schedule.

Last Saturday the Blue Devils were forced to wrestle at Finley Middle School due to a scheduling conflict that saw the Huntington boys’ basketball team in action in the high school gym against Half Hollow Hills East.  In tight quarters at Finley, the men in blue swept the visitors by identical 56-15 scores. 

“We wrestled very well overall, although we need to straighten out a few things,” assistant coach Travis Smith said.  “We saw continued improvement in most of the wrestlers.  Our conditioning is helping us.  It was a good day.”

Huntington won 10 of 13 bouts against Mahopac, including pins by Francisco Pereira (5-2), Shawn Riley (14-0), Manny Santiago (12-4), Frank Sangiovanni (10-3), Shaheim Bradshaw (14-0) and Jack Sullivan (14-1).  Charlie Paar (13-1) earned a 14-2 superior decision and Pierre Delva (12-2) grabbed a 17-6 major decision.  Justin Giani (11-4) received a forfeit and Chris Holland (8-6) won by injury default when his opponent could not continue after hurting his leg.

It was the same story against Nanuet.  Brian Lifson (11-2)) rolled to a technical fall (18-3) in 5:58 at 103 lbs., Giani (112) stunned the big crowd with a 36 second pin, Riley (130), Evan Stockell (140) and Sangiovanni (145) all took a forfeits, Santiago (135) coasted in a 7-0 decision, Bradshaw (152), Paar (171), Sullivan (189) and Delva (215) all won by pin.

“I thought it was a super job,” Giani said.  “We had good matches and looked tough.  Some people made mistakes and they have to eliminate them.  They will.”

The two dual meet wins pushed Giani’s lifetime mark to 398-28-1 overall and 209-7 in league matches.  The Blue Devils have won their last 74 consecutive meets.  The last time Huntington tasted defeat was January 28, 1995 in a 32-24 non-league loss to Bellport.  The last league loss came against North Babylon on January 20, 1995, 36-19.

Brentwood/Brentwood Ross holds the Section XI consecutive victory record, with 79 straight wins between 1968-75.  If Huntington keeps winning, it could tie the record at Comsewogue (Weds. Jan. 21 - 6:15 p.m.). The Blue Devils can break the mark against Central Islip (Tues. Jan. 27 - 4:30 p.m.) in a meet that will be held at Finley Middle School on Greenlawn Road.  (The Huntington gym is unavailable due to January Regents exams.)