First-place finishes by juniors Michael Gordon and Khamar Narcisse highlighted last Saturday’s performance by Hewlett’s wrestling team as it hosted one of six Nassau County qualifying tournaments.
Gordon pinned his way through the relatively youthful 170-pound bracket — no senior placed in the top five — and won the Most Pins/Least Time award with four in a combined 10-minutes, 36-seconds. He pinned Glen Cove sophomore Eder Leiva in the second period of the finals, while Narcisse pinned Port Washington freshman R.J. Holt in the 220-pound title match.
“We don’t have any seniors and making the dual meet playoffs was a good experience for our guys and helped prepare them for the qualifier and counties,” Hewlett coach Stephen Jones said.
Gordon and Narcisse will be joined by seven teammates at the Division I county championships this weekend at Hofstra University. Action begins Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and will last well into the evening. The finals are scheduled for Sunday at approximately 6:30 p.m.
MacArthur, with six champs out of 15 weight classes, finished first in the seven-team qualifier followed by Lynbrook and Hewlett. Jones said he pleased with how the Bulldogs (11-6 in dual meets) competed and how smooth the all-day tournament ran.
“We hosted a qualifier and few years ago and had an in-season tournament earlier this season,” Jones said. “We had a packed house and it moved pretty quick thanks to everyone who chipped in to help.”
Gordon will take a record of 31-4 into the county tournament and is ranked No. 3. His only loss at the weight class (170) this season came against Wantagh’s Matthew Rogers. “I think Michael has a good shot to reach the finals based on the way he’s wrestling,” Jones said. “Last year’s experience should serve him well. He’s grown and matured a lot and he’s competed at a high level all season.”
Narcisse (19-12) is peaking at the perfect time, Jones said. “He’s worked hard and made tremendous strides since early in the season,” he noted. “He’s got some really big wins, including some against Suffolk opponents. He’s seeded sixth and has All-County potential.”
Junior Zachary Mairoano reached the finals of the qualifier at 285, losing to top county contender Matthew Renz of Lynbrook. Mairoano has progressed nicely, Jones said, and has a change to make noise at Hofstra. “Zach’s been really tough out there,” Jones said. “He’s in a good spot in the county bracket and I think he’ll do well.”
Junior Sam Warshall (113) and sophomore Tyler James (152) placed third in the qualifier, and Jones believes both can advance far at Hofstra. Warshall lost a 1-0 decision to Lynbrook’s Matt Ferrante in the semis.
Sophomore Naim Lynch (106), junior Jonah Yochai (132) and eighth-grader Jake Maiorano (138) all finished fourth in the qualifier to earn a spot in the county tournament. Sophomore Matt Rubinoff (195) placed fifth and will serve as an alternate. Maiorano took a “big step,” Jones said, and has been holding his own all season against much older competition.