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Apr 9, 2010 3:31 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Three Hurricane wrestlers compete at nationals

Apr 9, 2010 3:31 PM

For the first time in the history of its wrestling program, Westhampton Beach was represented at the National High School Coaches Association National Wrestling Championships this year

Hurricane senior Pete DeTore and juniors Zach and Conner Bass all competed in their respective weight classes and got a taste of the best competition the country has to offer during the tournament, which was held in Virginia Beach, Virginia, from March 23 through 28.

DeTore, the winningest wrestler in Westhampton Beach history, fell one match short of earning All-American status in the 119-pound weight class. He won his first three matches to advance to the quarterfinals, before losing 7-3 to Scott Filbert of Arizona in the wrestlebacks. Filbert eventually finished seventh. If DeTore had beaten Filbert, he would have been guaranteed of finishing at least in the top eight, which would have secured him All-American status.

Before losing to Filbert, DeTore powered his way through his first three opponents. He opened the tournament by beating Charlie Costanzo of Connecticut 8-2, taking him down four times. Costanzo was the Connecticut state champion and was the all New England champion at 119 pounds. DeTore dismantled another state place-winner in the second round, pinning Tim Slason of Massachusetts in 3:18. He then beat Sean Silva of California in an 8-2 decision. Silva was the fourth-place finisher in the California state tournament.

In the quarterfinals, DeTore faced Carson Kuhn of Utah and suffered a 5-0 loss, which put him into the wrestlebacks. In the first round of the wrestlebacks, DeTore took on Filbert, losing 7-3. Kuhn eventually finished second in the tournament.

By making it to the quarterfinals, DeTore placed himself among the top 16 wrestlers in the country and despite the fact that he fell just short of earning All-American status, Westhampton Beach head coach Paul Bass said that making it as far as he did is a huge accomplishment for DeTore. Bass pointed out that of the 46 wrestlers competing in the 119-pound weight class as nationals, 44 of them placed in the top six in their state tournaments. High school wrestlers up to 11th grade do not have to qualify for the national tournament, but seniors are required to have been a state place-winner during their career in order to qualify. DeTore finished sixth in New York state as a junior and made it to the states again as a senior, although he did not place. Because New York is considered one of the most competitive states in the country, however, wrestlers from New York often are granted entrance as seniors even if they were not state place-winners.

As a state, New York finished second at nationals with 190 points. New Jersey was first with 233.5 points and California was third with 153.5 points.

The only state that was not represented at the tournament was Hawaii.

Although DeTore finished the high school season at the New York state meet, the three wins he collected at nationals count on his overall high school career record, since he had to qualify to compete at nationals. He finished his Westhampton Beach career with 132 wins, the most in school history. DeTore will wrestle next year in college, although he has not yet officially chosen a college. Division I programs such as Old Dominion University and Hofstra have expressed interest in him and Bass said the national tournament was full of college coaches who were scouting the high school athletes.

Both Conner and Zach Bass competed as well, with Conner going 2-2 in the 125-pound weight class. He lost his first match to Greg Flournoy of Virginia in a 6-1 decision. Flournoy went on to finish fourth. In the wrestlebacks, Bass won his first two matches, beating Nick McIoota of Maryland 15-0. He then beat Tanner Sturdevant of Washington 5-3 before losing to Humberto Garcia of Brentwood, New York 3-0.

Zach Bass went 1-2 in the 135-pound weight class, losing in the first round to Jorge Gavillan of Florida in a 4-2 decision. Bass came back to pin Chris Rubinosky of North Carolina in 3:42 and then lost 4-3 to Eric Kogel of Mt. Sinai, New York.

Although there was no official qualification criteria for juniors, the competition was still fierce, according to coach Bass. In Zach Bass’s weight class, 30 of the 71 wrestlers finished in the top six in their state.

Coach Bass said that the tournament was a great way for DeTore to finish his high school career and also be seen by college coaches. The exposure to college coaches was great for both Zach and Conner as well, as both wrestlers plan to compete in college. Coach Bass said that his sons will have to continue to work hard as they enter their senior years if they want to get to the next level.

“What they both learned is that they can go with anybody in the country,” he said. “Now they have to turn the corner and start beating those guys.”

Coach Bass said the experience at nationals is something he wants the elite wrestlers on his teams to be a part of in the future.

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Kudos to Peter DeTore and the Bass Brothers! Well done Paul Bass!
By Lester Ware (15), Sag Harbor on Apr 12, 10 9:16 AM
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