Next stop – semifinals.
Team New York Kong took eighth at the Disney Duals last year, but guaranteed a better finish in 2013 after winning for the ninth consecutive time in Orlando this week to make the tournament’s final four.
On Monday, the wrestlers once again put on a convincing show, winning nearly every contested match (the squad forfeited some bouts) in their victories over Brawlers Fire and Michigan Freeze in the last two duals of pool competition, according to John Passaro.
Those triumphs led to an appearance in the championship bracket of 16, where the New Yorkers came out on top against the Wrestling Factory (Ohio) 41-19, the group associated with one of the top high school programs in the country, St. Edward’s. The bout began at 106, where East Islip’s Jesse Dellavecchia trailed 4-2 before earning a momentum-building second period fall.
“The match was much closer than the score indicated,” Passaro said. “[The opening pin] set the tone for the match against a very tough team.”
Shortly afterwards, the Empire State squad took the mat again against another foe from the Buckeye State – the Ohio Hawks. The team built a lead from the start, capturing the first six contests. Coming out on top were Kyle Quinn (106), Nick Piccininni (113), Travis Passaro (120), Alex Delacruz (126), Matt Leshinger (132) and Nick Kelley (138).
And New York finished the job from there, with heavyweight Mike Hughes solidifying the victory with a pin at 285 to make the final score, 30-18 and set up the semifinal meeting with Diesel (Pennsylvania).
That clash will take place Tuesday morning at 10 a.m.
The team is coached by Anthony Ciolino and Steve Hromada.