The competition wasn’t over until the last match. Even after Highland’s Shamar Gittens won by decision over Eldred/Liberty/Sullivan West’s Caleb Milk, neither team knew what to do. ELS stayed calm, while Highland surrounded Gittens and chanted, “We’re going to Syracuse,” certain that the freshman’s performance would be enough to erase the three-point deficit Highland carried when the 285-pound match began.

In fact, the match had ended in a tie: 36-36. The match would be decided by criteria for tie breaking, and, according to section D of the criteria, the tie is broken by the team that had won the greater number of matches. To that end, ELS had the advantage, 8-7, and thus, won the Section 9 Duals Division 2 final at Minisink Valley on Wednesday.

It was the second time in two days that ELS beat a team it had lost to earlier this season, upsetting Red Hook Tuesday to advance to the final.

“As a team, we’re really starting to come together,” assistant coach Rob Kelly said. “The guys are really starting to buy in.”

ELS was down 27-24 before Cesar Santiago tied the match in the 170-pound class. After facing a deficit, Highland’s Ben Swart tied it again, 33-33, winning the 195-pound match.

“It’s two great teams coming together to wrestle, so there’s a lot of emotions,” ELS senior Nick Curreri said. “Everybody wants to be a winner.”