The East Hampton wrestling team dropped its last home match of the season on Friday to Islip by a 60-18 margin, but the team earned big wins at a tournament in Port Jefferson over the weekend.
The Bonackers took one championship win, a second-place win, and two wrestlers placed fourth in various weight classes after four matches against four schools at the Bob Armstrong Memorial Tournament on Saturday.
Junior Steven Ward finished as the tournament champion at 145 pounds on Saturday, first pinning Matt Tavares from Half Hollow Hills West in just 48 seconds, then winning his second match on points, 9-3, against a Comsewogue opponent. He followed by defeating Mike Toro of Patchogue Medford 15-7, and in the finals he dominated Ross Slotnick of Comsewogue 13-3. Slotnick had beaten Ward in last year’s finals, a 3-2 victory on points.
Bonackers head coach Jim Stewart called it “a great victory for Steven, and his parents were able to enjoy witnessing Steven win this tournament.”
Senior Andrew Foglia, who came into Saturday’s tournament with an 18-5 record, left with a second-place finish at 189 pounds. He pinned Mattituck’s Jacob Thorpe in the opening match, and in his second match Foglia avenged a 3-2 loss last week to Centereach’s Joe Walsh by beating him 8-4 and almost pinning him at the final whistle, according to Stewart.
In the finals, Foglia lost to Corey Best of Mattituck, last year’s Division II champion.
Junior Nick Jarboe also wrestled at 189 and took fourth place with a 5-3 win over Comsewogue’s Anthony Sapienza and a pin of Joe Voetter of Bayport in 2:40. He faced his teammate Foglia next, but defaulted due to an injury.
Sophomore Kelly Kalbacher took fourth place at 152 pounds by pinning Mike O’Sullivan of Port Jefferson, then beating Patchogue’s James Sullivan 9-6. In the semis, he lost a match to a Bayport opponent and then lost in the consolation match for third place to Nick Pierre of Patchogue.
At 119 pounds, Bonacker freshman Sawyer Bushman won with a pin in 3:15 against Hills West, then lost 7-4 in a hotly contested match with Chris Vanerom from Patchogue that included several lead changes.
Pierson Junior Kyle McGowin got his second pin of the week in 2:20 against an opponent from Mount Sinai, but he lost a close match to Centereach wrestler Andre Gil, who finished second on Saturday. Also at 140 pounds, junior Dane Riva beat Sean Fick of Port Jefferson, then lost to Mario Blanco of Mount Sinai.
At 152 pounds, junior Pat Brophy won 8-6 against a Comsewogue opponent, then lost to Mount Sinai’s Mike Powers, the number-one seed, who ended the day as champion. At 160 pounds, sophomore Corey Pawlukojc pinned Brian McClaughlin of Port Jefferson, but later lost to Matt Campbell of Bayport.
At 171 pounds, sophomore Taylor Harned pinned Ben Brenner of Centereach, but then lost to champion Sean Heaney of Mattituck, while sophomore Peter Johann won 5-2 against James Mitsos of Comsewogue, then lost to A.J. Hendrickson of Patchogue.
In the 60-18 loss to Islip on Friday, Bonac, as usual, had forfeits in several weight classes, setting the Bonackers back by 30 points before the match even began.
Stewart said he didn’t want to wrestle his kids at lower weights against Islip, and as a result East Hampton had forfeits in five weight classes, including 103, 112, 119, 125 and 130 pounds. Despite the big deficit, the East Hampton team had some wrestlers who posted victories.
After 135-pound sophomore Ray Hackebill lost by a quick pin, McGowin got a pin at 140 pounds in 4:27 and earned the Bonackers their first six points of the evening.
McGowin was nearly caught by his opponent in the first round, but the lanky wrestler wriggled his shoulders free from the mat. He came back in the second round, tied at six points, then lost two more points to a reversal, sending him into the final round down by two points.
In the third round, McGowin scored a nice takedown and followed with the pin to end the exciting match.
Ward wrestled next at 145 pounds and won his match by a hair on points in the final round, 8-7.
He started the second round down on points by a 4-2 margin, but Ward earned an escape and a takedown to jump ahead, 5-4. In the third round, Ward fell one point behind, but he wrestled smart and earned the final two points of his match with 50 seconds remaining, holding onto the lead until the clock ran out.
The win brought the Bonackers to nine points, though the forfeits meant they still trailed Islip’s 36 points.
Kalbacher lost by pin to Matthew Egan at 152 pounds, and Pawlukojc was pinned in 35 seconds at 160 pounds. At 171 pounds, Johann was pinned in 3:08.
East Hampton trailed 57-9 when Foglia dominated his opponent and won the next pin for East Hampton.
Friday was senior night, and Foglia was honored by Stewart, who thanked the wrestler’s family for helping him make matches and practices from their home in Montauk. He called Foglia a quiet “gentleman” and noted that he had 17 wins and only five losses for the season before logging another win that night.
Foglia is looking at State University of New York, Cortland, among other schools, Stewart said.
The 189-pound Foglia got a two-point takedown and struggled to pin his opponent, though he never lost control of him, finally getting the pin with just 11.5 seconds remaining in the first round.
At heavyweight, Jarboe won a decision, 4-3, after three smartly wrestled rounds.
Stewart said the match against Islip was a good one and noted that the Buccaneers are one of the better teams in League V.