In its only action over the holiday break, the East Hampton wrestling team had a strong showing at the two-day Sal DiFazio Memorial Tournament at Half Hollow Hills East.
The Bonackers were one of 11 teams at the two-day tournament, which took place on December 27 and 28. It’s a competitive event, with most weight classes featuring upward of nine wrestlers.
Senior Lucas Escobar proved his worth as one of the elite in his weight class in the county, cruising to a dominant win in the 120-pound weight class. Escobar was 4-0 with four pins on the day, putting Tom Kenny of Commack to his back in 4:29 for the championship victory. Along the way, he also pinned Tom Salice of Mattituck in 1:15, Shane Alzheimer of Kings Park in 52 seconds, and Dan Elegante of Bellmore-JFK in 2:47. Escobar was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler for the tournament.
As a team, East Hampton finished ninth with 124 points, followed by Stony Brook (26) and Baruch of the PSAL (6). Mattituck, a Division II team, won the tournament with 380 points, followed by Kings Park (287.5), Sayville (243), Half Hollow Hills West (219), Westhampton Beach (193), Commack (182.5), Bellmore-JFK (182.5) and host Half Hollow Hills East (176.5).
At 160 pounds, Escobar’s brother, Luciano Escobar, also had a good day, going 5-1 with three pins to finish third. Escobar’s only loss came against Griffin Arcuri of Half Hollow Hills East, a 4-3 decision, but he avenged that loss later in the tournament, beating Arcuri in a 4-2 decision in the consolation final. Escobar had pins over Mike Tringali of Commack (4:19), Gage Suglia of Mattituck (2:30), and Eric Waugh of Half Hollow Hills West (2:25).
At 220 pounds, Richie Browne of East Hampton finished third, beating Tim Botros of Hills West in a 9-5 decision. Browne started the tournament with a 7-3 win over Botros before losing 6-3 to Brandon Ottomano of Hills West. Browne rebounded from that loss by pinning Cameron Byrne of Hills East in 4:39, setting up his third-place win over Botros.
Jorge Calderone (182), Axel Alanis (195) and Josh King (285) all finished fourth for East Hampton, all going 2-2 on the day. Calderone was pinned by Matt Siebert of Sayville, before pinning Tahsin Korur of Westhampton Beach in 3:11. Calderone then edged Aydin Kessler of Bellmore-JFK in a 3-2 decision before getting pinned by Sal Loverde of Mattituck in the consolation final.
Alanis pinned Stanley Polynice of West Babylon in 4:52 and won a major decision, 13-5, over Anthony Diasparra of Hills East. Alanis then lost a 14-1 major decision against Nick Weber of Kings Park; beat Steven Milo of Commack, 1-0; and then lost, 3-0, to Chris Chomicki of Westhampton Beach in the consolation final.
At 285 pounds, Burke Gonzalez took sixth for East Hampton, pinning Derick Young of Hills West in 43 seconds for his only win on the day.
East Hampton head coach Steve Tseperkas said he was happy with his team’s effort at the tournament, particularly considering he only entered 11 wrestlers. Some wrestlers were already away on vacation, he explained, and he didn’t want to use JV wrestlers who weren’t ready for varsity action to fill their spots.
“We had seven out of the 11 places, so that was really good,” he said.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Wednesday, 1/8, at Amityville, 6 p.m.; Friday, 1/10, vs. Westhampton Beach, 5 p.m.; Saturday, 1/11, at Comsewogue Duals, 9 a.m.