The East Hampton and Westhampton Beach wrestling teams met up for a League VI dual meet in East Hampton on Friday night as part of what was a busy week for both squads.
The Hurricanes improved to 2-1 in league with the 57-27 win over the Bonackers, while East Hampton fell to 1-1. Westhampton Beach had two other league meets before traveling to East Hampton, while the Bonackers got their first win of the year before hosting the Canes. Both teams capped off the busy week by participating in different tournaments over the weekend.
The Hurricanes participated in the Commack Duals on Saturday, wrestling five dual meets that, combined with the three League VI meets during the week, meant the team wrestled a total of 12 dual meets in eight days. Head coach Paul Bass was very happy with the way his team performed over that grueling stretch, particularly after what he felt was a disappointing effort in its home dual meet tournament a weekend earlier.
“They’re getting the message,” Bass said of his young team. “We’re not there yet, but we’re a lot better. I hadn’t been very happy at their team unity during matches, but this was a very good weekend. It’s a step in the right direction.”
Westhampton Beach went 4-1 at the Commack Duals and won two of its three league matches during the week, putting the team above .500 for the first time this season in dual meets with an 11-10 record. The Hurricanes began the week with a 51-20 win at Mount Sinai on Monday before losing, 52-18, at home to Elwood/John Glenn on January 8. They rebounded with the win over the Bonackers before heading to the Commack Duals.
At the tournament, Westhampton Beach lost a close 34-26 match against Half Hollow Hills West to start the day, but then rattled off four straight wins, each one more dominant than the next. The Canes beat a strong Freeport team from Nassau County in a 43-30 match, then crushed Central Islip, 67-9, beat host Commack, 76-11, and wrapped up the day with a 72-12 dismantling of Cold Spring Harbor, another Nassau County team.
Several individuals had a great tournament and a great overall week for the Hurricanes. Kyle Maddock (126 pounds) was 8-0 on the week. He beat Mount Sinai’s Leon Paul by technical fall, and earned a 5-3 decision in overtime against Glenn’s Chris D’Amico, an All-County wrestler last year. At the tournament, Maddock won with two pins, a major decision and a 6-1 decision, and also received a forfeit. Maddock received a forfeit against East Hampton as well.
Maddock was one of four Hurricane wrestlers who had a very strong week. Hunter Hulse (138) and Jake Martin (220) went 6-1, while Esteban Garcia (120) was 7-0. Garcia won with pins against Mount Sinai and Glenn, didn’t wrestle against East Hampton, and had three pins, a decision and received a forfeit at the tournament. Martin won with a pin against Mount Sinai, suffered a 3-2 double overtime loss against Glenn, and had four pins and a win by decision at the tournament. Hulse won a 7-2 decision against Mount Sinai, lost 2-0 in overtime to Glenn, received a forfeit against East Hampton, and had three pins, a technical fall and a major decision in the tournament.
Bass said he let several junior varsity wrestlers get in the action at the Commack Duals as well, and said they were up to the task. In the win over Central Islip, Bass used six JV wrestlers—Dane Mendoza, Casey Hughes, Sean Ebrus, Matthew Tobin, Dan McClure and Dylan Gilks—and they all performed well.
Bonacker Lucas Escobar might be the most talented 120-pounder that no one’s talking about in Suffolk County.
The senior is now 18-1 on the season, his only loss coming against defending New York State Champion Nick Piccininni of Ward Melville. Escobar had another great week for East Hampton, going 4-0 at the Comsewogue Duals on Saturday and earning MVP honors from his teammates.
Escobar had four pins on the day, and for the season, had 14 pins in his 18 wins. Escobar is not currently ranked in the top six in his weight class in Suffolk County, but head coach Steve Tseperkas is just fine with that, hoping it helps Escobar retain the element of surprise against upcoming opponents.
He’s certainly proven his worth against some talented wrestlers, however. Escobar pinned Riverhead’s Eddie Matyka in 4:34 at the Comsewogue Duals, and Matyka had previously been ranked in the top six in the 120-pound weight class this season.
In addition to Escobar’s strong performance, East Hampton had four other wrestlers go 3-1 on the day, including Luciano Escobar (160 pounds), Axel Alanis (195), Richie Browne (220) and Josh King (285). Anthony Pineda (152) went 2-2 on the day.
As a team, East Hampton went 0-4, but was competitive in most matches, losing 41-29 to Riverhead, 45-39 to Comsewogue, 81-6 to Connetquot and 52-33 to West Islip.
East Hampton’s most thrilling meet of the week was a 45-34 triumph over Amityville on the road on January 8. Tseperkas felt confident about his team’s chances to win as the match got under way, as the Warriors were forfeiting four weight classes compared to just one for the Bonackers. But East Hampton faced a 34-9 deficit (before the points for all the forfeits were factored in) entering the final two matches. Even with the points they’d receive from the forfeits, East Hampton needed to win a match with a pin and make sure it didn’t get pinned in the other match in order to win.
The pressure fell on the shoulders of freshman 106-pounder Ivan Guazhambo, and he delivered, pinning Brandon Gilpin in 3:18. In the next match, Haiau Duong needed only to avoid getting pinned, but he did much better, winning his match with a pin of Jamori Walrond in 5:48.
Tseperkas said that Guazhambo stepped up when it mattered most.
“He’s a freshman and has never wrestled varsity [before this season], so we didn’t know what was going to happen,” the coach said.
In the loss to Westhampton Beach, Tseperkas said he was happy with his team’s effort, particularly given the fact that the Bonackers lost 73-6 to the Hurricanes last year. King (285), Escobar (160) and Jorge Calderone (182) all won with pins, while Duong (113) won a 4-1 decision. Lucas Escobar received a forfeit in that match.
Tseperkas was looking forward to having one of his best wrestlers, 152-pounder Colton Kalbacher, back on the mat soon. Kalbacher has missed the entire season with an injury but will likely start wrestling again next week and should be able to pick up some wins for East Hampton.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Westhampton Beach—Wednesday, 1/15, at Sayville, 4 p.m.; Friday, 1/17, vs. Shoreham/Wading River, 4 p.m.; Saturday, 1/18, at Kujan Tournament at William Floyd, 9 a.m. East Hampton—Wednesday, 1/15, at Miller Place, 5 p.m.; Friday, 1/17, vs. Sayville, 5 p.m.; Saturday, 1/18, at North Fork Invitational at Mattituck, 9 a.m.