Escobar Is Champ At North Fork Invitational

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Three East Hampton wrestlers placed in the top five at the North Fork Invitational at Mattituck High School on Saturday, led by 120-pound standout Lucas Escobar.

The senior was the champion in his weight class, his second tournament win of the year and third appearance in the finals, after a 1-0 win over Jack Scurti of Half Hollow Hills East. Escobar scored the only point of the match with an escape in the second period. Scurti chose the bottom position in the third, hoping to tie it up, but Escobar rode him out to win the match. Before facing Scurti, Escobar dispatched three other opponents with pins, taking out Bobby Piazza of West Babylon in 44 seconds, Ryan Benincase of Connetquot in 4:25 and Andrew Fiore of Connetquot in 3:25.

Earlier in the week, Escobar won a 10-8 decision over Alex Hin of Miller Place in what was a 62-12 loss for East Hampton on the road on January 15. He also pinned Mike Perko of Sayville in 1:23 in a 51-24 home loss to Sayville on Friday, which dropped the Bonackers to 1-3 in League VI.

Escobar is not ranked in the top six in his weight class in Suffolk County, but he has definitely proven himself among the elite in the county at 120 pounds. He is 24-1 with 18 pins on the season. When the Bonackers take on Shoreham/Wading River on the road on Friday, Escobar will likely face James Szymanski, currently ranked second in the county at 120 pounds. Escobar’s only loss thus far this season has come against Nick Piccininni of Ward Melville, the top-ranked wrestler at 120 pounds.

Also finishing among the top five at the North Fork Invitational for East Hampton were Richie Browne and Anthony Pineda. Browne, who usually competes at 220 pounds, was bumped up to 285 and finished second, getting pinned by Josh Gutierrez of Connetquot in 2:36. Before that, Browne earned a 5-1 decision over Pete Curto of North Babylon, and beat Rob Leen of Miller Place, 3-1, in the semifinals.

Anthony Pinedea (152) finished fifth, beating John Ottomanelli of Hills East in a 10-5 decision. Before that, he pinned Joe Consalazio of West Babylon in 2:25, lost to Justin Ortega of Bay Shore in a 7-5 decision, and pinned Kyle Belcher of Riverhead in 36 seconds. Pineda got pinned by Ryan Bergen of Mattituck in 1:55 in the second round of wrestlebacks, putting him into the match for fifth and sixth.

Bonackers Jorge Calderone (182) and Axel Alanis (195) finished sixth, but the North Fork Invitational counts only the top five finishers as place-winners.

Aside from Escobar, three other Bonackers earned wins against Miller Place. At 160 pounds, Luciano Escobar beat Justin Simon in a 7-1 decision; Alanis beat Kevin Lopez, 8-5; and Josh King beat Robert Leen, 3-2, in an ultimate tiebreaker at 285 pounds.

Against Sayville, Kevin Boles (113) beat Cory Levy 5-3 in overtime; Ivan Guazhambo won by forfeit at 106; Alanis beat Shane Sullivan 5-4, scoring an escape with one second left on the clock; and Browne pinned Nick Procopio in 1:57 at 285 pounds.

ON THE SCHEDULE: Wednesday, 1/22, vs. Mount Sinai, 5 p.m.; Friday, 1/24, at Shoreham/Wading River, 4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 1/30, vs. Elwood/John Glenn, 5 p.m.; Saturday, 2/1, at Port Jefferson Tournament, 9 a.m.

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