The East Hampton wrestling team wrapped up its League VI schedule and also had one final tune-up on Saturday ahead of the League VI tournament, which will take place at Shoreham/Wading River High School on Saturday. At leagues, the Bonackers will be looking to send as many wrestlers as possible to the Division I county tournament, slated for February 14 and 16 at Hofstra University. In order to qualify for counties, wrestlers must place in the top four in their respective weight classes.
Senior 120-pounder Lucas Escobar has been the standout wrestler for East Hampton all year and is expected to make a return trip to counties. Escobar will be seeded second and could very well have a rematch with Shoreham’s James Szymanski in the league final. Szymanski narrowly defeated Escobar in the regular season for one of Escobar’s two losses of the year. The other came against two-time defending state champion Nick Piccinnini of Ward Melville. Szymanski was ranked second and Escobar was ranked sixth in the county, according to the latest rankings.
Escobar looked sharp at the Bob Armstrong Cup tournament at Port Jefferson over the weekend, easily winning the 120-pound weight class by going 4-0 on the day. He had two pins, a technical fall, and won in the final by beating Cody Weiss of Riverhead in a 4-1 decision.
Three other Bonackers finished third on the day, including Luciano Escobar, who went 2-1 at 160 pounds; Axel Alanis, who went 3-1 at 195; and Richie Browne, who was 2-1 at 220. Luciano Escobar beat Robert Truberg of Centereach in a 5-3 decision to take third, scoring a takedown to tie it with 20 seconds left in regulation and then getting another takedown to win in overtime. Alanis beat Justin Hansel of Riverhead in a 6-4 decision to take third, while Browne beat Jerry Lopez of Riverhead in a 5-3 match to earn third.
Colton Kalbacher returned to the mats for East Hampton this week after missing all of the season with a knee injury. He went 1-1 at the tournament with a 5-1 decision over Llordel Card of Half Hollow Hills East and a 7-5 loss to Peter Pasqualino of Patchogue/Medford.
The Bonackers finished their league slate with a 72-9 loss to undefeated Elwood/John Glenn on Thursday. East Hampton finished the league with a 1-6 record. Lucas Escobar pinned Jake Blanton in 1:07 and Alanis beat Chris Bosco in a 7-5 upset. Bosco placed in the league tournament last year and was ranked fifth in the county according to the latest rankings. Alanis was losing 5-2 with 15 seconds left in the match before taking Bosco down and putting him in a headlock to score three back points and thus the win.
East Hampton head coach Steve Tseperkas said he was looking forward to the county tournament and hoped that as many as four of his wrestlers could advance to the semis and earn a spot in the county tournament. Kalbacher will compete at 145 pounds, and while he only has three matches under his belt for the year, he was expected to be one of East Hampton’s top wrestlers this season and could surprise someone. Lucas Escobar is the most likely candidate to represent East Hampton at counties, and his brother Luciano has a good shot at going as well, as does Alanis. Heavyweights Browne and Josh King will both be competitive at the 285-pound weight class.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Saturday, 2/8, League VI tournament at Shoreham/Wading River, 9 a.m.