But for the lack of two bodies, the East Hampton High School wrestling team might have wrestled toe-to-toe here in a match with Huntington on Jan. 25, though, despite a flurry of four pins that capped the competition, the Bonackers came up short, by a score of 45-33.
Jacob Hands, a 195-pounder who was to go on to win the 220 division at the Port Jefferson invitational tournament Saturday, flattened Huntington’s Hector Rubio with 6.5 seconds remaining in the first period to start things off, after which Lucas Escobar decisioned John Arceri 3-1. But then the visitors began to take over, with wins at 113, 120, 126, 132, and 145 before Dallas Foglia began the comeback by pinning Melvin Canales midway through the first period at 152. Morgan Rojas, at 160, James Budd, at 170, and Kevin Heine, at 182, followed suit.
Afterward, Steve Tseperkas, East Hampton’s coach, said that Foglia, a junior, who had been “on the bottom, executed what we call an elevator reversal and then finished the kid off with a cross-under step and a reverse half nelson.”
“Rojas was winning 7-0 when he pinned his kid, Budd pinned his kid in 55 seconds, and Heine used a bear hug throw to pin his guy in 48 seconds. . . . Hands used a double-leg takedown and a half nelson to get his pin.”
The most riveting match of the evening, however, came at 145 pounds, in which East Hampton’s Mike Peralta and the visitors’ Kevin Mendez were the opponents.
Mendez got the first takedown, in the first period, Peralta got a point for an escape in the second, and then let Mendez up, sacrificing a point at the beginning of the third before executing a single-leg takedown to tie the score at 3-3 with 20 seconds remaining. And the score remained knotted through three 30-second overtime periods, until, in the fourth OT, Mendez, who had chosen the top position, rode Peralta out, thus winning 4-3.
Sawyer Bushman, East Hampton’s 126-pounder, was pinned near the end of the first period of his match with Corey Jamison, but Tseperkas said that Jamison, the top-ranked 113-pounder in the county, was wrestling up that day, having weighed in at 120. Tseperkas added that Matthew Smudzinski, who lost 3-0 at 120, and Colton Kalbacher, who lost 4-1 at 132, had “wrestled tough.” East Hampton forfeited at 99 and at 285 pounds, giving up 12 points to the visitors as a result.
Tseperkas took 11 wrestlers to Saturday’s tournament at Port Jeff, a tournament that, as is the case with the league tourney that is to be contested at Bellport this weekend, eliminated contestants who did not make it to the semifinal round.
Of the 11, there were, said the coach, three place-winners — Hands, who, as aforesaid, won the 220-pound division, Bushman, who was the runner-up at 126, and Escobar, who placed third at 106.
Before he lost 4-0 in the final to Patchogue-Medford’s Armani Hendricson, the sixth-ranked wrestler in the county at that weight, Bushman pinned Patrick Ciancimino, the Sayville B team’s entry and the third-place finisher in League V last year, 24 seconds into the second period. Tseperkas said that in the final “Sawyer rode Hendricson the whole time in the third period and was close to turning him to his back twice.”
Kalbacher, who’s a freshman, while he did not place at 132, won his first match by pin, catching Hills West’s Kevin Ataniese, who had been leading 7-2, in a headlock midway through the third period. “Colton lost to Stephen Hirschfield of Comsewogue 12-8 in the quarters,” said Tseperkas, “but it was a great match for Colton. That kid beat him 14-3 in a dual meet two weeks ago. If they meet in the leagues, I think Colton can beat him.”
Likewise, Budd won a first-round match at 170, decisioning Mount Sinai’s Steve Picciano 12-2, but was pinned by Josue Blanco of Brentwood’s B team in the second period of the quarters.
As for Hands, “This is the first tournament he’s ever won,” said Tseperkas. “He was second at Sprig Gardner and second at the North Fork invitational at Mattituck. If he wrestles smart and hard all six minutes at the leagues, and if he listens to us, he’s got a good chance to go to the countys. That goes for all those other guys, Escobar, Bushman, Peralta [who sat out Saturday because of a wrist injury], Budd, and Heine.”
Turning to indoor track, Shani Cuesta, the girls coach, said that at the league meet Saturday Dana Cebulski won the 3,000-meter race in a personal-best 10 minutes and 58.35 seconds; that Ashley West was the 600-meter runner-up in a personal-best 1:39.53, and that the 4x200 relay team of Cebulski, Maggie Pizzo, Rachael Harty, and West placed third in a season-best 1:58.53.
West also was fourth in the 300, in 43.89, a “p.r.,” and Cebulski was sixth in the 1,500, in 5:21.63.
Though they did not place, Harty, with a 14-1/2 in the long jump, Cebulski, with a 28-3 1/4 in the triple jump, Pizzo, with an 8.21 in the 55-meter dash, and Katla Thorsen, with a 3:42.54 in the 1,000, recorded personal bests.
The boys were to have vied in a league meet Tuesday. Deilyn Guzman, in the 300, and Adam Cebulski, in the 1,600 and 3,200, were given the best chances to advance to the small schools championships.
Those East Hampton boys and girls who qualify are to compete in the state qualifier meet at Suffolk Community College-Brentwood on Feb. 12 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.