The East Hampton High School wrestling team on Jan. 8 won its first league dual meet in two years by defeating Amityville 45-34, thanks to four forfeits by the Warriors and to a clutch performance by a freshman, Ivan Guazhambo, at 106 pounds.
“That whole meet came down to him,” Steve Tserperkas, Bonac’s coach, said Monday morning. “We had had trouble at the heavier weights — Jorge Calderon, at 182, and Axel Alanis, at 195, had each lost by one point, and Richie Browne and Josh King, at 220 and 285, had also lost, Richie by a major decision and Josh by a pin.”
“After Finn Hallissey, who’s a freshman and has never wrestled before, was pinned at 99, we had two matches left and we had to win both. Ivan’s second-period pin of Brandon Gilpin was huge. That gave us 6 points, and Haiau Duong, who’s a junior, got us a pin too, at 113. That gave us 21 points to their 34, but they forfeited the next four weights — 120, 126, 132, and 138 — which gave us 24 more points and the win.”
Tseperkas cited the win over Amityville and the team’s credible performances in meets it lost this past week to Westhampton Beach and Riverhead as evidence that his wrestlers are improving.
“Last year, Amityville beat us,” he said. Westhampton, which bested East Hampton 57-27 here Friday and is the reigning league’s dual meet champion, “beat us 73-6, and Riverhead beat us 63-22. In the Comsewogue double dual meet on Saturday, we lost 41-29 to Riverhead, which shows you how we’re improving.”
East Hampton also lost Saturday to Comsewogue (45-39), West Islip (52-33) and Connetquot (81-6). “Connetquot killed everybody. . . . They beat West Islip 82-0. At least, thanks to Lucas [Escobar, the team’s m.v.p. that day], we put up 6 points against them. . . . Had Colton [Kalbacher] been in our lineup, we would have beaten Comsewogue.”
Because of a knee injury sustained during the football season, Kalbacher has not wrestled this season, though he may get the go-ahead this week, said the coach, if not at Miller Place (a match that was to have taken place yesterday), then probably at home versus Sayville tomorrow.
“When Colton comes back, Malachy [Mitchnick] will go down to the jayvee, [Anthony] Pineda will go to 145, and Colton will wrestle at 152, which will make us stronger. . . . Even without Colton we’ve won four dual meets so far this year.”
Lucas Escobar, wrestling three matches at 120 and one at 126, went 4-0, winning by pin every time, at the Comsewogue invitational meet. His record stood at 18-1 going into yesterday’s match at Miller Place. At 3-1 for the day were Luciano Escobar, Alanis, Browne, and King — Alanis winning three of his matches by pin. Pineda went 2-2.
East Hampton forfeited at 170 pounds at Amityville. “We haven’t had anyone at that weight since Gabe Vargas hurt his elbow, and we’ve got no one at 138.”
Alanis, at 195, led off Friday’s match with Westhampton, losing 3-0 to Chris Chomicki, who had bested him by the same score in a previous encounter, said Tseperkas. “The kid took him down [a 2-point move] in the first period, he chose the bottom position when the second period began and got out for 1 more point. They were on their feet throughout the third period, with no result either way, and that’s the way it ended. Alex is going to have to score the first takedown when they meet again at the league meet” at Shoreham-Wading River on Feb. 8.
“It was the same story with Richie Browne and Jake Martin, who had beaten him in the Sprig Gardner tournament. He got his legs in and power-halfed him. I told Richie to watch for that.” Martin got the pin as the buzzer ending the second period sounded.
King wasted no time, however, in pinning Westhampton’s Sal DiBendetto, midway through the first period, bringing East Hampton to 6-9.
Losses by Hallissey and Guazhambo followed before Duong, at 113, decisioned Danny Strebel 4-1, clinching the win with a third-period takedown. Lucas Escobar won by forfeit at 120. East Hampton forfeited in turn at 126, after which Matt Carrillo, a first-year sophomore, was pinned at 132.
“I recruited Finn and Matt from my [13-1] junior varsity boys soccer team,” said the coach. “They’ll both be very good if they stick at it.”
Luciano Escobar came through with a pin at 160 pounds after Mitchnick and Pineda had been pinned at 145 and 152. Escobar jumped out to a 5-0 lead over Westhampton’s Alex Kravitz, but the visitor fought back to 6-4 before Escobar pinned him with 35 seconds to go in the match. East Hampton forfeited at 170, and Calderon ended things on a good note, pinning his 182-pound opponent, Tahsin Korur, midway through the first period.