Eastport-South Manor 7th-grader Adam Busiello charges into semifinals at state wrestling meet

Adam Busiello of Eastport-South Manor goes after opponent

Adam Busiello of Eastport-South Manor goes after opponent Kellan McKenna of New Hartford during the NYSPHSAA Wrestling Championships on Feb. 28, 2014 at the Times Union Center in Albany. Photo Credit: Pat Orr

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ALBANY - He calls it the whirlybird. And 13-year-old seventh-graders at the state wrestling tournament can call their signature move whatever they want -- especially when the move wins a critical bout.

Eastport-South Manor's Adam Busiello went to the whirlybird for a surprise two-point takedown for a 3-2 second period lead in a 6-2 win over top-seeded and previously undefeated Kellan McKenna of New Hartford in the quarterfinal round of the state Division I wrestling tournament at the Times Union Center.

Busiello, who lost 3-0 to McKenna in the final of the Eastern State championships in January, had revenge on his mind. He erased a 2-0 deficit with an escape and then hit the move for the 3-2 lead. He escaped to open the third period to make it 4-2.

"I hit the key move to take the lead and then countered his last takedown attempt for the final 6-2 margin," said Busiello, who improved to 44-5. "I was psyched to get a wild-card entry into the tournament. And it was a chance to prove some people wrong after I lost in the Suffolk Tournament."

Busiello finished third in the Suffolk tournament and will meet champion Anthony Sparacio of North Babylon in Saturday's semifinal round at 9:30 a.m. The two have never wrestled. Sparacio (37-1) will be his school's first state place-winner since 2002.

"He's cool and we're friends," Busiello said. "But when we get on the mat none of that will matter anymore."

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Busiello is guaranteed to become only the third seventh-grader in Long Island history to place in the state tournament. The two before him were four-time state champion Jesse Jantzen of Shoreham-Wading River and reigning state champion Shakur Rasheed (17-0) of Longwood.

All four of Long Island's defending state champions advanced to the semifinals. Wantagh's Kyle Quinn (42-3) earned two decisions and is on a collision course to meet state runner-up and Nassau champion Vito Arujau of Syosset in the finals. Quinn's only three losses this year came against Arujau (42-0).

Two-time state champion Nick Piccininni of Ward Melville won two bouts by technical fall as he ran his winning streak to 133 -- second longest in L.I. history. Piccininni (43-0) will meet St. Anthony's junior Ben Lamantia in the semis.

State champions Louis Hernandez (40-1) of Mepham and Rasheed were dominant on the first day of competition. Both wrestlers had a win by technical fall and a pin.

MacArthur's Justin Cooksey (45-5), who was a state runner-up as a sophomore in 2012 to Piccininni, failed to make weight at last year's Nassau qualifier, and missed the state tournament. He is back with a vengeance in his senior year winning two decisions to storm into the semifinal round.

Rocky Point's Tommy Dutton and Sachem East's Jakob Restrepo will meet in the semifinal in a rematch of the Suffolk 145-pound final won by Restrepo, 6-3. It is third time they'll meet this season. Restrepo edged Dutton 7-6 at the Eastern State championships.

Unseeded Vin Manna (38-5) of Island Trees beat No. 2 Edwin Rubio of Glenn, 3-1, in the third overtime and then dumped Sam Weinger of Washingtonville, 9-5. He leads 11 Nassau wrestlers into the semifinals. Suffolk has 15 semifinalists.

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