Greenwich High wrestling coach George Albano figured his team was in for a dogfight in Wednesday's Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference matchup against Westhill. He was right. But the Cardinals, the state's ninth-ranked team, used its firepower in the upper weights to deck the Vikings, 41-27, before a lively crowd at Greenwich.
Greenwich won eight of the 14 matches, including one by forfeit. Trailing 10-9 after four bouts, the Cardinals won the next four, starting with Ryan Whittle at 160 pounds. Brian Cronin (171) and Ben Ceci (189) won by pin, and Joe McGuire (215) won by forfeit to lift Greenwich to a commanding 32-10 advantage.
"We lost some individual battles that could have gone either way, but we won team-wise,'' Albano said. "I knew they had good kids at the lower weight classes, and it was a tough match. I was proud of the way my guys fought back."
Besides the four-match win streak midway through the meet, the other deciding factor was Greenwich's ability to earn pins. John Wardell (119) and Max Kim (145) also pinned their opponents. Westhill had just two pins.
"Our young guys, and even our older guys, are doing a good job of staying off their back,'' Albano said. "And, we've been able to get some big pins. That's been a key in how we've been able to win some of these close matches."
Matt Gray (135) and Johnny D'Elia also won for Greenwich, which heads to a tournament in New Milford this weekend. "We like where we are at this point in the season, but we want to be out our best at the end of the year,'' Albano said.
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