After giving up a pin in the opening match, Whitnall High School's wrestlers posted victories in the next six bouts to seal a 49-26 win at Greenfield in Woodland Conference action Wednesday night.
Following a lopsided loss to Pewaukee a week earlier, head coaches John Quinlan and Craig Austin subjected their team to what Quinlan called "a stern talking-to" about effort and dedication. Apparently the Falcon wrestlers listened.
"We challenged them, and they responded as a team," Quinlan said following the win over Greenfield's Hawks. "They wrestled well over the weekend (a seventh-place finish in an invitational at West Allis Central), and tonight they came out fired up. They fought hard; they got off their backs."
The backs on the mat mostly belonged to Greenfield as seven Falcons registered pins. But it was an overtime victory in the night's second match that Quinlan cited as the key to Whitnall's third conference win. Senior co-captain Matt Price (145 lbs) battled Greenfield's Kevin Vazquez to an 8-8 tie in regulation, then won the match with a takedown 25 seconds into overtime.
"That was a huge match," said Quinlan, noting that both wrestlers were seniors, co-captains, and had identical records. "It was a huge win for us. It set the tone for the matchups later on."
Price's younger brother, Joe, also impressed the coach as the 103-pound freshman scored a first-period pin, his first as a varsity wrestler. "He's basically a beginning wrestler," Quinlan said. "He's working hard, and he's getting a little better every day. That showed tonight."
Kameron Bourgeois (112), whose only loss this season was a default in the West Allis tourney, posted a 48-second pin over the Hawks' Andrew Patrick. Fellow co-captain Nathan Barnhart, returning to action after an ankle injury that resulted in his only loss this season, also scored a 48-second pin when he moved up to 171 pounds.
Contributing to the Falcons' point total were pins by Mason Howard (152), John McGee (160), Sam Howard (189) and Josh Langenohl (215) and a major decision by Ruben Garcia (119).
Greenfield victors included Andrew Krueger (140), Wahid Othman (285), Alec Adams (125), Dominic Kroll (130) and Taylor Wirtz (135).
The Falcons' next test comes next week in a self-funded trip to Hilton Head, S.C., to battle teams from eight Southern states in the Seahawk Duals. Whitnall returns to conference action on Jan. 5 versus the combined New Berlin teams on the Eisenhower mat.
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