WOODBURY >> The Berkshire League’s best wrestling match of the season twisted and turned through strategy and struggles before Nonnewaug came from behind in a 38-30 win over defending BL champion Terryville Wednesday night at Nonnewaug High School.
“We came out a little flat early. We just had the edge in matchups,” said Nonnewaug coach Dave Green.
Part of the edge came from the coaching chess board.
“I was going over it all day in my head,” said Terryville coach Peter Veleas. “We did everything we could do.”
Strategy and the struggles began in the very first match, randomly selected at 195 pounds.
Veleas, who had to declare his wrestler first, listed veteran Justin Pronovost, then switched to freshman Josh Wright. Green countered with sophomore Anthony Delia.
The match was on, fittingly going to a tight 5-4 decision in the first bout, Wright on top.
Most face-offs were just that hard, even the pins.
“We both just need more matches like that, where our wrestlers get the feel of a real match with all that goes with it, including getting bumped out of a weight class,” said Coach Green.
Terryville’s early lead was 9-0 with a forfeit for Pronovost at 220.
It dipped for a pin by Nonnewaug’s Albie Cekici over Tom Bergeron, 9-6.
Then the Kangaroo lead swelled to 24-12 with a pin by Sam Ferreira over Nonnewaug’s Edward Boistis and a decision by Elliott Willion over Ian Pedroza.
“I was very worried,” said Chief senior co-captain John D’Agostino.
Like Mariano Rivera waiting in the bullpen, D’Agostino, one of the league’s best wrestlers, could only cheer his teammates on until, as fate would have it Wednesday, the very last bout, 182 pounds.
“Throughout the match, I was focusing on our guys doing the right thing until one match before my turn,” D’Agostino said.
“It was nice to have him in the hole,” grinned Coach Green.
Nevertheless, for the ace to matter, the Chiefs had to first rally from their own deep hole.
Nonnewaug sophomore Kieran Duggan began it at 132 pounds with a tech fall over Connor Levins, worth five points.
Andrew Tilbe got it to 27-26 with a decision over Casey Norton.
Cain Hardisty was up next, tipping the Chiefs over the top with a hard-fought third-period pin over Nick Rodriguez, 160 pounds.
Tyler Bergeron had the Kangaroos back to a 32-30 deficit with a decision over Elijah Gonillo.
The final bout — 182 — would decide the match.
D’Agostino pinned sophomore Hunter D’Antonio in 57 seconds.
“We didn’t have enough firepower tonight,” said Terryville coach Veleas.
Nonnewaug 38, Terryville 30
At Nonnewaug High School
195: Josh Wright (T) dec. Anthony Delia (N), 5-4. 285: Justin Pronovost (T) by forfeit. 285: Albie Cekici (N) pinned Tom Bergeron (T), 2:54. 106: Matt Dabdowski by forfeit. 113: Ian Poitras (T) by forfeit. 120: Sam Ferreira (T) pinned Edward Boistis (N), 4:17. 126: Elliott Willion (T) dec. Ian Pedroza (N), 10-3. 132: Kieran Duggan (N) tech fall Connor Levins, 21-5. 138: Andrew Tilbe (N) dec. Casey Norton (T), 9-6. 145: George Andrews (T) dec. Ethan Yates, 10-7. 152: Yuri Gulak (N) pinned Donovan Rivera (T), 3:02. 160: Cain Hardisty (N) pinned Nick Rodriguez (T), 5:22. 170: Tyler Bergeron (T) dec. Elijah Gonillo (N) 6-0. 182: John D’Agostino (N) pinned Hunter D’Antonio (T), :57.
Records: Terryville 8-9; Nonnewaug 10-2.