BENNINGTON -- The Mount Anthony Union High School wrestling team got off to a slow start against Queensbury (N.Y.) during Friday's home opener, losing the first two matches by decision.
But as usually the case, the Patriots picked up the pace as six of the next seven wrestlers won by pin as they routed the Spartans, 61-15.
"Dual meets are more of a marathon and not a sprint," said MAU coach Scott Legacy, who won his 563rd meet of his illustrous career. "A lot of the kids are battle-tested and they don't panic if we get down early in a dual."
Houston Shaler and Vince Pagan went first at 145 and 152, each wrestling in their first varsity home matches. Shaler was even in his match with Mike Irvine for two periods, but Irvine put Shaler on his back late in the third, gaining valuable points in a 7-2 decision.
Pagan, against Eric Balschunat, was down 4-1 after two periods, but scored a takedown early in the third to tie the match at 4. In overtime, Balschunat took down Pagan for the 6-4 win.
"The draw couldn't have gone worse, they hadn't wrestled a varsity match at home before," Legacy said. "They looked green ... I think the nerves kicked in a little bit and they wrestled not to lose instead of trying to win."
But Mount Anthony started to get on track at 160. Damon Young scored a pin in 47 seconds, then Tyler Mattison dominated his opponent, scoring the fall in 1:18 at 170.
"They've been through the battles already, even as sophomores," Legacy said. "Both Tyler and Damon are carrying a diferent level of maturity, it's kind of old hat, which is weird because they're only sophomores."
In arguably the best match of the night, MAU's Austin Price fell to Franky Nassivera 5-3. Nassivera was one of the Spartans' top wrestlers and finished third at the NHSCA Nationals last season.
"Franky is a tough kid, he used his speed there," Johnson said. "It was tough for Price to capitalize because Franky didn't make any mistakes. I think [Price] was frustrated."
The pin parade picked up again after that. At 195, Brandon Marcoux-Schaefer took a 10-1 lead before pinning Chris Goudy to give MAU the lead for good.
Then Jack Luciano (220) and Jesse Webb (285) each dominated their opponent with first-period pins. The win was Webb's 116th for his career.
"We knew they would be good, so we had to bring all of our intensity," Webb said. "The team is good at picking up, we knew we could do it."
Calvin Call won at 99 points in 46 seconds over Jared Bruno to give MAU a 36-9 advantage. Taber Watson (106) was pinned at 4:22 for the rest of Queensbury's scoring.
Troy Gassaway picked up a pin over Brandon Winchip at 113 and freshman Garrett Derosia continued to impress, scoring a 13-3 decision over Eric St. John. In the process, Derosia won his ninth straight match to start the year.
"He's wrestling with the composure of a senior," Legacy said. "Watching him come up through, he's always been strong for his weight, but now he's more technically sound. [There's] a big difference between middle school and high school."
After Kyle Fletcher pinned his opponent at 126, Miguel Calixto wrestled in his first home match at MAU after transferring from Windham, Conn. The speedy Calixto flew around the mat, finally pinning his opponent Kody Bruno in 2:48 and improved to 9-0 with nine pins. Bailey Willard then finished the rout with a hard-fought 8-7 decision against Brian Stevens.