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In a clash between the top two teams in the South-West Conference, visiting New Milford got the better of Newtown High School, on January 11. The Green Wave posted a 36-27 victory, but there is a good reason for optimism to remain high on the part of the Nighthawks that they can dethrone the defending SWC champions and take back the bragging rights they had the year before.
“This is a better tournament team than a dual meet team. There’s no question about that,” Newtown Coach Chris Bray said of his squad.
The Nighthawks have the individual firepower with the likes of Anthony Falbo, Alex Stavola, and Tom Long, all of whom captured weight division SWC and state titles last winter.
“We have some very good wrestlers,” Bray noted.
The Newtown coach credited the Green Wave for earning the win in this most recent dual meet between the rivals.
“It was a competitive match but they did what they needed to do. They wrestling us strong,” Bray said. “They executed better than we did and I think they were maybe a little more physical than us.”
Of course, regardless of the outcome, facing the Green Wave is a positive for Bray’s lineup, he points out.
“We look forward to this win or lose. Obviously we like to come out on the right side of the equation,” he said.
But it’s always good to tune up for the postseason, and what better way than to face some of the best the conference has to offer.
Newtown 182 pound grappler Anthony Falbo, who has been nursing an injury to begin the season, got his first action on the mats this winter and was as sharp as ever. Falbo pinned Michael Haggerty in just 23 seconds.
“It’s terrific to have him back,” Bray said.
Ed Lovely posted a win at 152, pinning Alex Richardson in 1:37; Joe Accousti pinned Kyle Fachich in 1:00; and 285-pounder Joe Zeller scored 5-2 decision over Nick Borick. Newtown also picked up one win via forfeit.
Aaron Occhipinti, at 138, and Owen Walsh, at 145, both lost two-point decisions; and 106-pounder Evan Rooney and 160 grappler Alex Stavola dropped four- and three-point decisions in two more competitive bouts.