It was the first match of the long night, but it went a long way toward deciding the outcome.
Wrestling in his first varsity match, junior Josh Gilliano won a 3-1 decision in overtime to spark West Deptford to a 33-18 victory over St. Augustine Prep in a nonleague clash last night.
The Eagles won nine of 14 bouts in securing the victory in their first match of the season. None was more important than the first one.
"That was a toss-up match," West Deptford coach John Craig said of Gilliano's match with St. Augustine's Tyler Sentman.
The 130-pound match was tied at 1-1 after regulation, but Gilliano scored a takedown about 30 seconds into overtime to notch his first varsity victory.
"It felt great coming off the mat," Gilliano said. "I was nervous but after the second period the nerves were gone."
Craig figured the Eagles won two other "toss-up" matches as Nick Iraldi decisioned Paxtin Burgin, 8-2, at 145 pounds, and Mike Pacitti decisioned Andrew Baumgardner, 5-2, at heavyweight.
"We won those toss-up matches, and that was the key," Craig said. "That's a good program, and this was a statement win for us."
It was 9-9 after six bouts as each team won three decisions.
Max Fitzgerald gave West Deptford the lead with a decision at 171 pounds, and Jimmy Owens stretched the Eagles' advantage to 18-9 with the first bonus points of the night - pinning in 1 minute, 6 seconds.
When West Deptford's Frank Willerton won by forfeit at 215, the Eagles suddenly had a 24-8 lead, as St. Augustine was hit with a loss of a team point for a uniform infraction.
Pacitti added to West Deptford's lead with a 5-2 win over Baumgardner in a good matchup at heavyweight.
"This was a good win for us," Owens said. "They were ranked ahead of us, and that gave us fuel to the fire."
West Deptford 33, St. Augustine 18
130: Josh Gilliano, WD, dec. Tyler Sentman, 3-1, OT; 135: Drew Spector, WD, dec. Joe Devone, 8-2; 140: Mark Patterson, SA, dec. Sean Bonner, 4-2; 145: Nick Iraldi, WD, dec. Paxtin Burgin, 8-2; 152: Adam Schroeder, SA, dec. James Shields, 7-6; 160: Connor Donahue, SA, dec. Dan Eckley, 5-2; 171: Max Fitzgerald, WD, dec. Frank Zeigler, 7-4.
189: Jimmy Owens, WD, pin Tom Abbott, 1:06; 215: Frank Willerton, WD, win by forfeit; Hwt.: Mike Pacitti, WD, dec. Andrew Baumgardner, 5-2; 103: Tom Gattinella, SA, pin Tyler Kaminski, 5:30; 112: Evan Zuzuluck, WD, dec. Will McMenamin, 7-4; 119: Joe Esposito, SA, dec. David Parker, 10-2; 125: Donald Dennis, WD, dec. Zach Burgin, 10-3.