PITTSFIELD -- Wrestling is one sport where a team can win more matches than the other guys in the same meet -- and still come out on the short end.
The Taconic wrestlers found that out the hard way Wednesday. The Braves picked up wins in seven of a possible 12 matches, while the Spartans won just five. But Monument came out on top, 33-31, because the visitors had four pins to the Braves' one. Pins count for six points in a wrestling match, wins by eight points or less are three points.
The win means Monument finishes the first trip through the county a perfect 3-0.
"We won this match because our guys didn't get pinned, and theirs did," said Spartan coach Gordie Soule.
Soule indicated the results at 120 and 132 pounds. At 120, Taconic's Isiah Williams defeated Monument's Nate Cormier 13-4. At 132, the Braves' Mason Papirio beat Monument's Robert Kahlstrom 8-5.
"If we get pinned at 120 and 132, guess what?" Soule asked rhetorically. "We lose."
A clearly frustrated Taconic coach Matt Chamberlain declined comment except to say that the match itself was "a great one."
Monument picked up pins at 106 by Eli Jones, 138 by Steve Cormier, 170 by Mike Molina and 182 by Mark Leon-Duque. The Braves' pin came at 126 by Nick Bailey.
Monument forfeited at 113, while the Braves forfeited at 195.
The Braves led for most of the night. After Tyler Kloce outpointed Monument's Clayton Gaudette 9-5 at 160, the home side had a 25-15 advantage.
The Spartans turned the tables over the next three matches. Monument's Molina pinned Jordan Knowlton at 170, and Leon-Duque pinned Austin Houghtaling at 182, giving Monument a 27-25 advantage. When the Braves forfeited at 195, the visitors had a 33-25 lead.
For Molina, it was a big win, as he had been bumped up from 160 to 170 to face the talented Knowlton.
"He was strong," said Molina of his opponent. "And I'm actually trying to get down to 152. So it was a tough match."
"Yeah, Mike and Mark [Leon-Duque] stopped that run," said Soule.
But those were the last points the Spartans scored. Josh Broskey defeated Robert Yvon at 220 to pull the Braves within 33-28.
At 285, the Braves' Dave Jones needed to pin Monument's Jacob Hines for the win. Jones trailed Hines 10-9 with about 35 seconds left, but gained two points on a reversal to win the match, 11-10. But it wasn't quite enough.
Moments later, Hines accepted a hug from Soule.
"Coach, I let you down," he said. "I didn't win."
"But you didn't get pinned," said Soule. "That was the main thing."
Monument 33, Taconic 31
106 -- Eli Jones (M) pinned Henry Thomas (T) 1:30
113 -- Asia Rolan (T) wins by forfeit.
120 -- Isiah Williams (T) def. Nate Cormier (M) 10-6.
126 -- Nick Bailey (T) pins Aidan Giroux (M), 1:30.
132 -- Mason Papirio (T) def. Robert Kahlstrom (M) 8-5.
138 -- Steve Cormier (M) pinned Austin Gaudette (T) 1:38.
145 -- Dylan Sickell (T) def. Sebastian Zapata (M) 10-5.
152 -- Craig Cooley (M) def. Gabe Gach (T) 10-5.
160 -- Tyler Kloce (T) def. Clayton Gaudette (M) 9-5.
170 -- Mike Molina (M) pinned Jordan Knowlton (T) 5:01.
182 -- Mark Leon-Duque (M) pinned Austin Houghtaling (T) 2:26.
195 Jonah Christianson (M) wins by forfeit.
220 Josh Broskey (T) def. Robert Yvon (M) 6-3.
285 -- Dave Jones (T) def. Jacob Hines (M) 11-10.