GRANITE CITY — The Granite City Warriors early momentum didn't last long Thursday in a Southwestern Conference showdown with the Edwardsville Tigers.
Senior Sam Andresen started a string of five straight Edwardsville wins with a pin at the 3-minute, 45-second mark of his 145-pound bout with Austin Padgett and the Tigers went on for a 34-21 victory in a battle of state-ranked wrestling powers.
Ranked 12th in the Class 3A state poll, Granite City (7-2) jumped out to a 9-0 lead as D. J. Millett (126), Josh Rozell (132) and Devon Simpson (138) all won by decision.
But Andresen, a four-year varsity starter, quickly gave Edwardsville (16-0) the lead and the momentum for good with his clutch pin
"Last year we got out quick and we were able to get the momentum. Tonight, from a weight perspective, the match couldn't have started at a worse spot. But you know what, those three kids that lost fought hard and we only gave up nine points,'' Edwardsville coach Jon Wagner said. "I was concerned about Granite City grabbing the momentum.
"We didn't let that happen.''
Chris Prosser (152), Luke Schlueter (160), James Watters (170) and Cameron Thornberry (182) followed with wins for Edwardsville, which grabbed a 20-9 lead.
The Warriors' Dylan Gray (195) cut the lead to 20-15, but when undefeated Matt Kent (220) won by pin at 220, Edwardsvlle was in firm control.
The Tigers, ranked 10th, then put the match away when Tanner Ambry (106) won by technical fall at 106.
Ambry's win gave Edwardsville and insurmountable 31-18 lead with two matches left, as the Tigers took first blood in the battle for the SWC title.
"We just beat a very good, well coached team. I'm very proud of my kids,'' Wagner said. "I've said it from the beginning that this is a team effort we have here. When one or two of our guys have a bad night we've got others who are there to pick us up. We did that again tonight.''