Six days had passed since Shoreham-Wading River's John Keck lost his undefeated record. In his first dual meet since dropping a major decision to Long Beach's Dylan Palacio at the Eastern States Tournament last Saturday, the 152-pounder wanted anything but a soft touch.
He drew Glenn's James DeKrone, an elite 138-pounder who moved up two weight classes. And in a match of two of Long Island's best wrestlers, regardless of weight, Keck won a 1-0 decision as host SWR beat Glenn, 37-21, in Suffolk League VI.
"I put it in my head that I wasn't going to lose," Keck said. "I knew that I was stronger than him and just as good."
Keck and DeKrone (21-3), a runner-up at last year's state championship, grappled on near-even terms.
Keck (27-1) scored the only point on an escape with 45 seconds left in the second period. Late in the third, DeKrone, wrestling on the bottom, almost scored the tying escape. The referee, though, ruled that he did not break away from Keck's grip.
"That call at the end could have gone either way, but I was ready to go into overtime if need be," Keck said.
SWR (5-0) opened with a major decision win from James Szymanski at 99, and Chris Meloni followed with a 3-2 win at 106 to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead.
At 113, Jack Taddeo earned a 2-1 win by holding off Glenn's Chris D'Amico from the top position for the match's final 24 seconds.
The Knights (3-2) won four straight matches from 126-145 to make it 16-13 before Keck's win pushed SWR's lead to six.
The Wildcats pulled away as Zak Mullen scored a technical fall at 160. At 170, Joe Bennett secured a tiebreaking escape with seven seconds left and a last-second takedown for a 5-2 win.
In a dual meet full of competitive matches, Bennett's win gave the Wildcats a 27-12 advantage.
"This proves that we are the dominant force in League VI and a dominant force in Suffolk," Bennett said. "We're going to keep winning, keep pushing and come headstrong at the county."