GODFREY – The Alton wrestling team ended its Southwestern Conference season in style on Wednesday.
The Redbirds finished their league season with a 52-17 win over the Belleville East Lancers at the AHS Gymnasium. They won 10 of 14 matches to snap a five-match conference losing streak.
Now, Alton is looking to conclude its regular season with a .500 record. The Redbirds improved to 11-12 with the win over the Lancers and will wrap up their regular season on Thursday with a home match against the Roxana Shells.
Courteney Wilson, Nolan Woszyzcynski and Ryan Kane make up the Alton senior class. They will be honored during Thursday's match with Roxana.
The Redbirds finished their conference season at 2-5 after going 4-3 last year. The five losses were sandwiched with the two wins over East St. Louis and Belleville East. Four of those losses were by 10 points or less.
Alton began SWC play on Nov. 30 with a 60-12 win over East St. Louis in its home opener. The Redbirds lost to Granite City, Collinsville, Belleville West, Edwardsville and O'Fallon before snapping their conference losing streak on Wednesday against the Lancers.
Alton lost 39-37 to Collinsville on Dec. 14, 30-28 to O'Fallon on Jan. 18, 36-27 to Granite City on Dec. 7 and 40-30 to Belleville West on Jan. 4.
Against Belleville East, the Redbirds came back from an 11-6 deficit to pick up the win.
The match began at 152, where Wilson pinned Jalen Hamilton with 38.5 seconds left in the first period.
After the Redbirds lost matches at 160 and 170, they got a forfeit win from Woszyzcynski at 182 and a victory from Robert Outsey at 195 to take a 15-11 lead. Outsey beat Alex Dorsey 6-2.
Belleville East cut the lead to 15-14 after Kameron Thomen beat Riley Owens 5-1 at 220. Then, Kyle Hughes started a string of six straight wins for Alton by pinning Carlos Blanco with 35.7 seconds left in the first.
Bryant Minton defeated DeMarcus Delean 6-0 at 106, Kaleb Vann pinned Silas Thomasino with 32 seconds to go in the first period at 113, Gus Kodros cruised to an 11-0 win over Thoren Bedard at 120, Damien Jones pinned Landen Pamakot with 26 seconds remaining in the third at 126 and Garrett Sims got a forfeit win at 132.
Pierre Evans ended the dual by pinning David Arneson with just 41 seconds into the 145 match.