The Hanover High Nighthawks jumped out of their seats and began cheering when teammate Justice Forbes pinned Littlestown's Jacob Fuller.

They had already secured an easy home win against the Thunderbolts -- Hanover won 46-15 Monday night, and it could've forfeited the final three bouts and still won -- but there was something important to celebrate: Forbes' first non-forfeit win.

Teammate Bryan Deven also earned his first win of the season by receiving a forfeit at 126 pounds.

"That was a forfeit, but it was still a good win," Hanover coach David Cataldo said. "It turned the tide. I'm glad now everybody's got wins on the team."

Forbes' pin, which came in 1 minute, 47 seconds in the 220-pound bout, was part of a series of strong performances by Hanover seniors who hadn't wrestled in years before joining the team this season. Ian Wheeler, who lost at 152, hadn't competed in five years. Brandon Shearer, who pinned Littlestown's Carmen Wega in 3:02 at 145, didn't wrestle last year.

Forbes needed an added dose of RustOleum compared to those two. He hasn't wrestled since fourth grade.

"They're getting better," Cataldo said of the trio, which had been out of wrestling a combined 14 years. "They're getting a lot of rust knocked off. They may look great at times, and sometimes they can go back to doing some inexperienced things.

"Hopefully, by the end of the season, they can get it all together and peak at the right time. It really counts in the postseason."

Forbes nearly pinned himself when he pulled Fuller to the mat, but landed on his back early in the first period. He tried again moments later and pinned his opponent. Forbes learned the move recently.

"Maybe Saturday morning," Cataldo said. "Friday night, maybe. Just some of those things we've been working on him is getting underneath those underhooks and trying to score from there. He's starting to listen and do some things."

The Nighthawks outscored Littlestown 32-0 over the first six bouts. The Thunderbolts responded with Tyler Green's pin of Wheeler at 152 and Billy Stolkovich's 9-4 decision against Brad Irvin at 160 to bring the score to 32-9.

Hanover’s Tyler Shafer, top, rolls Littlestown’s Dustin DeGroft to the mat during their 138-pound bout Monday night. Tyler would go on to pin
Hanover's Tyler Shafer, top, rolls Littlestown's Dustin DeGroft to the mat during their 138-pound bout Monday night. Tyler would go on to pin Dustin in the second period. (The Evening Sun -- Brett Berwager)

"Once we got into the middleweights, they were solid," Cataldo said. "There were some good matches that took place there."

The teams traded wins from there, the latter being Josh Vaughn's 7-5 win for Littlestown in the 182-pound bout.

"He's continued to wrestle well," Littlestown coach Kerry Ferguson said. "He's been one of the guys that's been improving. I can expect him to wrestle with pretty much anybody right now."

The match ended with Ryan Vaughn's 13-7 decision over Hanover's Tony Aguilar in the heavyweight bout. Vaughn, who joined the team in midseason, was outweighed by a large margin.

"He's obviously giving up about 50 pounds to that kid," Ferguson said. "After you push a kid that outweighs you 50 pounds, I could tell he was starting to tire out. It was expected.

"All you have to do is wrestle smart. He did. He didn't get caught underneath him."

If Monday's match showed how well Hanover has gelled, it was also an opportunity to see improvement in Littlestown's season, Ferguson believed.

"The kids are definitely learning," he said. "Obviously, they're still making mistakes. There were a couple close matches we lost. (We need to) just keep working hard. Keep getting better."; 717-637-3736, extension 139