The Foran High wrestling team left the Fairfield Warde gymnasium with two wins out of three matches and a 24-6 record on Friday.

The loss, which came at the hands of third-ranked Warde served the greatest purpose of the three, in the eyes of coach David Esposito.

“The wins are nice. … But you only get better by challenging yourself and to me, you only get better by losing. I know guys got better from that match even though they lost,” he said.

The Lions, after toppling Enfield 64-15, were beaten 51-21 by Warde, then defeated Newtown 60-12.

Although the score might seem lopsided, the head-to-head with Warde was competitive. “I like the way we competed against them. All the matches were pretty close. Our boys fought pretty hard out here,” Esposito said. “The guys wrestled tough. That’s a good team that gives us a challenge,” Esposito said.

Warde won the first seven bouts to seize control.

“Foran’s a very good team. We have great respect for them,” Warde coach Jason Shaughnessy said. “We won a lot of the toss matches. They’re a very talented group and we’re very pleased to wrestle as well as we did against them. We have some strong kids who were pushed.”

Foran picked up four wins on the back half of the competition.

Tyler Stanko scored the only points of his bout on a second-period reversal and earned a 2-0 decision over Warde’s Matt Sullivan in the 152 pound weight division.

Ryan Luth pinned Noah Kane in 1:10 to win at 160. Luth had three takedowns and three near fall points to overcome Kane, who scored a trio of points on three escapes.

Umer Kahn, after a two-point takedown, pinned Josh Summers in 1:08 to pick up a win in the 182 division.

Qasim Khan, also after scoring two on a takedown, pinned Daniel Mundle in 0:34 for a victory at 220.

Warde won six bouts via pinfall, with three of them going deep into the second period.

Cole Shaughnessy pinned Mike Giordano in 3:17 of the 120 match. Alec Nardone pinned Phillip Boyles in 3:57 at 285. Dylan Cruvinel pinned Tanish Joshi in 3:47 of the 106 bout.

At 132, Foran’s Will Mauro battled with Alex Steele before dropping a 9-5 decision. Mauro scored four points on takedowns and another on an escape.

Foran has wrestled Warde each of the past few seasons, and the start of this annual clash signified the beginning of Foran becoming an elite team after a tough start to the program.

“I knew we made it as a team when, three years ago, Coach Shaughnessey called and wanted to wrestle us,” Esposito said.

In the win over Enfield, Michael Giordano (120), Jordan Lang (126), Mauro (132), Ethan Edmondson (138), Stanko (152), Luth (160), Umer Khan (182), Nolan Bannon (195), Qasim Khan (220) and Phillip Boyles (heavyweight) won on the mat.

Mauro, Edmondson, Kevin Pokornowski (145), Luth, Ronnie Gaul (170), Bill Ives (182), Bannon, Qasim Khan and Giordano had victories in the Newtown match.

Foran earlier defeated Fairfield Prep, 61-12. Gaul, Boyles, Tanish Joshi (106) and Edmondson won on the mat.