Mental preparation.

It's a crucial ingredient for success in every sport. South Western High wrestling coach Brad Zeigler felt his team came out stale and stagnant on the mats against Warwick on Thursday.

The Mustangs finally erupted following a workmanlike win from Jerome Beers and Aram Moffit's 43-second pin of Zach Sayevskry. South Western stormed back from a 15-0 deficit to stamp a 37-24 win over Warwick.

"The bottom line is we've got work to do," Zeigler said. "I don't think we were mentally ready for this one. I don't think we really looked ourselves. We're still in the working process. We looked past this one, which we shouldn't have done. I've just got to get the kids more mentally prepared and, the way our performance was, I take the blame 100 percent."

There wasn't much blame to heap on Logan Feeser. The tall, gangly 106-pounder seized a late momentum surge, pinning Josh Charles in 3:30. That win, followed by Cole Sterrett's 4-3 win over Logan Stroh in the 113-pound bout allowed the Mustangs to seize a 25-18 lead.

While Zeigler appeared incensed at the lack of mental savvy, he credited his youth-laden team for gutting out the win.

Moffitt, who's been potent all season, came out guns-a-blazing and set the tone with his performance in the 220-pound match.

Nick Klecker won the 132-pound battle with a 5-4 win over Matt Mousetis. In the 138-pound match, Brandon Lookenbill was able to counter some moves before pulling Evan Ney into a 2:26 pin. What started as a lackluster showing turned into a considerable tune-up for the postseason.

In the battle of the behemoths, Warwick's Tom Devenney soldiered on following a balky shoulder that forced him to halt the action. Devenney came back to register a 6-0 win over Devin Ackerman in the 285-pound bout, slicing the Mustangs' lead to 18-16

Though the Mustangs may not have come in with the focus and the intensity level expected at this point of the season, they showed resilience down the stretch.

"We definitely came back," Zeigler said. "It was nice to see them battle back and get the win. All in all, we had some kids that stepped up and really helped deliver this W."

zsmart@eveningsun.com