After a loss to Braintree on Feb. 1, the Rockets have reeled off five straight victories – with their latest coming via a 42-30 win over rival Wellesley on Feb. 8.

Barring the first day of the month, when it comes to the wrestling mat, February has been virtually perfect for the Needham wrestling team.

After a loss to Braintree on Feb. 1, the Rockets have reeled off five straight victories – with their latest coming via a 42-30 win over rival Wellesley on Feb. 8.

Needham finished its regular season with an 11-8-1 record.

“It was great to finish over .500 with only six seniors on the team,” Needham coach Robert Pritchett said. “Three of them were hurt most of the year and for us to have three, four first-year wrestlers wrestling varsity, those are the kinds of years you go ‘Wow’. I don’t think you can ask for too much more than that from a varsity lineup.”

And this past Saturday, at the Division 1 Central Sectional meet, three Rockets managed to advance to the D1 State meet being held this Friday and Saturday at Newton South High School.

The three wrestlers advancing are junior captain Peter Bannon, and senior captains Adam Kates and Carl Surhan, as the top-four finishers from sectionals – in their respective weight classes – advance another weekend.

Overall, Needham has three guys who are alternates for states, as one placed fifth and two guys finished sixth. Kates (120 pounds) finished fourth, while Bannon (126) and Surhan (182) both finished third.

“Those guys are consistent, every one of them and they wrestle hard,” Pritchett said. “Adam Kates had the toughest weight class in the whole tournament. … Peter just had a phenomenal tournament. … Carl he did what he was supposed to do.”

And it was those three wrestlers – along with the help of their teammates – who toppled their rivals a few days prior.

The three captains, along with junior heavyweight John Corbett, all won by pin in the victory over Wellesley.

“[Wellesely’s] coach said ‘You’re doing a good job over there but I hate losing to Needham,’” Pritchett said. “That was funny. We both laughed, it was a good match. Our 113-pounder [Joey Woodnorth] had a good match as well.”

It’s been all good matches since Feb. 1. Needham swept a quad-meet on Feb. 3 by beating Waltham (56-24), Quabbin (51-24), Bellingham (87-6) and Watertown (43-34) to guarantee the above .500 record for the season.

And after a win over Wellesley last week, that wraps up a regular season of pleasant surprises for Pritchett and Co.

“I think they’re getting it and we have a young team so for us to win our last matches that’s [a good sign] they get it and they’re getting it,” he said. “They’re starting to understand it and we came together as a team I thought really well. That’s another key component. I’ve had more talented teams but these guys stuck together as a team and they held firm. I challenged them and they stepped up and that made me feel good.”

Tommy Cassell can be reached at 508-626-4405 or tcassell@wickedlocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @tommycassell44.