Washington senior sets single-season wins record with 42

Published 1:52 am Thursday, February 5, 2009

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
WILSON — It was an unforgettable evening for Gabe Gardner and the Pam Pack wrestling team on Tuesday at Hunt High School in Wilson.
Gardner surpassed former Pam Pack star Gerald Lawrence to become Washington’s single season wins record holder as the Pam Pack picked up its first NCHSAA Class 3A Dual Team Championships victory in more than a decade, with a 52-21 drumming of Wilson- Hunt.
The Pam Pack advanced to the second round, where they were eliminated by Havelock, 39-25, thanks in large part to forfeits at three weight classes.
Still, smiles filled the Hunt gymnasium following the two matches
Gardner set the tone early for Washington in its battle against Hunt. The 135-pound grappler was the first one to take the mat, and he quickly dispensed of the Warriors’ Bradley Williams, pinning the Hunt junior in 1:30 to score his 41st win on the year, tying Lawrence’s mark.
Getting off the mat quickly seemed to be a reoccurring theme for Washington in its first round match.
Aaron Quinones (145), Darien Peele (152), Martelles Jones (171), Justin “Weasel” Moore (189) and heavyweight Marquin Hill each scored first period pins to help the Pam Pack take a commanding 46-0 lead after nine rounds.
Johnnie Smallwood (215) added a 17-8 major decision over Hunt’s Kenny Hertling, while Josh Stone (140) and Michael Goldberg (160) each scored decisions as the Pam Pack grabbed control early.
Daniel Garcia (119) picked up the final win by forfeit.
Hunt manufactured 21 points as Jake Britt (103), Malex Hodges (112) and Spencer Rahm (125) each won by forfeit, before 130-pounder David High scored a 6-2 decision over Washington’s Timothy Tetterton in the final match.
In the nightcap Washington had to forfeit three weight classes and also had to do without the services of heavyweight Marquin Hill (38-5 on the year), who continues to nurse a knee injury that he suffered in the Coastal Conference Championships last Saturday.
The Pam Pack (25-9) got off to a good start against the Rams (24-2), before its shortcomings became evident.
Washington jumped out to a 10-3 lead as Quinones (7-5 on the season) pinned Havelock senior Taylor Varden in 1:59 in the 145-pound match, before Peele (37-11 on the year) picked up a major decision over Rams’ sophomore Shame Williams at 152 pounds.
Havelock trimmed the lead to 10-9 as Tyler Merkel decisioned Goldberg (11-10) at 160 pounds, before Ben Farren defeated Martelles Jones, 6-2 at 171 pounds.
The Pam Pack rebounded in the next two matches, as Moore toyed with Havelock’s Maurice Greene (42-14) en route to a 13-6 decision at 189 pounds, while Johnnie Smallwood (33-5) scored a 6-3 win over Zach Miller in the 215-pound bout to help the Pam Pack take a 16-9 lead.
But that’s when the holes in Washington’s lineup took its toll. Havelock heavyweight Charlie Millea (33-3) quickly dispensed of Washington freshman Jeremy Deitrick with an opening round pin, before Rams’ lightweight Jake Smith gave the Rams a 21-16 lead with his win by forfeit at 103 pounds.
Daniel Garcia (13-9) gave the Pam Pack a glimmer of hope when he scored a 6-3 decision over Rams’ star Matt Bogard (48-9) in the 112-pound tilt to cut the deficit to 21-19.
But by having to forfeit the next two weight classes, the Pam Pack found themselves in an insurmountable hole.
Havelock’s David Stone (24-4) secured the Rams’ win as he pinned Tetterton in 1:06 to win the 130-pound match and give Havelock a 39-19 lead.
However, the Pam Pack had one final piece of business, as Gardner took to the mat against Havelock’s Raymond Davis with a chance to establish the new school record for wins in a season.
Gardner jumped out to an early lead in his match, and took control in the second period as he scored back points to go ahead 5-2. With the record insight, Gardner made history as he rolled Davis to his back midway through the period and pinned him in 3:02 to pick up his 42nd win of the year.