Pam Pack gets pinned by Rams|Hill wins 15th straight for WHS

Published 12:12 pm Wednesday, December 15, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES,, Sports Writer
The Washington wrestling team has taken several steps in the right direction this season, but despite its progress the Pam Pack was unable to overcome the reigning Coastal Conference champions as it fell 50-25 to Havelock on Wednesday.
The Pam Pack fell behind 32-0 before it posted its first points of the meet. After losing the first six matches, Washington got on the board when Devon Van Cura was able to top Jacob Sandborn in the 152-pound weight class to earn four points.
After Van Cura’s win, Washington scored 15 straight points to cut the Rams’ lead to 32-19.
Ned Batts (160 pounds) recorded the Pack’s first pin of the meet as he took down Josh Harrell. Jack Rodman (171) followed up Batts’ victory by topping John Ellis. Washington’s momentum continued as Raphael Gibbs (189) pinned William Butcher to cut Havelock’s lead to 32-19.
The Pack’s streak stopped at four straight wins as Dillon Cutler (215) was pinned by Shane Williams.
Washington’s Marquin Hill (285) would supply the Pam Pack with its final win of the day as the reigning NCHSAA 3-A state champ pinned Derrick Nelson to bring the score to 38-25. However, Havelock would win the final two matches to take home a 50-25 victory.
Washington coach Daniel Riggs said his team fought hard against the Rams but could not overcome their tough lineup of wrestlers.
“(Havelock) is so tough to beat because of what some of the guys call their “gauntlet,” their 119 (pound wrestler) up to their 145 (pound wrestler),” Riggs said. “I mean they are solid and probably one of the toughest teams in the state in those weight classes.”
Riggs said that despite the loss he felt his team came out and put forth a good effort.
“I was pretty proud of them,” Riggs said. “Some of them might have been a little nervous, but they went out there and tried moves that we worked on this week and we did better than what I thought we would; especially Jack Rodman, Devon Van Cura and Raphael Gibbs.
“Those guys have been going at it hard in the practice room and you can see that they have been performing pretty well. I told them to just go out and give it everything that they’ve got and if they do that then things will turn out alright.”
Someone who always seems to end up alright is Hill, who improved his record to 15-0 on the season when he pinned Nelson.
Riggs said that returning state champ has worked hard to expand his game even further this season.
“Marquin went out there and you can tell he is starting to get more confident in his shots (taking an opponent down to the ground). Tonight he took about three or four of them and actually finished them,” Riggs said. “He’s been working in the practice room taking shots. He’s mainly been working with me and some of the other coaches because he is so strong.”
The win improves Hill’s career win total to 134 and leaves him 35 wins behind Washington’s all-time leader Justin “Weasel” Moore, who set the record last season.
Riggs said that even though Hill has had tremendous success throughout his wrestling career the senior still comes in and gives it all he has in the practice room.
“He’s been coming in and working just as hard, if not harder, than last year,” Riggs said. “You can see he is trying different things because he knows he has a bullseye on his back and some of the guys know his moves.”
Washington will be back in action this Saturday when it wrestles at D.H. Conley.