Pam Pack disposes of first two playoff opponents

Published 3:01 pm Wednesday, February 1, 2017

LEXINGTON — Washington had the deck stacked against it in Tuesday’s first and second round of the state dual-team playoffs. The Pam Pack earned the No. 1 overall seed in the east, but still had to travel about four hours to Lexington Senior.

That didn’t slow down the Pam Pack. The boys handled Lexington Senior and Salisbury to punch their ticket for Thursday.

“The guys responded well. I talked to them before we left and told them to treat it like a business trip,” coach Chris Penhollow said. “They brought futon mattresses and stuff to make a big bed in the back of the handicap bus.”

Penhollow said that before things got started, he used the fact that they had to travel as a means to rile up the team.

It worked. Austin Koonce, Drew Ferguson and Logan Nichols picked up pins in a 42-13 first-round win over Salisbury. Once the win was locked down, Washington forfeited its last few matches so as to speed things up.

“I told them that we’re just trying to get out of here and go home because these kids have to go to school (Wednesday),” Penhollow said. “We got done with that match pretty quickly.”

Washington conquered and advanced. The Pam Pack turned right around and jumped on Lexington Senior in the second-round match. Jacob Smith and Simeon Pope jumpstarted things with pinfall wins. Austin Coward, D.K. Credle and Austin Koonce went on to make it five-straight Pam Pack wins, pushing the hosts back on their heels.

The Pam Pack went on to win the match, 47-28. The match unfolded very much the same way in that Washington built its lead and conceded the last few matches once it have the match locked down, much to the disappointment of the host’s fans.

“Jacob started with their best kid, and he absolutely destroyed that kid,” Penhollow said. “… Then Simeon went out and stuck another one of their good kids. It was the same thing: we went up and forfeited at the end. They got upset. Some of their fans were yelling at our fans.”

Washington will travel to Carrboro for the regional semifinals and regional championship on Thursday. The Pam Pack will take on second-seeded Mt. Pleasant in the third round. Should the boys advance, they’ll meet the winner of Carrboro vs. Wheatmore for a trip to the state championship on Saturday.

“Mt. Pleasant is good,” Penhollow said. “They have an impressive record and beat Croatan (Tuesday) … On paper, I like the way we match up. Again, kids are going to have to step up. On the other side, I think Carrboro is the stronger team. I’m going to spend (Wednesday) working on the best lineup for all three teams.”

Not getting to host throughout the regional matches will continue to fan the flames. The Pam Pack will not only be competing for a trip to the title match, but also for the right to bring that match to Washington. Whichever team comes out of the east will host the state championship on Saturday.