Pam Pack wrestlers take on Bunn in third round

Published 4:55 pm Monday, January 29, 2024

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The road to Greensboro passes through the Nash County hamlet of Bunn for the Washington High School wrestling team.
The second-seeded Pam Pack faces #3 Bunn in the third round of the 2A state wrestling tournament Wednesday at 6 p.m. If they defeat the host school for the second time this season, they will wrestle 90 minutes later for the East championship and the right to compete for the state title Saturday in Greensboro.
Top-seeded Seaforth HS of Pittsboro takes on number four SW Onslow in the other 6 p.m. match.
WHS defeated the Wildcats, 45-30, at home in November to begin the season. Bunn is the two-time defending East champion, while the Pam Pack is looking for its first trip to the dual team finals.
“Both teams have changed since we saw them at the beginning, but beating a team once doesn’t guarantee anything” coach Chris Penhollow said. “We feel good going in, but we have to wrestle smart matches and do the little things to score points. We need to go for pins and major decisions instead of settling for low scoring victories. We also have to keep their scoring to a minimum by not getting pinned and losing by big margins.”
Bunn advanced with decisive victories Saturday at home against West Craven and South Lenoir, while Washington defeated Louisburg 51-28 and North Pitt, 46-29.
“Our guys showed up ready to go and we took care of our business,” Penhollow said. “I thought (freshman) Brennan Warren wrestled a great match against Louisburg and our older guys did what they should have done. Several of our young guys did well In their first state tournament action.”
Junior Marek Bates (190) opened the post-season with a 17-5 rout of his Louisburg opponent, but trailed 22-16 after four early losses. Warren started the comeback with a pin in the 132 lb. class, then Gabe Foreman won a major decision 17-0, and senior TraQuon Haywood pinned his opponent at 165 to clinch the match.
Cam Johnson (215), Keondrick Melton (285), Sam Boltes (106), Bryce Perry (113) and Christian Price (120) won the first five matches against North Pitt for a comfortable lead, then victories from David B. Meza (138), Trent Tucker (144), Evan Makepeace (157) and Haywood ended the Panthers season.
Wednesday will mark Washington’s sixth appearance in the third round since Penhollow arrived 11 years ago and they’ve wrestled for the East title three times.
“It would be great to take that next step, but we have to earn it,” Penhollow said. “We will face quality opponents in both matches and we’ll give it our best shot.”