Mervo clears Walbrook hurdle

February 03, 1994|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to The Sun

Mervo wants to win the Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference championship. And since the first day of practice, one subject has been repeatedly discussed -- the need to defeat two-time defending champion Walbrook.

"We wanted Walbrook a long time ago," said Mervo heavyweight Shawn Brodie. "It was like we were living in their shadow."

No. 13 Mervo stepped out of the shadows and into the spotlight yesterday when it won four of the first five matches for a quick 21-point lead en route to a 43-21 victory over visiting Walbrook.

Mervo (7-1, 7-0) has a shot at the B Conference title. The Mustangs have three more conference matches, the last at St. Mary's next week. St. Mary's also is perfect in the conference, and that match could decide the title.

Against Walbrook (3-4, 3-2), Mervo coach Dwight Warren said he wanted a fast start.

"My strategy was [for] us to secure the first three matches," said Warren. "That would take the pressure off the back end, where we've been weaker."

The Mustangs gave Warren most of his wish. Terry McNair (103 pounds) won by forfeit, and Millard West (119), Wayne Lucas (125), and McAnthony Thompson (130) all scored first-period pins to give Mervo a quick 24-3 lead.

The teams split the final eight matches, but Walbrook never drew closer than 11 points.

Thompson (14-0) said this victory was almost a necessity for the Mustangs, whom he said had been pointing to this match for a long time.

"We really needed to beat Walbrook so we could [possibly] go to the conference championship," said Thompson.

Mervo also got victories from Bryan Cromwell (145), Stacy Smith (160), Benjamin Braswell (189) and heavyweight Brodie.

Smith, while leading Jamal Jackson 6-2 in the second period, was awarded a victory when an illegal hold from the Walbrook wrestler injured his neck and left him unable to continue.

Braswell trailed Damion Campbell 8-1 in the second period, but rallied for a pin at 2:29. Brodie, ranked sixth in the state, fell behind 5-0 in the first minute. He came back to tie Robert Fowlkes at 5 after the first period and score a 15-11 victory.

Walbrook got victories from Kevin Hughes (112), Donaye Fowlkes (135), Alvin Williams (140), Robin Johnson (152) and Jamil Stoakley (171). The Warriors were missing two starters -- Tramaine Horton (130) and Kevin Muldrow (135, sixth in state) -- but coach Wavie Gibson did not use that as an excuse.

"Talent for talent, [Mervo] is going to come out on top," said Gibson. "They have the numbers, they have the talent."

The victory left Warren with a big smile. He said he and his team pointed to this match all season.

Warren said he gave his strongest pep talk of the season yesterday. His team came out fired up, and it showed throughout the match.

"I was extremely happy with them," said Warren. "The kids worked hard. When you work hard, you're supposed to get paid. Today we got paid.

"My Mustangs looked like stallions."

* Patterson 38, Spalding 29: Patterson, which was 1-10 last year, clinched the Maryland Scholastic Association C Conference regular-season title.

Spalding (3-2, 1-1) took a 19-9 lead after the 135-pound match but the Clippers (6-6, 4-0) got two forfeits to take a 26-19 lead.

Claude Marrow (8-6) clinched the win with a pin at 4:30 of the 189-pound match.

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