Wrestling: Quick start helps Wolves conquer Cougars

South Kitsap senior Josh Smeland pinned Central Kitsap
South Kitsap senior Josh Smeland pinned Central Kitsap's Kurt Koemmpel in 5:04 to help the Wolves to a 42-24 win Tuesday night in a Class 4A Narrows League dual match.
— image credit: Jim Robertson photo

It might be cliché to say it was the luck of the draw.

Except South Kitsap coach Chad Nass was adamant that it was.

Nass said the Wolves could not have had a better draw to start the match than the one they received with 132-pound Matt Haberlach en route to a 42-24 win against Central Kitsap in a Narrows League dual match Tuesday night.

The draw enabled South to put out two of its most accomplished wrestlers first. After Haberlach defeated Brad Schaeffer, 11-8, senior Brenden Hartshorn, the Wolves’ lone returning state participant from last season, won a 6-1 decision versus Matt Wyma at 138.

“That really got our kids fired up and rolling,” said Nass, referring to the early momentum.

South then used that momentum to pull off its two biggest upset of the match. The first came at 145 when Cody Rose won an 8-2 decision against Raven Paulino.

“Paulino was a regional qualifier last year,” Nass said. “Beating a kid like Paulino is a really good win for him.”

Nass also said he thought the Cougars had an advantage at 152. But Josh Smeland earned the Wolves’ first pin on the match in 5:04 minutes against Kurt Koemmpel. That gave South a 21-0 lead.

“He was trying to throw me, but I wouldn’t let him get me,” Smeland said. “I got him on his back and stuck him.”

Nass said both Rose and Smeland deserve a lot of credit.

“We couldn’t have asked for more,” he said. “They’ve got little nagging injuries and they both were wrestling two talented kids. They really showed a lot of heart.”

The Wolves easily could have won their first nine matches. Their only setback came at 170 when Donald Firman had a 7-4 lead with just 1:39 left. But Central’s Kyle Stroble eventually tied the match before pinning Firman in 5:41.

But South followed that with three consecutive wins, including pins by Michael Beard and Jake Villars, which gave the Wolves a 36-6 lead entering the heavyweight match. That was significant because Central’s Kyle Lanoue was the top-ranked heavyweight in Class 4A by the Washington Wrestling Report. Lanoue pinned Damien Medeiros in 1:14.

“Obviously, they have a really talented heavyweight,” Nass said. “We wanted to get as much momentum as possible before that.”

That still required the Cougars to pin their final four opponents for a draw. Only Warren Sprecher, who pinned Elijah Quinene in 36 seconds at 120, was able to accomplish that for Central.

South’s Sean Lutovsky responded by pinning Mike Smith in 1:56 at 126 to close out the match.

The Wolves, who compete Friday and Saturday in the Hammerhead Tournament at the Kitsap Fairgrounds, now have won 179 dual league matches since their last setback in December 1992 against North Thurston.

“Everybody said they could beat us this year,” Smeland said. “This was big.”

At South Kitsap 42, Central Kitsap 24

106-Alison Johnson (CK) d. Will Mahan 6-4. 113-Josh Criollos (CK) d. Kolby Fenton 7-4. 120-Warren Sprecher (CK) p. Elijah Quinene :36. 126-Sean Lutovsky (SK) p. Mike Smith 1:56. 132-Matt Haberlach (SK) d. Brad Schaeffer 11-8. 138-Brenden Hartshorn (SK) d. Matt Wyma 6-1. 145-Cody Rose (SK) d. Raven Paulino 8-2. 152-Josh Smeland p. Kurt Koemmpel 5:04. 160-Bryce Broome (SK) p. Bryce Denis 1:24. 170-Kyle Stroble (CK) p. Donald Firman 5:41. 182-Michael Beard (SK) p. David Dommermuth 2:16. 195-Jake Villars (SK) p. Hunter Rothrock :39. 220-Eddie Meisner (SK) d. Joel Ecklof 5-0. 285-Kyle Lanoue (CK) p. Damien Medeiros 1:14.

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