Sports

Bellarmine gives South Kitsap matmen a scare

Ron Hudiburg is known as a subdued wrestling coach at South Kitsap High School.

But he couldn’t contain his excitement after sophomore Jon Potts registered a pin on Bellarmine’s John Hallberg in a Narrows League dual match Thursday night in the SK gym.

Hudiburg leaped in the air a few times raising his fists as Potts gave SK a 25-12 lead.

A Potts loss would have given the Lions an eventual lead because

SK was about to give them 12 points because of forfeits at the 103-pound and the 275-pound weight classes.

In previous years, wrestling competition started at 103 pounds and ended with the heavyweight.

A new rule this year makes it so no weight class knows which is going to start first.

For example, Bellarmine and SK started the match with their 130-pound wrestlers, making the 125-pound match the final competition.

Potts’ pin gave SK a 13-point lead, but Bellarmine pulled to within one point at 25-24 because of the back-to-back forfeits.

But the Wolves’ lightweights took care of business and helped give the team a 38-24 lead, extending the league match-winning streak to 87 matches.

Senior Kyle Timbers (119 pounds) was the only other SK wrestler to register a pin.

SK senior Evan Winslow (160) pulled off a 7-4 decision against Chris James, who won districts last year as a wrestler at Capital.

Senior Tommy Bayne (140) endured a tough match against David Maybury, but held him off for the 7-5 win.

Micah Kipperberg earned a 12-2 major decision against Jeff Gazarek, Dustin Johnson (125) defeated Arne Hakanson 6-3, Craig Senter (130) handily defeated Adam Fleck 10-1, Kyle Caldon (152) defeated Rob Ainslee 9-3, and Brendon Little (135) won by forfeit.

Hudiburg said the pin from Potts made a huge difference.

“It was the big one,” Hudiburg said. “We could have gotten really down there (if he lost). Take that (match) away and it’s 32-30. That’s how close it was.

Hudiburg said he is pleased with the conditioning of his wrestlers this early in the season.

That helped the team pull through against an improved Bellarmine squad, he said.

Timbers said Bellarmine’s talent surprised all the SK wrestlers.

“Bellarmine came out to wrestle tonight,” Timbers said. “They surprised us.”

Caldon said Potts’ match clearly changed the momentum of the match.

“We knew Potts had to win,” Caldon said. “He pulled it off and that changed the tempo going into the rest of the matches.”

Winslow said he thinks this year’s SK team is a lot stronger than last year’s team but more mat time is needed for that talent to show.

“We just need to get more mat experience,” Winslow said. “It’s not that we don’t have anyone new. We just need guys to get a feel for what it is like to be on the mat over and over again.”

That’s where the Lake Washington Invitational comes into play, Hudiburg said.

“It’s just practice,” he said. “They’ll get some good seasoning there.”

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