Kipperberg takes first, SK second at CK Matmen tourney

Fresh off a week of intense competition, the South Kitsap High School wrestling team is in the midst of another week of high-caliber competition.

Last week the Wolves upended Olympic, escaped Central Kitsap with a 40-25 win, and capped the week off with a second-place finish at the CK Matmen tournament Saturday.

SK hosted Gig Harbor last night, battles Narrows League Bay Division champion Bellarmine on the road tomorrow night at 7 p.m., and hosts its own tournament Saturday.

Despite all the mat time, fatigue is not an issue with any SK wrestler.

Junior Dustin Johnson, who placed third at the CK tourney, said confidence is brewing more as the season gets older.

“Last week was a tough week, but we still have to stay focused within our matches,” Johnson said. “I’m expecting good results (this week, too). As a team, I’m feeling really good. I feel good about the team now and next year.”

SK coach Ron Hudiburg said this week will be just as tough as last week.

“We have the cross-over with Bellarmine to decide the whole thing,” Hudiburg said. “We had a tough one with them last year and it’s going to be tough again.

The CK and SK tournaments are always a measuring stick of where SK wrestlers stand as they prepare for the post-season tournaments.

Hudiburg said he was pleased with his team’s showing at the CK tournament.

“It’s tough to get up for something like this (after the CK and Olympic dual matches),” Hudiburg said. “Our goal was to come in here (the CK tournament) and be in the top four and finish ahead of Olympic and Central. Add a little insult to injury if possible I guess.”

What may be more important is the mental moxie displayed by many SK wrestlers, Hudiburg said.

“Best thing I see is when kids get beat and come back and win some matches because it’s easy to let down,” Hudiburg said. “We had a bunch of losses in the semis and they came back and won.”

Derek Kipperberg (119 pounds) led the Wolves arsenal with his second consecutive title.

He coasted through his bracket and pinned Tahoma’s Jon Maryanski in the final.

Sophomore Micah Kipperberg (112) and senior Evan Winslow (160) also earned a spot in the finals but had to settle for second place.

Micah Kipperberg lost a tough 12-10 decision to Enumclaw’s Jake Gonzales.

Winslow was outmatched against Sumner’s Cory Devela, whose lanky frame

was too tough to handle.

Enumclaw ran away with the team title with 252.5 points. SK followed with 160 points. Tahoma finished three points behind SK with 157 points.

Kyle Caldon (152) joined Johnson with third-place finishes.

John Cisney (140) lost his first match but won his next four matches to get into the third-place match. He lost a tough 9-5 decision to CK’s Jason Sencil.

Cory Westlin (103) advanced to the semifinals before an injury forced him to default. He still earned a sixth-place finish.

Devin Spencer (189) also made it to the semifinals but lost his next two matches and had to settle for fifth place.

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