Sports

Sophomores help pull SK away from Bellarmine

If there was one inkling that Bellarmine could end the streak, the South Kitsap High School wrestling team put that idea to rest Tuesday night after SK’s sophomore lightweights and senior Dustin Johnson swept the final four matches with pins to give SK a 49-19 win.

Bellarmine, which won the Narrows League sub-regional last year, trailed 27-3 only to come back and cut SK’s lead to 25-19.

SK lost two team points because of an unsportsmanlike penalty assessed to SK heavyweight Clayton Hutchins.

A random draw had the teams open the match at 130 pounds, which meant the SK wrestlers in the lower weight classifications would determine the outcome.

They didn’t disappoint.

Sophomore Tyler Hoskins (103 pounds) gave SK a needed boost with a pin against Jim Cooper midway through the second period.

Sophomore Brandon Kelly (112) made quick work of his pin, recording a fall against Mark Perez in 1 minute, 21 seconds. Jacob Coppinger also made his pin look easy, besting Chester Ingraham in 1:21. Johnson concluded the dual match with a pin against Seamus Soran in 3:49.

Early in the match James Thompson (135) recorded a pin against Adam Fleck three seconds before the end of the first period.

Craig Senter (140) won by forfeit, Pat Kelly (145) earned a 11-0 major decision over Brian Hale, John Cisney (152) pinned David Mayberry, and Jacob Kathan (160) registered an 18-2 technical fall against Erik McNeal.

The two most exciting matches of the night ended in a pair of losses for the Wolves. At 130 pounds, Micah Kipperberg faced off against Arne Hakansen, both undefeated in the early season. The duo jostled for position through the first two periods, entering the third and final period deadlocked at 1-1.

With less than a minute remaining Hakansen recorded a takedown, and kept Kipperberg down until he escaped with eight seconds to go.

Trailing 3-2, Kipperberg couldn’t get in a shot for a takedown and lost the bout.

Devin Spencer (215) probably left Bellarmine’s gym the most exhausted.

In a grueling match against Patrick McKillop, the pair finished the first two periods tied 2-2.

After McKillop earned an escape point, Spencer scored a takedown to take a one-point lead. But McKillop countered with a reversal and won the match 5-4.

Johnson said he had all the confidence in the sophomores to run away with the victory. “I was pretty confident in all our lightweights,” he said. “They’re still pretty young rookies but they’re all real good and we’ve always been strong in our lightweights.”

The Wolves also won Thursday night at Port Angeles (results unavailable at press time) to move the consecutive dual meet victories in the Narrows League to 98.

That sets up win No. 99 at Shelton (Dec. 17) and No. 100 at Bremerton (Dec. 19).

The timing of competition couldn’t be better for SK, which is competing at the Lake Washington Invitational today.

Hudiburg said it will be critical for the sophomores to get more mat time today because they’ll be wrestling more in one day than they’ve had to in the past.

Johnson said he hopes the team makes a statement today. After placing 15th at state last year, this year’s squad didn’t make the state top 10 poll.

“Not being ranked is a surprise,” Johnson said. “It made some guys mad and surprised some people because we’ve got three returning staters and two alternates from last year.”

The snub in the polls doesn’t bother Johnson too much though. “Oh, I think we’ve got a pretty bright future,” he said.

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