Grapplers need a 'big guy'

"Spartan wrestling coach Steve Hohl can identify with Richard III after Thursday's 42-36 loss at Port Townsend evened the team's season record at 4-4-1.A heavyweight! A heavyweight! My kingdom for a heavyweight! has been his season-long mantra as the absence of a genuine big guy has forced several forfeits and personnel alterations as the Spartans could easily be undefeated in dual-meet competition at this point.Against Port Townsend, he bumped Nick McCallum up from his ideal 215 to collect a forfeit as a heavyweight and the subsequent loss at 215 proved decisive. Though prior to that, there were several other missed opportunities - particularly matches where Spartan wrestlers were ahead on points only to make mistakes and be pinned - that would have rendered the higher-weight maneuvering moot.Certainly the match got off to a hopeful start as the Spartans won four of the first six matches by falls: Steve Devine (103) at 1:20, Alonso Valenzuela (112) at 3:06, Travis ever (125) at 4:51 and Brandon Nall (135) at 5:30. Joey Mankes (140) followed with a forfeit to give Bainbridge a 30-12 lead.Then things got ugly, Hohl said as the team was shut out until McCallum collected the final six forfeit points.With Bremerton forfeiting four weights the previous evening, team competition was a foregone conclusion as Bainbridge emerged with a 52-22 win and interest shifted to the match-within-a-match at the 10 contested weights. Though he didn't realize it at the time, that put the onus onto sophomore Peter Mandell (189) as the nine matches before his resulted in a 22-22 tie. Leading 2-1 at the end of the first period, Mandell appeared in trouble midway through the second as his opponent had him turned nearly on his side and perhaps on the verge of being pinned. But Mandell was able to keep his body low, did a nearside roll and snaked his long arm around the other wrestler and in far less time than it has taken you to read this sentence, reversed the situation and eventually recorded a fall at 3:41.Steve Devine (103) began the match in almost classic fashion, taking his opponent down moments after the referee's whistle and quickly and efficiently working toward a fall just 32 seconds into the match. Bremerton came back to take a brief lead at 15-12 before a forfeit and two overwhelming wins by Brandon Nall (140) and Mike Roe (145) who were the wrestling equivalent of environmental fishermen: catch and release. The only points scored against them came when they gave up escape points to their opponents to try to gain a better position for pinning. Nall won 16-4, and Roe was ahead 16-3 before scoring a fall at 4:53.Jacob Hayashi (152) didn't bother racking up a lot of points as he scored a fall at 1:04 to set the stage for Mandell's decisive pin three matches later. After today's Island Invitational tournament, the wrestlers return to action Thursday at Central Kitsap. Tumblers earn brownie pointsCredit gymnastics coach Cindy Guy with being a quick study. The last time she set a point goal for her team, she promised them pizza. So when they faced Port Angeles and North Kitsap on Thursday in Poulsbo, her incentive for them to score 144 points was less expensive: homemade brownies.Guy will put in some serious kitchen time this weekend as her team not only scored 146.45 points but also defeated Port Angeles for the first time in at least six years as they finished nearly two points in front of the Roughriders. North won the three-way competition with 149.85 points.I was really happy with the team, Guy said. They beat their goal by more than two points and scored seven points higher than their previous best this season.Spartan Stephanie Hylen won the individual all-around with a season-best score of 33.75 as co-captain Amy Glover was fifth with 29.5. Hylen was second in vault (8.5), third in bars (7.85), second in beam (8.6) and third in floor exercise (8.8). Glover was fourth in vault (8.4) and second in bars (8.1). Guy also singled out several other team members. The kids really improved a lot, she said. They may not have placed but they all did a great job.* Co-Captain Valerie Henshaw placed sixth in the vault (7.7), had her highest bar score in several years (6.85) and did a nice routine in floor exercise (7.6).* Nicole Bemis also had a nice routine in floor exercise and matched Henshaw's 7.6.* Brittany Swalley improved a point and a half over her previous high score in bars.* Liz Darley, in her first competition since a serious case of appendicitis, had a one-fall beam routine of 7.1.* Darby Cahill, also on beam, scored 7.2.* Alison Kramer had a fine 6.0 on bars.* Jacque Alonso made her bars debut with a score of 4.5.The team's next competition is Thursday against Shorewood, Shorecrest and Capital at Shorewood.Pierce, Whedbee lead hoopstersAt the basketball season's halfway mark, Emily Pierce and Zach Whedbee are the leading scorers for their respective teams. Pierce is averaging 14.1 points per game, while Whedbee's is 13.4.Alice Russell (11.9), Christine Schwager (8.3), Morgan Zajonc (7.3) and Fab Rezayat (6.1) follow Pierce as the team, with six wins and four losses before last night's game with North Kitsap, has averaged 63.5 points while holding opponents to 44.8.Pierce also tops rebounding statistics as she's hauled down an average of 7.7 boards, followed by Russell (6.6) and Schwager (4.4). Rezayat leads in assists with 3.6, with Carlie Miller and Russell at 2.2 and Courtney Kimball and Schwager with 1.9.The girls were recently #15 among 3A teams in The Seattle Times state poll, as their losses have all come to teams that are ranked in either 3A or 4A.For the boys, 6-5 prior to the North Kitsap game last night, Mike Botefuhr (9.5), Teddy Picha (9.2), Nick Thompson (9.1) and Travis Guterson (7.1) are the next four with a team average of 58.5 to their opponents' 57.4.Picha (6.7) and Whedbee (6.6) are the top two boys' rebounders, followed by Thompson (3.6). Botefuhr averages 3.4 assists per game, with Thompson (2.4) second and Whedbee (2.0) third. "

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