CK finalists go five for five

"Nick Burpee of Snohomish made a fatal mistake against Garrett Jackson in the 189-pound final of last Saturday night's CK Matmen Tournament.The Cougars' Jason Mendez made a mistake, too, but it turned out to be just an inconvenience.Burpee, after pulling into a 1-1 tie with Jackson on a controversial stalling point, allowed the Cougar senior to take him down with just four seconds remaining in regulation time for a 3-1 decision.Mendez, battling both Bremerton's Eric Smith and his own headgear, had to come back from an 8-3 deficit and a near pin to force an overtime period in the 130-pound finale, finally scoring a 12-10 decision.At times, it appeared that Mendez was trying to pull Smith off of him and pull a loose strap from his headgear out of his own eyes.It was real distracting, said Mendez, whose comeback victory helped the Cougars go 5 for 5 in Matmen championship matches. I tried (before the match) to put some tape on the front. I thought that would do it. But I was wrong.After nearly getting shouldered at the end of the first round, Mendez - all but blindfolded during that time - edged his way back into the match, finally tying it up with a takedown 30 seconds before the end of regulation. It took him just seven seconds to take a tired Smith down again in the sudden-victory overtime.(Eric) just ran out of gas, said Bremerton coach Jeff Barton. I thought he had (Mendez) in the first round. He used everything he had trying to pin him, and then he just couldn't hold on.Mendez' was the third of the Cougars' five championships in the day-long, 13-team tournament. CK also got titles from Lawrence Ng at 103 pounds, Scott Eickmeyer at 125 and Jake Moyer at 171 before Jackson's thriller at 189 gave them a perfect batting average for the finals.I don't think I've ever seen that happen before, for somebody to go five for five, said Cougar coach Doug Pecha. That's the kind of thing that would make any coach happy.The five individual championships pulled CK all the way to second place in the final team standings. The Cougs' 175 points still left them well behind South Kitsap, who had the tourney crown wrapped up early and finished with 207.Olympic was fifth at 114 and Bremerton took 11th place with 68 points.Jackson had lost a close decision to Burpee the previous week at the Snohomish Panther Classic - a match he said he should've won.I made a lot of mistakes in that match, he said. I was winning, but I tried a lot of risk moves, and he made me pay.This time out, both wrestlers played it close to the vest. The result was a 1-0 lead for Jackson late in the third round. That would've been the score if he hadn't been dinged for stalling.I don't think it was justified, Pecha said of the stall point. But I'll tell you what, Garrett will be a lot happier to win it 3-1, the way he won it, than to win 1-0.Jackson said he turned the tables on Burpee when the Snohomish wrestler tried for the win.He shot in, but he was too loose on my legs, Jackson said. I was able to drag him past me and control him.The other Cougar titlists all blazed through their brackets in dominant fashion. Ng had two one-sided decisions before topping Auburn-Riverside's Tonio Thacker 12-3 in the 103 final. Eickmeyer's 18-3 win over Eric Watson of Bethel was his third straight technical fall. And Moyer capped a solid day's work with his 14-5 handling of South's Lowell Bosch.It's nice to see these kids starting to peak at the right time, said Pecha, noting that the Olympic League meet, which blows the whistle on the postseason, is less than three weeks away.It's great for the confidence, said Eickmeyer. I feel good about where I'm at. This is the first tournament where I've basically just killed everybody.Smith was Bremerton's only finalist, but two Knights - Joe Rizzio at 125 pounds and Larry Kimmons at 160 - finished third. Rizzio, a recent transfer from Iowa, was a semifinal victim of Eickmeyer before beating Enumclaw's Charlie Yancey 3-2 and SK's Patrick Heather 10-4 for his bronze. Kimmons dropped a 3-1 decision to eventual champ Brett Herzog of Snohomish, but beat South's Evan Winslow and edged Enumclaw's Brandon Burt 4-3 - scoring the decisive takedown with just four seconds left - to win the consol bracket.Olympic's Mitch Urrutia got into the 140-pound final, but was unable to continue after a second-round injury suffered when Kelso's Bryce Lemmons slammed him to the mat for a takedown. Urrutia was behind 5-1 on points when he was forced to default. "

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