Sports

Ng has his battered eyes on the prize

"PUYALLUP - The sub-regional wrestling championships won by Central Kitsap's Lawrence Ng and Bremerton's Larry Kimmons last weekend prove one thing:You don't necessarily have to be able to see to be able to win.Both Ng, CK's 103-pounder, and Bremerton's 160-pound Kimmons, won their SPSL South-Olympic League sub-regional championship matches against opponents who seemed bound and determined not just to beat them, but to blind them.Ng (29-1) squinted his way to a still-easy 12-6 decision over Port Angeles' Julio Garcia. Kimmons (20-4) topped Decatur's Jason Bressler 9-3, all the while peering through or around his own headgear, which Bressler repeatedly pulled over his eyes.Central Kitsap finished fourth in the team standings with 158.5 points, behind SPSL powers Spanaway Lake, Decatur and Bethel. The Cougars will advance six wrestlers to this weekend's regional championships at Evergreen High School in Vancouver, Wash.I would've liked to have eight, but this isn't bad, CK coach Doug Pecha said of the regional yield. The one thing about the six guys we have going is that they're all tough guys.It's the same for everybody in this meet, Pecha added. If you're a little bit iffy, you're gone.Olympic placed eighth as a team and will send three wrestlers to the regional. Kimmons heads up a two-wrestler Bremerton delegation.As they did in the recent CK Matmen tournament, the Cougars moved five wrestlers through to the sub-regional finals. Unlike the Matmen, though - where they won five championships - Ng was the only one to climb to the top of the awards platform. Scott Eickmeyer (125), Jason Mendez (130), Chad Eickmeyer (135) and Garrett Jackson (189) all had to settle for second.Keen on improving his third-place finish at last year's Mat Classic state championships, Ng admitted he might have been looking past last weekend's competition a little bit.That is, until Garcia poked him in the eye a couple times and made it hard to look past anything.He hit me in the eye, he knocked my headgear loose, he made my nose bleed, Ng laughed of the slap-fighting sophomore from PA. It took just 20 seconds of the first round for Garcia to knock out one of Ng's contact lenses, an act of marksmanship he'd repeat in the second round.Ng nevertheless maintained control, taking the lead for good with a takedown in the second round. His last two points came when Garcia (24-6) was called for stalling as he backed away from Ng rather than surrender any more takedowns.I tried to get pumped up, said Ng, who also won via pin and technical fall during the tournament, but I wrestled a little sloppy. I took it a little too lightly.He also credited Garcia for something other than his pugilistic skills.He's good. He's quick, said Ng. I've beaten him before, and those are the hardest guys to wrestle, the ones you've already beaten. They want it more.Kimmons proved that in his title bout with Bressler - who won the previous meeting between the two wrestlers by a 3-2 decision two weeks ago at the Klahowya Klassic.He went into the match with revenge on his mind, and not even being blindfolded by his own headgear - which Bressler (27-4) managed repeatedly to yank onto his face - was going to stop him.After falling behind 3-1, Kimmons turned the tables in the second round, dodging Bressler's takedown attempt and using the Decatur wrestler's momentum to his own advantage, riding him down for a near-fall. Kimmons iced the match late in the third round with a final takedown, then thrust his index fingers skyward in triumph as the referee's whistle ended the match.When I got him on his back, I felt good, said Kimmons, who's gunning for his second Mat Classic appearance. I don't think he's been on his back that much this year.He admitted it was a constant distraction, having to adjust his headgear after Bressler repeatedly slapped and yanked at it.He always does that, Kimmons said. He pulls it down and then he shoots. "

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