Sports

CK, Oly look to stop South Kitsap streak

Olympic High wrestling coach Darryl Smith said there’s a reason South Kitsap has won 91 straight Narrows League dual matches.

The Wolves have not lost a league match since North Thurston beat South in December of 1992.

“(Coach) Ron Hudiburg has put together a real competititve program and they’ve had a lot of outstanding wrestlers,” Smith said.

The other reason is the competition.

“They’ve been wrestling in the second worst league in the state, with the Metro League being the worst,” Smith said.

So, how would the Wolves have fared if they’d been part of the old Olympic League during the last 10 years?

“They’d have dominated the league,” Smith said, “but somewhere along the line, Central Kitsap or Olympic would have gotten ’em.”

Central and Olympic, now part of the Narrows League Bridge Division, wrestle the Wolves this week. Olympic visits South on Tuesday, Jan. 10 and Central hosts South on Thursday, Jan. 12. Both start at 7 p.m.

Smith gives the Wolves the edge, but his veteran Trojans, wrestling better than he thought they would at this stage of the season, have a chance to pull the upset.

“I’m toying with the idea of moving some guys around,” Smith said. “We’ll see. I think it’ll come down to some swing matches.”

Olympic and South have both lost non-league duals to state 4A power Decatur.

Olympic’s strength is its experience “We’ve got no sophomores in the starting lineup,” Smith said.

That’s why Central coach Jim Northcutt gives Olympic a better shot at knocking off the Wolves than his Cougars.

“South seems to do well in duals,” Northcutt said. “They don’t have any weaknesses. In duals, if you have three or four dead weights, you’re in trouble.

“Olympic has a better shot than we do. Olympic’s tough kids are in South’s tough kids’ weights. ... Olympic makes me nervous. They’re tough where we’re weak. They’re tough in the low weights and we’re not. That’s the price you pay when you have sophomores.”

Central and Olympic collide on Thursday, Jan. 15. South, Olympic and Central will also see each other at the CK Matman Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 12.

Teams to beat — Bremerton and South Kitsap were the consensus picks to rule boys basketball in the Narrows League Bridge Division this season, but North Kitsap (3-0 league, 8-3 overall) and Gig Harbor (2-0, 9-1) have moved to center stage.

North’s tall (6-9, 6-6, 6-6, 6-3, 6-1), athletic, can shoot it and displays the kind of poise that you’d expect out of a veteran team.

Gig Harbor has won nine straight, including convincing homecourt wins over Olympic (84-43) and Central Kitsap (50-37), since opening the season with a 49-39 loss against Stadium.

The Tides impressed Olympic coach Robert Polk.

“They pass the ball well, they cut at the right times, they just understand,” Polk said. “I was talking to (Sequim coach) Brian Roper and he said, ‘I played (Gig Harbor) 10 times when I was at North Mason and lost to them everytime.’ He said it was like watching a bunch of old guys play. You get older and you get smarter. That just hit it on the head. They’re very disciplined, they understand their roles and just execute well. Defensively, they deny everything. Yeah, they’re a force to be reckoned with.”

Who drew up this schedule? — Central Kitsap (2-9) had played just two home boys basketball games going into its game at Olympic High on Friday, Jan. 4. And the Cougars don’t play at home again until Jan. 23. Thirteen of CK’s first 15 games are away games.

Central’s final five games are at home, but it might be too late by then.

“It’s a horrible schedule for gaining any confidence,” CK coach Al Gleich said. “I can’t wait to get home. Maybe Olympic will feel at home for me.”

Gleich, former coach at Olympic, returned to his old school for the first time as an opposing coach.

Scheduling wasn’t the only problem.

“We’ve just lost for so many years now we don’t know how to win,” Gleich said. “They’ve got to hate losing more than they like winning, and at this time I don’t think they understand that. It’s got to hurt when they lose. It hurts me. I don’t sleep well.”

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