By AARON MANAGHAN
For 26 years, the Battle of the Bay featured a wrestling showdown between Central Kitsap and Olympic high schools.
Last year, Klahowya joined the party, while Bremerton jumped on board this year.
So when Wednesday’s 28th Battle of the Bay finally rolled around, go figure a battle involving the Knights at the Eagle-hosted event would steal the show.
That’s exactly what happened when Bremerton took on Olympic, beginning with 112-pounders Billy Ricahrdson and Jesse Borcherding, two of the top-tanked wrestlers in the state at the weight.
“For me, it’s the first time I got to see both of ’em wrestle,” Oly coach Tim Aiken said. “And it’s Jesse’s first day back.”
In Borcherding’s first match back after suffering a concussion that prevented a possible match-up between the two 112ers at the CK Matman Classic two weeks ago, both wrestlers opened jockeying for position when Richardson got a take to go up 2-0. The first period ended that way.
Borcherding lifted Richardson shortly after the second started, put him down, but couldn’t quite get control at first. Eventually he did for the take, tying the score at 2-2. Richardson was able to reverse it shortly thereafter to go up 4-2. Borcherding almost got out for an escape but barely didn’t as time expired in the round.
Borcherding rolled Richardson, getting the near fall, but Billy slipped out after being nearly pinned. He had his legs wrapped up over his head, but somehow lasted long enough to slip out of it. That gave Borcherding his first edge at 5-4. Borcherding then tried to scramble to his feet but Richardson fell on him for the 6-5 win right before regulation time ended.
“That kind of set the tone,” Bremerton coach Jeff Barton said. “And I’m sure sub-regionals will be another barn-burner.”
Another top match came when Klahowya’s Karl Neumann edged Central Kitsap’s Kent Manalo 2-0 at 145. It’s the closest Neumann has come to a loss this year. CK and Klahowya also had a good bout at 152 between Danny Zimny of the Eagles and CK’s Fanco Cruz, wrestling up. Cruz won 10-2.
“Karl-Manalo was a great match,” Eagles coach Wayne Gizzi said. “Cruz and Zimny going at it was fun. Billy Richardson and Jesse Borcherding was good. There were just some good match-ups.”
Olympic’s Billy Neary, ranked second among the state’s 3A wrestlers at 145 when he left the team, returned more than a week ago for Dream Duals in Spokane, but has yet to step back out on the mat.
“It’s good,” Oly assistant Erick Kendl said. “He’s a good kid. He’s tying hard to keep his priorities in line.”
For complete results, see Wednesday’s edition of the CK Reporter.