POULSBO — So far this season, the North Kitsap wrestling team has faced teams that were deeper and teams that were more experienced.
But Thursday night, the Vikings got to add a new and unexpected adjective to the list: they faced a team that was younger.
The youthful North Kitsap took advantage of the freshman-heavy Gig Harbor Tides team Thursday night on their way to a 46-36 win.
North Kitsap had seven sophomores among the varsity wrestlers on Thursday night, but for once, it was topped by the team across the mat. Gig Harbor had two sophomores and four freshman.
“We matched up pretty good,” said North Kitsap head coach Larry Maguire. “We didn’t have a lot of seniors and neither did they.”
Gig Harbor had two seniors on its team; North Kitsap had three.
The meet began with two forfeits, as Gig Harbor had no one at the 103-lb. weight class, and the Vikings offered no wrestlers at 112 pounds.
The wrestling then began with Gig Harbor ninth grader Brett Kilcup and Vikings’ 10th grader Kyle Cetnarowski. Cetnarowski earned a third-quarter pin to give North a 12-6 lead.
The Tides evened the score when Sam Easton pinned North Kitsap’s Danny Harris, then surged ahead when Jeremy Jackson, one of the team’s two seniors, pinned sophomore Sean Barker.
They widened the lead to 12 points when the Vikings forfeited at 135 pounds.
Then North Kitsap’s experience kicked in, with three of the next five matches featuring one junior and two seniors.
Doug Piehl earned a pin. Miles Pendergraft earned a pin. In a hard-fought match, Curtis Travelstead earned a 16-7 major decision, avoiding trouble when opponent Brett Prim quickly eluded a hold and briefly took advantage of the match early in the third.
Leo Pendergraft dominated his match against Jason Pope, whirling Pope to the mat in the first few seconds and earning a pin in a scant 46 seconds.
Clark Hutchman followed with a pin of Gig Harbor’s Taylor Leonard in 1:21 — racking up at 11-0 lead before he did so.
Gig Harbor forfeited the 189-lb. weight class, then earned six points back when 215-lb. Casey Proktor pinned Mike Storey.
The Tides got six more when North Kitsap forfeited the 275-pound weight class, but it still left them 10 points short.
Gig Harbor head coach Raoul Ancira was understanding of the loss.
“We’ve got a senior and two juniors that provide us with effective wins,” he said, “but that’s about it.”