Out of Write Field
Making sense of the ever-changing South Kitsap sports landscape.
The News Tribune’s John McGrath caught up with John Lundberg to look back at South Kitsap’s 1950 state boys basketball championship. Similar to this season’s team, the 1950 squad entered the state tournament without great expectations for success. Despite that, the Wolves took Seattle’s Lincoln High School into overtime before winning 40-37 to claim its first — and only — state title at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
McGrath’s column features several notable points of interest, including the relatively small size of the high school at the time and the presence of Ed Pepple at Lincoln. Pepple went on to coach at Fife and Mark Morris before finishing a 42-season run at Mercer Island, where he retired in 2009 as the winningest high-school basketball coach in state history. McGrath also quoted legendary former Seattle Post-Intelligencer Royal Brougham’s account of the game: “The country cousins from Port Orchard took the city slickers for a hay ride. Never has a team with more heart ever won the state basketball tournament.”
South Kitsap is one win away from advancing to the Tacoma Dome. The Wolves (16-8) defeated Stadium 62-42 on Monday and advance to regionals where they play at 4 p.m. Saturday against Garfield at Jackson High School. South moves onto the state quarterfinals, which begin Feb. 28, if it defeats Garfield (22-1). The semifinals are played March 1 with the championship game the following day.
TACOMA — South Kitsap coach Chad Nass said during last weekend’s regionals at Snohomish High School that he expected a rematch between Damien Medeiros and Lake Stevens’ Brandon Johnson for the 285-pound Class 4A state championship. And that is exactly how it played out Saturday at Mat Classic XXV.
Medeiros, a South senior who placed eighth at state a year ago at 285, won a 3-2 overtime decision in the semifinals against Kentlake’s Tyler Deskins. Meanwhile, Johnson won 5-2 against Tahoma’s Ed Torres.
The championship match is scheduled for 9:10 tonight.
TACOMA — South Kitsap senior Damien Medeiros was the school’s only wrestler to win both of his matches Friday at Mat Classic XXV at Tacoma Dome. He is scheduled to face Kentlake’s Tyler Deskins at 11:20 a.m. Saturday in the Class 4A 285-pound semifinals.
Medeiros won 1-0 in the first round against Puyallup’s Trent Nivala and then pinned Issaquah’s Jonathan Norris in 2:38 minutes in the quarterfinals. South coach Chad Nass said the score against Nivala did not reflect how well Medeiros competed.
“He really controlled the whole match,” he said.
The opposite could describe the consolation round girls match that again pitted teammates Caleenda Johnson and Amberlee Brasch against each other at 130 for a third consecutive week in the postseason. Johnson won at sub-regionals, while Brasch was victorious at regionals. This time, it was Johnson who needed seven rounds before she earned an escape point that led to a 2-1 win.
“We practice with each other every day, so we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” Johnson said. “She chose the top [to start the round] because I usually can’t get out of it. This time I did.”
Johnson said she was determined to win because she is a senior. Despite that, she said it was difficult to knock her teammate out of state. Brasch, a junior, became the first female in school history to place at state last year when she finished fifth. The two practice against each other and are friends.
“I feel happy and devastated at the same time,” Johnson said.
On the boys side, Adam Gascoyne (152), Bryce Broome (170) and Michael Beard (182) remain active in the consolation round.
Gascoyne won his first match, 4-2, against Auburn’s Josh Tate, but lost 7-4 versus Evergreen’s Tekwon Wallace in the quarterfinals. He is scheduled to face Yelm’s Brandon Rochester at 8:28 a.m. Saturday.
Broome also won his first match, 2-1, against Lewis & Clark’s Anthony Thomas, but suffered a 10-0 setback versus Evergreen’s Anthony Thomas in the quarterfinals. He is scheduled to face Kamiak’s Tyler Webley at 8:44 a.m. Saturday.
Beard lost in the opening round when he was pinned by Union’s Cody Gromes in 5:46, but advanced to the second day of the event when he pinned Spanaway Lake’s Zack Bickford in 37 seconds. He is scheduled to face Tahoma’s Austin Perry at 8:44 a.m. Saturday.
Senior Ben de Lacy also advanced to state at 145, but was pinned by Chiawana’s Clayton Smith in 2:31 and then lost an 11-5 decision against Kentlake’s Josh Becker to be eliminated.
TACOMA — Not much in the way of surprises during Friday’s opening round of Mat Classic XXV for South Kitsap as it played out pretty similar to last week’s regionals at Snohomish High School. Seniors Adam Gascoyne (152 pounds), Bryce Broome (170) and Damien Medeiros (285) all won in the first round. None of the wins were a surprise as each competed for a regional championship.
On the girls side, senior Caleenda Johnson (137) also won her first match when she pinned Ilwaco’s Raven Rogers in 3:45 minutes. In the same weight class, South junior Amberlee Brasch, who defeated Johnson last week to win the regional title, was pinned in 2:48 by Kelso’s Mariah Horton. Both compete again tonight with Johnson moving to the semifinals, while Brasch looks to place for the second consecutive year through the consolation bracket.
Gascoyne, who also captured a regional title, won a 4-2 decision against Auburn’s Josh Tate. Broome and Medeiros, both of whom placed second at regionals, had narrow wins. Broome won a 2-1 decision against Lewis & Clark’s Dakota Numbers, while Medeiros defeated Puyallup’s Trent Nivala 1-0. All three wrestle again during tonight’s quarterfinals.
The Wolves’ setback came at 145, where senior Ben de Lacy was pinned in 2:31 by Chiawana’s Clayton Smith and 182 when Michael Beard was pinned in 5:46 by Union’s Cody Gromes. Both are scheduled to compete during tonight’s consolation round.
Brackets for Friday and Saturday’s Mat Classic XXV have been posted on Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s website. Five South Kitsap boys wrestlers qualified for state from Saturday’s Class 4A Region 1 Tournament at Snohomish High School. They include Ben de Lacy (145 pounds), Adam Gascoyne (152), Bryce Broome (170), Michael Beard (182) and Damien Medeiros (285). On the girls side, Amberlee Brasch and Caeleenda Johnson both qualified for state.
South Kitsap offensive lineman Austin Kanouse decided Monday he will walk-on this fall at Washington State University. Kanouse’s father, Adam, said his son passed on six scholarship offers from lower-division programs to play for the Cougars. The younger Kanouse was a first-team, Class 4A Narrows League offensive lineman last fall.
South Kitsap’s boys basketball team will need to win its final two league games to have an opportunity to claim Class 4A Narrows League’s No. 2 seed entering next week’s West Central District Tournament. That is significant because 4A Narrows’ second-place team hosts the seventh seed from 4A South Puget Sound League on Feb. 13. Meanwhile, the No. 3 seed from 4A Narrows must travel to 4A SPSL’s fourth-place team that night.
The Wolves put themselves in this predicament with a 67-36 loss Friday at Olympia and their one-point overtime loss Jan. 23 against Bellarmine Prep. South defeated both schools earlier in the season and could have wrapped up a league championship by sweeping both.
Instead, the Wolves now must win tonight against Yelm and then Wednesday versus Stadium, which defeated South 64-54 on Dec. 12, to clinch a tie for second with the Tigers (12-6 overall, 9-2 league). That is the best the Wolves can hope for as Stadium cannot lose ground in 4A Narrows tonight because it plays a nonleague game against Timberline.
If South (12-6, 7-3) wins its final two games, it must play a tiebreaker game against the Tigers. Athletic director Ed Santos said Monday he does not know when or where that game would be played.
The last couple games of the season for both the South Kitsap boys and girls basketball teams will be two days earlier than previously scheduled. Lisa Pavlik, who is athletic director Ed Santos’ administrative assistant, said the changes came because Narrows League officials want to leave time for tiebreaker games before the West Central District Tournament, which begins Feb. 13. The top four teams in the Class 4A Narrows League advance to districts.
Those changes mean South’s boys team now will host Yelm on Feb. 4 and Stadium on Feb. 6. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m. Meanwhile, the girls team will play the same schedule — the only difference is those contests will be on the road.
South Kitsap aims to extend its regular-season win streak to 190 consecutive matches at 7 tonight at Yelm. It is the final match of the season before the Wolves enter the postseason. The Wolves have not lost a regular-season league match since December 1992 against North Thurston.