Celt Jon Phelps puts a McKay high School wrestler in a compromising position at a dual meet Thursday, Jan. 7. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Celt Jon Phelps puts a McKay high School wrestler in a compromising position at a dual meet Thursday, Jan. 7. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

McNary High School senior Joey Kibbey and sophomore Brayden Ebbs won their divisions at the Don York Invitational Jan 8-9.

The Celtics finished third overall in the annual tournament held at Cleveland High School.

“We were third in that tournament because everyone contributed,” said Jason Ebbs, McNary head coach. “The exceptional parts were the five kids who didn’t place but were one match away from it.”

Kibbey, at 120 pounds, had one fall and three decisions in the run up to his finals match where he face Gary Thayer of Churchill High School. We won the finals match 9-7 for the tournament title.

“Keeping my mind in the game the whole time was a big part of it. I was also lucky to have my whole team behind me,” Kibbey said.

His only disappointment of the tournament was not getting to face first-seeded Gavin Stockwell of Sunset High School. Stockwell lost his third-round match just before Kibbey would have faced him.

The younger Ebbs, at 138 pounds, entered the tournament as the first seed and notched three pins to make his way to the semifinals where he faced Drew Urben of Putnam High School. Urben was the only wrestler to get a point on B. Ebbs in the entire tournament. B. Ebbs won that match in a 14-1 major decision and pinned Isaiah Haynes of Sandy High School for the title.

“I had a good few days where I was in my groove and it was just a big confidence boost,” said B. Ebbs.

Ricky Vincent (113 pounds), Jon Phelps (132 pounds), Carlos Vincent (152 pounds) and Kyle Bonn (220 pounds) all made it to the semifinals at the tournament before getting ousted.

“I think we’re finally coming together more as a team. We had a lot of different small groups forming before the break, but last week it felt like we were all moving in the same direction as one,” said Kibbey.

Prior to the York tourney, McNary traveled to meet McKay and West Salem high schools at McKay Thursday, Jan. 7. The Celts beat both teams by wide margins.

McNary won the McKay dual meet 49-21. Match winners were: R. Vincent by pin in 17 seconds; Kibbey by pin in 27 seconds; Nick Hernandez in a 10-2 major decision; Jon Phelps in a 14-1 major decision; B. Ebbs by pin in 2:52; C. Vincent in an 11-3 major decision; Wyatt Kesler in an 8-0 major decision; Bonn in 5-2 decision; and Keifer Smith by pin in 5:48.

The Celts beat the Titans 66-9. Match winners were Brooke Burrows in a 6-4 decision; R. Vincent by pin in 42 seconds; Hernandez by pin in 1:05; Phelps by pin in 1:35; B. Ebbs by pin in 2:30; C. Vincent in an 8-4 decision; Kesler by pin in 4:49; Jesse Gomez by pin in 3:46; Isaiah Putnam by pin in 2:48; Bonn by pin in 3:00; and Smith by pin in 33 seconds.

“They looked good coming out of the break and those two duals looked good, but our last four duals will be our real challenge this season,” J. Ebbs said. “The last four duals will be where the world can change. Each of them is going to come down to four or five key matches.”