Boys basketball: Wolves break out second half results in win

Junior guard Nars Martinez hit a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter to put the Wolves ahead for good in their 58-45 season-opening win Wednesday against Yelm.  - Kenny Gatlin photo
Junior guard Nars Martinez hit a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter to put the Wolves ahead for good in their 58-45 season-opening win Wednesday against Yelm.
— image credit: Kenny Gatlin photo

With only four varsity players returning from last season’s team, South Kitsap coach John Callaghan expected a transition phase.

The Wolves could only hope that transformation occurred during halftime.

After a sluggish first half, South played much better in the final 16 minutes during a 58-45 win Wednesday in its season opener against Yelm.

“I don’t know if we even had an offensive rebound in the first half,” Callaghan said. “We just weren’t going after the ball.”

The Wolves trailed 25-19 at halftime after scoring just four points in the second quarter.

“I think we were a little bit rattled in the beginning with it being the first home game,” said South junior guard Nars Martinez, who scored a game-high 18 points.

That was not a concern in the second half, though. The Wolves needed less than a minute to match their second-quarter point total and later tied the game at 29 on a 3-pointer by Michael Powell with 5 minutes, 36 seconds left in the third period.

“We did a nice job of moving it in the second half and getting some open shots,” Callaghan said. “We have some guys who can make some plays — we just have to play with some confidence.”

But the Tornados, who play in the Class 3A Narrows League, later regained their advantage, 37-35, on a pair of free throws by forward Joe Zawislak with 1:10 left in the third.

Martinez responded with five consecutive points to give South a permanent lead, but it was a 3-pointer by sophomore wing Kellen Traxel that essentially ended any comeback prospects for Yelm. That shot gave the Wolves a 48-42 lead with 1:47 left in the contest and forced the Tornados to foul.

“For a sophomore to even shoot that 3 in the fourth quarter — with the game on the line — he can play,” Callaghan said. “There’s not a lot of fear in him.”

The schedule becomes much more difficult for South as it faces Foss, which placed sixth in the 4A state tournament in 2009, at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Wolves’ four-game road trip then continues at 7 p.m. Wednesday against Lincoln, which advanced to state last season.

“There’s a lot more athletic teams out there than (Yelm),” Martinez said. “We’ve got to play a lot better than that.”

At South Kitsap 58, Yelm 45

Yelm 16 9 12 8 — 45

South Kitsap 15 4 16 23 — 58

Yelm: Bryan Miskimens 5, John Larsen 5, Keith Anderson 8, Jacob Smith 0, Jonas Chambers 11, Brandt Hetland 5, Joe Zawislak 11, Guy Simpson 0.

South Kitsap: Aaron La Deaux 4, Thomas Simpson 0, Michael Powell 11, Devon Newquist 2, Steven Ebner 8, Colin Gallagher 4, Angelo Hazely 0, David Hunnicut 3, Nars Martinez 18, Kellen Traxel 7, Quentin Harris 0, Devonte Longmire 0, James Hyson 1.

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