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Girls basketball: Wolves have points to make this season
Date Opponent Time
Today Lincoln 7 p.m.
Wednesday Shelton 7 p.m.
Friday at Stadium 7 p.m.
Dec. 22 Auburn 6 p.m.
Dec. 28 Wenatchee* 5 p.m.
Dec. 29 Walla Walla* 11 a.m.
Jan. 3 Port Angeles 7 p.m.
Jan. 5 Bellarmine Prep 7 p.m.
Jan. 7 at Central Kitsap 5:15 p.m.
Jan. 12 Gig Harbor 7 p.m.
Jan. 14 at Mount Tahoma 5:15 p.m.
Jan. 19 at Olympia 7 p.m.
Jan. 21 at Shelton 7 p.m.
Jan. 26 Stadium 7 p.m.
Jan. 28 at Bellarmine Prep 7 p.m.
Feb. 2 Central Kitsap 7 p.m.
Feb. 4 at Gig Harbor 7 p.m.
Feb. 9 Mount Tahoma 7 p.m.
* Games at Wenatchee Christmas Invitational
Coach: Mark Lutzenhiser, third season (32-21).
Key returners: G Kelsey Callaghan, 5-3, sr.; G/F Dana Goularte, 5-11, sr.; G Angela Romonsky, 5-6, sr.; G Jackie Steiger, 5-7, jr.
Top newcomers: None.
Key departures: F Danielle Stewart, 5-11, graduated; W Molly Werder, 6-2, graduated.
Relinquishing their duties — even for one minute — during games generally makes a point guard apprehensive.
After all, that position essentially is the hardwood’s version of a quarterback, with all of the attention that comes with it.
But South Kitsap senior Kelsey Callaghan does not view it as a threat.
This season, Callaghan will be paired in the backcourt with another natural point guard, junior Jackie Steiger. Callaghan, who has played with Steiger for years, views it as an opportunity to give the offense more creativity and flexibility.
“I don’t always have to have the ball in my hands,” said Callaghan, who averaged five assists per game last season. “We have a lot more freedom because our girls are much more versatile.”
The Wolves feature a trio of 5-foot-11 players — senior Dana Goularte and juniors Maile Keanu and Taylor Sunkel. Goularte sat out soccer season because of a back injury, while Sunkel missed nearly the entire 2009-10 season after undergoing surgery on her left shoulder.
Their returns are significant with the graduation of Danielle Stewart and Molly Werder, who now plays at Montana Tech, in the post.
Callaghan is now the only player in the program to have state-playoff experience. She started at point guard as a sophomore in 2009 when South advanced to the tournament for the first time in nine years. The Wolves finished one win away from state last season with a 17-8 record.
“Falling a little short was really, really hard because I wanted to share that experience with this group,” Callaghan said. “I know the taste of it now, but no one else on the team does.”
Coach Mark Lutzenhiser, who is entering his third season at South, likes the composition of the roster. He said guards Callaghan, Steiger and Angela Romonsky not only are capable ball handlers, but also shoot well. Romonsky converted 44 percent of her 3-pointers en route to a team-high 13 points per game last season.
With all three in the lineup – none taller than 5-7 – the Wolves will not be one of the league’s taller teams, but Lutzenhiser is hopeful his team is athletic enough to generate some fastbreak opportunities.
“We ran pretty well last year, but I think we could do even better this year,” he said.
South should find out soon. Class 4A Narrows League play begins tonight against Olympia and continues next week with games against Shelton and at Stadium. The Wolves then host Auburn on Dec. 22 before heading to the Dec. 28-29 Wenatchee Christmas Invitational. They play Wenatchee and Walla Walla there. Lutzenhiser guided the former to its only state-playoff appearance in 1992.
“It’s good to have the kids have the experience of traveling and spending some time together,” he said. “I’m hoping that helps us in the long run.”
For now, Lutzenhiser is just hoping the weather is not bad enough that it will prohibit his team from participating in the tournament.
“I have a feeling the weather is going to give us a curve this year and we’ll have quite a few games in a short span,” Lutzenhiser said.
Of course, South will have to experience that if it has a run in the playoffs. Callaghan just hopes it guides her team to the City of Destiny.
“The Tacoma Dome’s the best,” she said. “That’s where the lights are brighter, the courts are squeakier and the announcing is more exciting.”