Boys basketball: Callaghan critical of Wolves' effort in loss

He did not mince words.

South Kitsap coach John Callaghan had a message for some players after the Wolves lost 64-40 against Sammamish during the first day of 40th annual Bellevue College High-School Boys Basketball Tournament.

“If you’re not playing hard," he said, "sit and watch."

Callaghan felt his team’s effort was an issue from the beginning as the Totems built a 10-0 lead in less than three minutes and never trailed. Sammamish (7-1) regained a double-digit lead halfway into the second quarter that it maintained throughout the remainder of the game. The Totems’ largest lead was 60-29 in the fourth quarter.

“We played with no intensity,” Callaghan said. “No passion. No nothing.”

Without standout guard Nars Martinez, who is sitting out the tournament after aggravating a hip injury Dec. 17 against Stadium, South struggled to find offense. Senior guard Steven Ebner scored a team-high 11 points, but shot just 4 of 12 from the field. The Wolves shot just 28.3 percent from the field.

“We were throwing it all over the place,” Callaghan said. “I don’t even know what we were doing half of the time.”

He was even more disappointed with the Wolves’ performance on the defensive end. Wing George Valle capitalized on several transition opportunities to convert 10 of 11 shots en route to a game-high 23 points. The Totems converted 46.4 percent of their field goals.

“It seemed like we were just watching,” Callaghan said. “We were loafing back and not pounding the boards.”

South (2-5), which plays at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday against Oak Harbor, saw several of its younger players earn time. Callaghan said he wanted to reward the effort of sophomore guards Devon Newquist and Thomas Simpson with playing time. He said another 10th-grader, wing Kellen Traxel, also would have played more had he not suffered an ankle injury early in the game.

“I’m really happy with how our younger guys played,” Callaghan said.

And he conceded the result might be more playing time for his youth.

Bellevue College High-School Boys Basketball Tournament

Sammamish 64, South Kitsap 40

South Kitsap 9 9 10 12 — 40

Sammamish 16 18 14 16 — 64

South Kitsap-Aaron La Deaux 2, Thomas Simpson 4, Michael Powell 4, Devon Newquist 6, Steven Ebner 11, Colin Gallagher 4, Angelo Hazely 0, David Hunnicut 8, Kellen Traxel 0, Quentin Harris 1, Devonte Longmire 0, James Hyson 0.

Sammamish-Daniel Tekle 2, Dakota Olsen 6, Sami Jarjour 9, Steve Perkins 0, Taylor Berg 6, Robert Ambartsumyan 0, Riley Brooks 2, Muggy Musinguzi 0, George Valle 23, John Steinberg 8, Jacob West 8.

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