Sports

Boys basketball: South Kitsap's comeback hopes fall short

South Kitsap coach John Callaghan liked the sneak-peak aspect of the game.

Just not the result.

The Wolves’ come-from-behind hopes were thwarted as they finished sixth in the 40th annual Bellevue College High-School Boys Basketball Tournament with a 68-64 loss Thursday against Renton.

But Callaghan said the game should benefit his team as the Indians use a similar uptempo pace that many of South’s Class 4A Narrows League rivals use.

“Playing against a team like this is really good for us,” South coach John Callaghan said. “It’s really great for us to play against it and experience it. Now we know what areas we need to work on.”

South (3-6), which won once during the three-day tournament, seemed to adjust to the pace. But after entering the second quarter with the game tied at 18, the Wolves struggled with turnovers — many unforced — and entered the intermission trailing 39-27. South had 12 first-half turnovers.

“A lot of turnovers were on ourselves,” “Traveling. That’s a lack of fundamentals.”

It was a deficit that the Wolves spent much of the second half trying to overcome. That finally happened when junior wing Aaron La Deaux, who had a team-high 15 points, scored on an assist from Steven Ebner to tie the game at 56.

“I love how we battled back,” Callaghan said. “We played hard.”

But that is as close as they would come.

Renton (5-5) responded with a 4-0 run on free throws by Malik Roper, who had 17 points, and Donavan Saario. Forward Darren Briggs, who scored a game-high 23 points on 10 of 21 shooting, extended the Indians’ lead to eight points on a couple of occasions. The last came on a pair of free throws with 43 seconds left to effectively end any South comeback hope.

“He hit the big ones when they need him,” Callaghan said.

The Wolves return to Narrows play Jan. 5 at Bellarmine Prep.

Renton 68, South Kitsap 64

Renton 18 21 17 12 — 68

South Kitsap 18 9 20 17 — 64

Renton-Earl Cheatham 0, Dar’ijon Eubanks 0, Evan Pienh 0, Donavon Saario 4, Darren Briggs 23, Malik Roper 17, Kendrick Billon 2, Justin Bennett 11, Justin Pienh 0, Colton Hafey 7, Jonathan Patterson 4.

South Kitsap-Aaron La Deaux 15, Thomas Simpson 0, Michael Powell 7, Devon Newquist 12, Steven Ebner 12, Colin Gallagher 1, Angelo Hazely 0, Kellen Traxel 9, Quentin Harris 8.

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