Sports

Boys basketball: Martinez feels Wolves made statement in loss

South Kitsap junior guard Devon Newquist scored 14 points during the Wolves’ 78-71 loss Wednesday night against Lincoln. South opens Class 4A Narrows League play tonight against Olympia. - Kenny Gatlin photo
South Kitsap junior guard Devon Newquist scored 14 points during the Wolves’ 78-71 loss Wednesday night against Lincoln. South opens Class 4A Narrows League play tonight against Olympia.
— image credit: Kenny Gatlin photo

The outcome did not result in a victory for South Kitsap, but senior guard Nars Martinez hopes his team proved itself during Wednesday night’s 78-71 loss against Lincoln.

“Our own school didn’t think we could win,” Martinez said. “(Students) were saying they came to see Lincoln dunk on us. It’s extra motivation for me.”

Instead, the Wolves (2-1) stayed close for two-and-a-half quarters before the Abes began to pull away when guard Armond Davis hit a 3-pointer on an inbounds pass to extend Lincoln’s lead to 51-47 with 4:43 minutes remaining in the third quarter. It marked the last time the game felt within reach for South as Datrok Holliday hit a 3-pointer to finish off a 9-2 Lincoln run about three minutes later. That gave the Abes a 60-49 lead — an advantage that mostly remained in double figures for the rest of the contest.

The Wolves finally cut their deficit to 71-63 on a bank shot by Martinez, who had a game-high 28 points. But even with Lincoln’s free-throw shooting woes in the second half — the Abes converted just 3 of 11 attempts — South never was able to get close enough to put the outcome in doubt.

And even after winning just 13 combined games the last two seasons, coach John Callaghan said coming close is not quite what he hoped for.

“There are no moral victories,” he said.

Callaghan felt his team could have been in position to upset the Abes (3-0) with better execution on the offensive end. He said his players were often dribbling too much.

“We’re missing cutters that are open because our heads are down,” Callaghan said. “We can’t succeed like that.”

He said poor execution resulted in his team taking worse shots. That resulted in the Wolves shooting 39 percent from the field. They converted just 6 of 20 3-pointers.

That particularly was an issue early as Lincoln took an 8-0 lead before South scored its first field goal on a banker by senior forward Aaron LaDeaux with 4:53 left in the first quarter.

“We just weren’t executing an offense at all,” Callaghan said. “We were easy to defend.”

That began to change as the Wolves became more assertive and converted 14 of 16 free throws during the first half as both teams combined for 29 fouls at the intermission. They took their first lead, 22-21, when sophomore guard Ryley Callaghan split a pair of free throws with 6:12 left in the second quarter. That marked the first of four lead changes and two ties during the second period when the teams combined for 57 points. The Abes took a 44-43 lead into halftime when junior guard Tre’Shaun Lexing, who had 13 points, converted a pair of free throws

John Callaghan was happy with his team’s diamond-and-one defensive scheme, which was designed to contain the 6-foot-6 Lexing. Gonzaga assistant coach Ray Giacoletti was in attendance — presumably to scout Lexing.

“We did a good job being disciplined and blocking out,” Callaghan said. “Our pressure was pretty good.”

He also praised his team’s effort.

“I love how our guys played,” Callaghan said. “I like how hard we played.”

Martinez said South’s play against Lincoln is a good indicator of his team’s skill.

“I think we proved that we can hang with the best teams,” he said. “This is a big confidence boost.”

Lincoln 78, at South Kitsap 71
Lincoln 19 25 19 15 78
South Kitsap 11 32 10 18 71
Lincoln—Isaac Barsh 11, Dashawn Moore 10, Keyston Campbell 2, Tre’Shaun Lexing 13, Datrok Holliday 13, Lawrence Williams 0, Joshua Eckwood 4, Armond Davis 14, Anthony McCane 7, Quadelle Satterwhite 0, Latravion Satterwhite 4.
South Kitsap—Aaron LaDeaux 6, Ryley Callaghan 9, Tom Simpson 5, Devon Newquist 14, Kellen Traxel 0, Angelo Hazely 5, Nars Martinez 28, James Hyson 2, Josh Osinski 2.

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