Boys basketball: South Kitsap rebounds in Bellevue

BELLEVUE — The traditional role of a point guard is to serve as a distributor.

But South Kitsap coach John Callaghan also is trying to encourage his son, Ryley, that it is fine for him to shoot, as well.

“He needs to be aggressive for us,” Callaghan said.

The younger Callaghan heeded that advice when he hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 3:16 minutes left to help the Wolves to a 54-46 win Thursday afternoon against Renton in a consolation game at the Bellevue College Holiday Tournament.

South (5-3) plays at 4:45 p.m. Friday for fourth place against Juanita (3-6), which competes in Class 3A/2A KingCo. The Rebels defeated Oak Harbor, 52-32, on Thursday.

The Wolves had to overcome 12 lead changes and six times to get to that point. The Indians (3-6), who play in 3A Seamount, held their last lead, 41-39, on a 3-pointer by guard Lavelle Smith with 4:47 left. He finished with a team-high 10 points.

Junior guard Kellen Traxel tied the game with a jumper at the 3:16 mark, which started a 9-0 run. None were more significant than Callaghan’s 3-pointer.

“Ryley hit a big 3 when the game was tied,” Callaghan said. “For a sophomore to step up and knock it down for us in the fourth quarter was huge.”

Senior guard Nars Martinez, who scored a game-high 19 points, then finished the run with a pair of free throws and layup.

Junior guard Tom Simpson, who had 17 points, later preserved the win when he converted 6 of 8 free throws in the final 39 seconds.

“Tommy’s a tough kid,” Callaghan said. “I love how he competes. I’m glad when good things happen to him.”

It was not a perfect offensive performance from South, which had 21 turnovers. But a dozen of those came during the opening 16 minutes. Despite that, the Wolves led 23-20 at halftime.

“In the first half we were holding the ball,” Callaghan said. “One guy would have the ball for three or four seconds and not do anything with it.”

While South only shot 37.5 percent from the field, the Indians were even worse (35.8).

“For whatever reason, we’re just better playing zone right now,” Callaghan said. “You can tell we’re more comfortable.”

Which is more than Callaghan could say about Wednesday’s 75-60 loss against The Bear Creek School to open the tournament.

“I don’t know who that was, but I don’t want to see that team again,” he said, referring to his team’s mentality that night. “We have to play with intensity.”

Bellevue College Holiday Tournament

South Kitsap 54, Renton 46

South Kitsap    7    16    10    21    —    54

Renton        11    9    10    16    —    46

South Kitsap—Ryley Callaghan 8, Tom Simpson 17, Devon Newquist 5, Kellen Traxel 3, Angelo Hazely 0, Nars Martinez 19, James Hyson 0, Jordan Kimball 0, Josh Osinski 2.

Renton—Evan Saelee-Pienh 6, Shaheed Rashid 7, Davier Moses 3, Jordan Holland 4, Bryant Florence 2, Zack Lee 0, Oliver Billon 2, Jordan Pienh 6, Lavelle Smith 10, Jonathan Patterson 6.

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