Wolves fade in fourth quarter, fall 70-54 to Central

South Kitsap junior Kellen Traxel guards a Central Kitsap player during Wednesday night
South Kitsap junior Kellen Traxel guards a Central Kitsap player during Wednesday night's loss.
— image credit: Brett Cihon

Just when it looked like South Kitsap may have regained momentum and would start the fourth quarter tied, Central Kitsap’s Tyler Parker sank a 3-point buzzer-beater and had chance at a four-point play when he was fouled with two-tenths of a second left in the third period.

Although he missed the free throw, the Wolves couldn’t recover. The visiting Cougars put the 4A Narrows League game out of reach with an 11-2 run to start the fourth quarter and went on to win, 70-54.

“When we needed a hoop, we just couldn’t find it,” South coach John Callaghan said after the Wolves (5-6 league, 9-8 overall) were outscored 22-9 in the final period. “It just kind of unraveled for us there in a three- or four-minute stretch.”

Central’s junior guards Andre Thompson and Michael Thomas had a lot to do with that unraveling, combining for 38 points. The Cougars (8-3, 10-7) made eight 3-pointers in the game.

South hit just two shots from beyond the arc, but the one Kellen Traxel made with 29 seconds left in the third quarter stopped Central’s 10-2 run and tied the game at 45-all.

Throughout the fourth quarter, though, the Wolves labored to get good looks at the basket against the Cougars’ zone defense and couldn’t hit any perimeter shots.

“It’s hard to get to the hoop when they pack it back in,” Callaghan said. “When we needed a basket, we just couldn’t execute and get to the rack.”Strong inside play from junior post James Hyson, who finished with 11 points, helped South take a 34-27 halftime lead.

“James played really well,” Callaghan said. “And Kellen Traxel played really well. That’s the best those two guys have played this year.”Aaron LaDeaux also scored 11 points and Traxel had nine for South, which faces a key game tonight at Gig Harbor.

The Wolves won 71-55 at home in their first matchup, and the teams are tied for fourth place in league. Callaghan said whoever wins tonight will have a big edge toward claiming the league’s fourth postseason spot, with only two more regular-season games left.

“We’re going to have to play well,” Callaghan said.


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