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Wolves survive in OT; playoff for district spot next
When a basketball game is a grind — as Wednesday night’s contest was for South Kitsap from a sluggish start to a tense overtime finish — it helps to have some hard-nosed offensive rebounding.
That’s what senior forward Angelo Hazley provided, and his determined play under the basket was a key factor in the Wolves’ 52-50 win over Mount Tahoma.
“He played great, and we needed him,” South coach John Callaghan said. “We had some guys who didn’t play their best basketball tonight, but we found a way anyway.”
With the win, South (7-7, 11-9) ended the season tied for fourth place with Gig Harbor. The Wolves will play the Tides at 5 p.m. Friday at Foss High School in Tacoma, and the winner will advance to districts next week as the fourth seed from the 4A Narrows League.
“Obviously that was a difficult game,” Callaghan said after the struggle against Mount Tahoma. “But at least we’re still playing.”
A shooting clinic it wasn’t, as both teams put up waves of wayward shots, and the score was tied at 34 starting the fourth quarter.
Midway through the period the Wolves went up 41-37 when Hazley, who scored all eight of his points on the offensive glass, grabbed a rebound and powered up for a bucket.
When he scored on another putback with 1:26 left, South led 45-41 and looked poised to close things out. But the visiting Thunderbirds answered with two baskets to tie the score, and had a chance to win when Mychael Rollins, who scored a team-high 14 points, stole the ball in the closing seconds but missed a final shot.
In overtime, Ryley Callaghan’s three-point play gave South a 51-48 edge, but Rollins banked in a shot to cut the lead to one with just over a minute left.
After an exchange of turnovers — and there were plenty by both teams throughout the game — the Wolves had the ball and ran the shot clock down. Nars Martinez missed a shot, but Hazley again collected the offensive rebound and South kept possession.
But presented with another chance to put the game away, the Wolves missed three of four free throws and Mount Tahoma had the ball with 10 seconds to go.
The Thunderbirds missed a shot, but the ball went out of bounds off a South Kitsap player with 0.6 seconds showing on the clock.
On the final play, Chris Davis cut across the lane and tipped the inbounds pass toward the hoop, but the shot fell short.
“Both teams were playing pretty good zone defense,” Callaghan said. “Throughout the whole game we were getting to the rack, but I don’t know how many layups we missed.”
He noted that his team has played seven games in the last two weeks, due to makeups of games that were canceled when school was out for a week due to a snowstorm last month.
“It’s been a blitz,” he said. “But we’re in a playoff game, so we’re happy about that.”
South Kitsap 52, Mount Tahoma 50
MT 9 13 12 11 5 — 50
SK 11 10 13 11 7 — 52
Tahoma—Rollins 14, Hammond 9, Williams 8, Pate 5, Craig 0, Davis 9, Byrne 5, Williams 0.
SK—LaDeaux 8, Callaghan 10, Simpson 2, Newquist 4, Traxell 5, Hazley 8, Martinez 7, Hyson 5, Osinski 0.