Mistake-prone Wolves drop playoff opener

South Kitsap’s six-game winning streak provided an external benefit to the program besides confidence.

It gave the Wolves margin for error in the Narrows League Tournament for girls basketball.

That was much needed in Thursday night’s tournament opener where they committed 25 turnovers in the first half and 35 for the game in a 45-33 loss against Bellarmine Prep at Mount Tahoma High School.

“It’s nervous time,” South coach Mike Allen said. “They haven’t been here and they haven’t even seen it.

Obviously, in the first half we didn’t look mentally prepared.”

They won’t have much time to adjust as they play at 11:45 a.m. today against Olympia at Mount Tahoma.

The Bears defeated Gig Harbor 53-33 in a loser-out game Thursday at Stadium High School. Today’s winner will earn the No. 4 seed out of the Narrows in the West Central District Tournament, while the loser claims the fifth spot.

“I’m sure the butterflies will be gone,” said Allen, whose team lost its lone game, 39-28, on Jan. 9 against Olympia. “It’s good to get one out of the way, but you would like to come out and win this one. I think we’re better than we played.”

Junior guard Tori Fairweather, who led South with 14 points, agreed.

“I thought we came out really flat, intimidated and scared,” she said. “We’re a better team and I know

that for a fact. I thought we could’ve beat them if we were more intense.”

Despite the turnover-laden first half, the Wolves (10-10) trailed just 19-14 after 16 minutes.

Samantha Gulisao tied the game, 25-all, with 3 minutes, 13 seconds left in the third quarter, but injured her right knee shortly after and didn’t score again.

“I was just standing there trying to take the charge,” said Gulisao, who had 8 points but didn’t score again when she returned in the fourth period. “She hit me somehow — I think it was her knee and my knee. It’s not that bad so I’ll be back out there (today).”

The Lions (19-3) took control in the fourth quarter. With 3:48 left, Jen Hunter split a pair of free throws and teammate Grace Beardemple collected the rebound and scored to give Bellarmine Prep a 37-31 lead.

Sarah Hartwell, who scored a game-high 20 points, continued the 7-0 run with a 3-pointer 100 second later to extend the Lions’ edge to 41-31.

“We didn’t do a very good job of stopping penetration from the perimeter,” Allen said. “We’re not having much fortune up top with our guards on penetration.”

The Lions also were 18 of 25 from the free-throw line, while South was 8 of 17.

“When it comes down to crunch time, you’ve got to make those,” Fairweather said. “They made theirs and we couldn’t.”

South Kitsap 7 7 13 6 — 33

Bellarmine Prep 12 7 13 13 — 45

South Kitsap — Caitlin Daniels 2, Samantha Gulisao 8, Stephanie Osterdahl 2, Amanda Feeney 0, Ashlee Stoner 0, Chelnesha Thuring 0, Tori Fairweather 14, Jessica Jordan 0, Angel Sheldon 2, Ashley King 0, Molly Werder 2, Kaileigh Westermann 3.

Bellarmine Prep — Grace Beardemple 8, Madeline Klein 0, Michela Barnes 5, Alivia Hale 3, ReZina TecleMariam 2, Shalece Butler-Woods 0, Jen Hunter 7, Sarah Hartwell 20.

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