South Kitsap loses big lead, then game

Big leads mean little for inconsistent teams.

The South Kitsap boys found that out Friday night when perhaps its most impressive eight-minute stretch of the season was squandered by a poor second half in a 57-52 loss against Foss in Narrows League Bridge Division play.

It was a game of stark contrasts throughout for the Wolves (4-2 overall, 2-2 league). Led by Nicholas Edwards, who scored 10 of his game-high 16 points in the first quarter, the Falcons converted 4 of 5 3-pointers to take a 19-12 lead into the second quarter.

The brief stretch between the quarters was enough to shift momentum. Foss (3-3, 2-1) missed all seven of its 3-pointers in the second quarter and South wing Gibson Davies finished an 11-0 Wolves' run with a layup to take a 22-19 lead.

“Gibson was huge,” South coach John Callaghan said. “He’s playing like a senior should. He was aggressive, played great ‘D,’ took big shots and hit big shots. I was really pleased with how Gibson played.”

The Falcons finally scored with 3 minutes, 50 seconds left in the half on a jumper by Edwards — their only points of the period. South outscored the Falcons 24-2 in the quarter and took a 36-21 lead into halftime.

Good enough? Not exactly.

It was time for the final paradigm change as Foss started the second half on a 6-0 run and cut the Wolves’ lead to 43-38 entering the fourth quarter. Callaghan thought that was the turning point.

“It seemed like when they cut it to five, we didn’t take care of the ball,” he said, adding that the Wolves struggled with ball-handling on the perimeter. “We had four turnovers in the first half and 12 in the second half. I guess that’s what comes with being young.”

The Falcons finally regained the lead for good when Edwards rebounded his own miss and converted a short jumper to give them a 48-47 edge with 3:26 left.

“To their credit, they hit shot after shot,” Callaghan said. “It wasn’t like we weren’t playing very good defense — they were just hitting their shots.”

But the Wolves never relented as they looked to create one more shift as Foss turnover created a breakaway layup for Davies to cut the Falcons’ lead to 53-52 with 18.6 seconds left. South wasn’t able to make another shot, though, and LuQuam Thompson and Allen Brown made the final four free throws for Foss to bring the score to its final.

Davies said the Wolves’ mentality after halftime hurt them.

“We had that lead going into halftime and we just got too excited,” he said. “We came out and just kind of blew it.

“We’ve got to learn from this and keep moving forward.”

Callaghan said his team needs to learn a lesson from this and is confident the players will.

“In the second half, I don’t know if we lost our aggression or played not to lose instead of win. But the biggest thing is we didn’t take care of the ball. It was painful.”

Foss 19 2 17 19 -- 57

South Kitsap 12 24 7 9 -- 52

Foss—Adrian Harper 0, Dion Gorham 0, Emmanuel Carter 6, Julian Cruell 2, Nicholas Edwards 16, Allen Brown 3, TeAire Bell 10, Damari Lewis 0, Jonathan Payne 5, LuQuam Thompson 15.

South Kitsap—Gibson Davies 15, Corey Hoffman 4, Ivan Rybachuk 0, Tionne Curry 5, Austin Siegel 9, Nick Johnson 8, Leon La Deaux 0, Collin Monagle 11.

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