Sports

SK planning breakout season

South Kitsap coach Mike Allen cringes when his team’s 2006-07 season comes up.

Eight years after placing third in the Class 4A state tournament, the Wolves’ record fell to 2-17 overall and 1-13 in Narrows League play last year. After the season, some players complained that chemistry and work ethic were a challenge.

After Wednesday’s 54-25 win against Curtis, evening South’s record at 1-1, junior guard Tori Fairweather didn’t see such issues cropping up again this season.

“The whole team is more competitive,” she said, adding that the team only had two or three players who fit that description last season. “I think we’re all going to come together and step up.”

Sophomore post Molly Werder wasn’t around last season, but doesn’t see a chemistry issue with this group.

“Every single one of those girls will help you,” she said.

Allen, in his seventh year with the Wolves, said he can’t go through another season like last year, so he’s happy with the progress he’s seen so far.

“When we do a running drill, our post players are trying to win it,” Allen said. “These kids are working hard together.”

The Wolves feature some athletes who played key roles during the fall. Fairweather, Caitlin Daniels and Kaileigh Westermann all played on the soccer team that was a win away from state, while Jessica Jordan, Stephanie Osterdahl and Angel Sheldon played volleyball.

Allen likes the athleticism the players bring.

“I think our team defense is going to be better,” he said. “We’re quicker than last year.”

In addition to the contingent of upperclassmen — 11 of 13 varsity players are juniors and seniors — Allen likes the progress made by sophomore guard Ashley King and Werder, during the team’s summer program.

Werder, who scored 10 points against Curtis, is South’s tallest players at 6 foot 2.

Osterdahl and Sheldon, both juniors, are both at least 6 feet.

“I think our post players are strong inside, but they also can handle the ball outside,” Allen said.

The team also needs to be significantly better at the free-throw line. Allen said the Wolves converted around 43 percent of its free throws last season, and better shooting might have swung at least three games they lost by eight points or less. South converted 9 of 19 free throws against Curtis.

But they have improved in other areas — South committed just four turnovers in the second half after giving away nine possessions in the first 16 minutes — and Werder expects that to continue.

“I expect us to go far and win a lot of games,” she said. “We learn from every mistake.”

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