Sports

Wolves cage Panthers; Central Valley awaits

This time, it didn’t take long for South Kitsap to find its groove. Ten seconds was enough.

After struggling mightily on offense just a day earlier, the Wolves wasted no time in getting on track Thursday night in a Class 4A state quarterfinal matchup with Snohomish, scoring eight points in the game’s first 71 seconds on their way to a 55-43 win.

“Coming into this game, we wanted to make a statement that we’re here,” South senior Ryan Sweet said. “The way we played (Wednesday) is not the way that we are. And we wanted to make a statement saying that.”

The victory moves third-ranked South Kitsap, now 26-1, into a semifinal contest with Central Valley tonight at 8:30 p.m. with a spot in Saturday’s title game on the line. This will be South’s third-straight trip to the semifinals, having lost last year to Kentwood while advancing to the 2004 title game after beating Bethel.

Central Valley, 21-6, beat Gig Harbor 46-34 in its quarterfinal game.

After needing more than four minutes to score its first point in Wednesday’s opening game with Southridge, South Kitsap found itself on the board just 10 seconds into the game on a layup from guard Tippy Burk. And just about everyone that had problems finding their shooting touch Wednesday, got quick buckets against the Panthers.

Josh Monagle made it 4-0 on an easy lay in. Conner Gehring hit a short jumper before Sweet made it 8-0 with a put back.

From there, the Wolves were off and running.

“It was a lot better than last night, I didn’t know if we were going to score,” South coach John Callaghan said. “I think a couple of our guys hit their first shots and got that monkey off their back.”

With its shooters finding their range early, the Wolves left little doubt who was going to win this one. Especially when the defense, as it has done all year long, took over.

South had a double-digit lead just 3:25 into the game and held a lead the rest of the game. At times, the lead was as much a 17 points although Snohomish pulled within five with 2:26 with in the third quarter.

But South’s pressure defense, which forced 18 turnovers, was too much for the Panthers to handle.

“We played pretty good defense tonight,” Callaghan said. “If we can hold them under 50, your chances go way up. We just need to keep attacking and be the aggressor and good things will happen for us.”

Gehring paced the Wolves with a game-high 14 points while Burk netted 11. L.P. Neloms, who made seven fourth-quarter free throws to help ice the game, finished with nine while Monagle and Sweet scored seven and eight respectively.

Seth Follis, who had scored 25 points in the Panthers’ opening-round win over Prairie, was held to just 10 while Tim Diederichs added nine.

Snohomish will face Gig Harbor at 3:30 p.m. today in a loser-out game.

South Kitsap 55, Snohomish 43

Score by quarters

South Kitsap 19 7 15 14 - 55

Snohomish 11 6 12 14 - 43

South Kitsap - Conner Gehring 6-10, 1-1 - 14; Tippy Burk 4-5, 2-2 - 11; LP Neloms 1-7, 7-10 - 9; Josh Monagle 3-10, 1-1 - 7; Ryan Sweet 3-8, 2-2 - 8; Evan Atwater 1-2, 0-0 - 3; Tysaiah Curry 1-3, 1-1 - 3; Joe Pisa 0-2, 0-0 - 0; Dan Nelson 0-0, 0-0 - 0; Jared Privatt 0-1, 0-0 - 0; Kris Carlson 0-0, 0-0 - 0; Garrett Boone 0-0, 0-0 - 0. Team totals: 19-48, 14-17 - 55.

Snohomish - Seth Follis 4-11, 2-2 - 10; Tim Diederichs 4-9, 1-1 - 9; Josh Desimone 2-4, 1-2 - 6; Turner Jenkins 1-2, 0-0 - 2; Nate Van Duine 2-8, 1-2 - 5; Alek Steffan 0-0, 2-2 - 2; Kurt Williams 1-2, 0-0 - 2; Stuart Shilling 0-0, 0-0 - 0; Kegan Bone 0-0, 0-0 - 0; Nate Sooter 0-0, 0-1 - 0; Zach Wilde 2-5, 3-5 - 5; Taj Trimbo 0-0, 0-0 - 0. Team totals: 16-41, 10-15 - 43.

Three point field goals: South Kitsap 3-9 (Gehring 1-5, Burk 1-2, Atwater 1-2), Snohomish 1-10 (Follis 0-5, Diederichs 0-1, Wilde 0-2, Desimone 1-2). Rebounds: South Kitsap 32 (Sweet 12, Monagle 10), Snohomish 29 (Diederichs 10). Assists: South Kitsap 13 (Burk 5), Snohomish 7 (VanDuine 2). Turnovers: South Kitsap 16 (Curry 3, Monagle 3, Sweet 3), Snohomish 18 (Desimone 4). Steals: South Kitsap 11 (Burk 3, Neloms 3, Sweet 3), Snohomish 7 (VanDuine 2). Total fouls: South Kitsap 18, Snohomish 17. Foouled out: Neloms, Desimone.

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