BOYS BASKETBALL | South Kitsap routs rival Tides

Nic Stoner steals the ball from a Gig Harbor player during the Wolves Jan. 16 win at home. - Dannie Oliveaux/Staff Photo
Nic Stoner steals the ball from a Gig Harbor player during the Wolves Jan. 16 win at home.
— image credit: Dannie Oliveaux/Staff Photo

It pretty much has been a senior home-game tradition under coach John Callaghan at South Kitsap.

Beating Gig Harbor.

The Wolves accomplished that for the 10th time during the past 13 seasons at home with a 67-47 win against the Tides in Class 4A Narrows League play. Senior guard Tom Simpson, who was among four South players to finish in double figures with 11 points, said it always is enjoyable.

“You always want to beat your rival and defend your house,” Simpson said. “[The seniors] have been playing here for three years and it’s a great experience.”

The Wolves (9-4 overall, 5-1 league) actually trailed 4-0 early during the game. While they took a 14-8 lead into the second quarter, they did not extend their advantage into double digits until there was 5:01 remaining in the half. That is when Simpson came up with a steal and layup. He finished the three-point play after being fouled to take a 21-11 lead. Gig Harbor (4-10, 1-5) never came closer than that again.

“We know at the beginning of the game we’re not going to get on them right away,” Simpson said. “We always know that we can come back.”

South gained its biggest lead, 53-24, during the fourth quarter when junior guard Ryley Callaghan, who scored a game-high 21 points, hit a 3-pointer with 6 minutes left in the game. In addition to Callaghan and Simpson, seniors Quincy Benavidez and Devon Newquist each reached double figures with 10 points.

“Every game we’ve pretty much had four guys in double figures,” John Callaghan said. “I like how our guys attack on offense.”

Along with sharing the ball on offense, the Wolves limited the Tides’ opportunities on the other end. Gig Harbor had 26 turnovers, while South finished with 12.

“We were hoping we could pressure them,” Callaghan said. “For us, we have to pressure people. There’s nobody we’re going to go down on and post up.”

Callaghan, whose team now is 3-0 since New Year’s Day, believes South benefited from the competition it faced last month in the Lake City Invitational in Idaho. The Wolves played a pair of Idaho teams, Sandpoint and Lakeland, in addition to Garfield from Seattle.

“That tournament was awesome,” Callaghan said. “We would definitely go back to that tournament. The competition was excellent.”

One of the last memories for Simpson was the Dec. 29 finale, which South lost 65-61 in overtime against Lakeland.

“We were disappointed with how we performed,” he said. “We came back and knew we had some big league games coming up.”

After a nonleague game Friday at North Thurston, the Wolves return to 4A Narrows competition at 7 p.m. Wednesday against Bellarmine Prep. The Lions, along with Stadium, only have one loss in league play.

Callaghan was not ready to declare it as a contest that could determine the league champion, but was happy that his team is in position to play important games as the regular season winds down.

“It’s good that we have a showdown,” he said. “That’s fun.”

At South Kitsap 67, Gig Harbor 47

Gig Harbor      8          9          7          23        —         47

South Kitsap    14        16        13        24        —         67

Gig Harbor-Chad Glover 13, Blake Fulton 6, Casey Gearhart 8, George Henningsen 3, Kody Davis 7, Mason Selby 2, Coleman Anderton 2, Jared Anderson 4, Travis Hopkins 2.

South Kitsap-Quincy Benavidez 10, Ryley Callaghan 21, Caulin Bakalarski 0, Tom Simpson 11, Devon Newquist 10, Nic Stoner 2, PJ Johnson 8, Nick Mishko 2, Forest Bingham 0, James Hyson 3, Josh Osinski 0.

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