Sports

GIRLS BASKETBALL | Wolves get ‘payback’ against Gig Harbor

South Kitsap
South Kitsap's Gabrielle Stewart scored 10 points to help the Wolves to a 47-32 win Wednesday against Gig Harbor in a Class 4A Narrows League contest.
— image credit: Dannie Oliveaux/Staff Photo

No one within South Kitsap’s girls basketball program will deny that it has been a difficult season.

And for that reason, Wednesday night’s 47-32 victory against Gig Harbor was that much more rewarding for coach Mike Hulet.

In addition to beating a rival, the Wolves (6-11 overall, 2-7 league) won their first Class 4A Narrows League game since a 63-39 victory Dec. 12 against Stadium.

“They got us at their place,” said Hulet, referring to the 45-39 loss Jan. 16 at Gig Harbor. “A little payback is always nice.”

South must win its two remaining league games, while also requiring the Tides (8-10, 5-5) to lose their final three 4A Narrows contests to tie for fourth place. Both teams then would tie for fourth place, which would require a one-game playoff with the winner advancing to the West Central District Tournament.

Without all of those scenarios occurring, the Wolves will miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-07 season.

“It’s a tough road,” Hulet said. “Mathematically we’re not out, but it would be extremely hard.”

Hulet said this season’s struggles have not been surprising even though South qualified for state two of the last four seasons. After all, the Wolves started four sophomores against Gig Harbor.

Some of that inexperience showed during the first half. Despite converting one more field goal than the Tides, South trailed 25-23 at halftime. That was the result of Gig Harbor converting 5 of 12 free throws, while the Wolves made just 1 of 3.

“That’s been kind of one of our Achilles’ heels,” Hulet said. “We play with our hands too much. We need to play with our feet a little bit more. We talk about that a lot. We need to start implementing that.”

But that did not matter during the final 16 minutes as the Tides made just three field goals. South was able to take advantage of that when sophomore wing Hayley Romo hit a 3-pointer with 1:37 left in the third quarter to give the Wolves a 31-28 lead. It was the start of a 14-0 run. Gig Harbor did not score again until Katy Larson’s layup with 2:40 remaining.

“[Romo] is starting to get more confident in her shot,” Hulet said. “She’s going to be fun to watch the next few years.”

Hulet said he was excited to see his team break open a close contest. South has a 1-4 record in games decided by six points or less this season.

“Our record doesn’t reflect how we’ve played,” he said. “As they grow as players, [composure] will come automatically.”

While the Wolves will finish with their first losing record since they went 10-13 in 2007-08, Hulet is excited about the future.

“We knew this could be a learning year,” he said. “You can see that each game we’ve gotten better. It can only go up.”

At South Kitsap 47, Gig Harbor 32

Gig Harbor      12        13        3          4          —         32

South Kitsap    15        8          10        14        —         47

Gig Harbor—Anne Gilbert 0, Tessa Waage 0, Ali Sommers 0, Mckenzie Alton 4, Kalen Keim 2, Sammi Markham 1, Rachel Sommers 2, Taylor Talen 10, Naphtali Ward 9, Katy Larson 4.

South Kitsap—Darian Dickey 9, Hayley Romo 5, Mary Beth Bray 5, Kelsie Nelson 0, Mickenzy Cordova 0, Chelsea Foster 0, Brianna Shafer 4, Gabrielle Stewart 10, Kaylee Yergeau 2, Hayley O’Dell 12.

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