Sports

Mid-term report cards

"South Kitsap High School athletics can boast about its tremendous first half of the season, but any coach or athlete will say it’s not how you start but how you finish the season.Even so, SK sports is enjoying its best winter season as a conglomerate. The boys and girls basketball teams have never enjoyed success at the same time until this year.The boys are enjoying a share of first place in the Narrows League Bridge Division and the girls trail Capital by only one game as both teams are preparing for nothing but league games from here on out.The wrestling team sits in a first place tie with Capital, but a champion will be all but determined when the team makes the trek down to Olympia Jan. 13. The boys swimming team hasn’t competed since Dec. 16 and heads down the stretch with three meets remaining before districts.While the girls basketball team has enjoyed three straight trips to state, the boys haven’t tasted state since 1976.But both teams are on the same page thus far into the season.With an emphasis on defense, second-year coach John Callaghan has his boys playing out of their gourds.Other than a one-point loss to Burbank of Sacramento during the holidays, the Wolves have stifled their opponents. SK has outscored their opponents 446-370 in seven games.High school coaches will say if teams hold its opponents to 50 points or lower, they should win 75 percent of those games.So far that is holding true for the Wolves, who are averaging 64 ppg while their opponents are being held to 53 ppg.They bring a 2-0 league record in tonight’s game against Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Callaghan said the league is so tough, winning key games on the road is crucial to making it to districts.SK’s biggest win is its road win at Mount Tahoma.The rest of the road schedule favors the Wolves considerably. Their cross-over road games against Bridge Division foes takes them to Gig Harbor and Wilson.Other than those two powerhouse teams, SK should win its other cross-over road game against Olympia.SK will host such tough cross-over teams as Lincoln, Foss and Bellarmine, but having them at home is always an advantage.In the Bridge Division the Wolves still must travel to Gig Harbor and a hungry Capital team that will seek revenge after losing at SK.The schedule may favor SK but no team in the Narrows League is ever accused of slacking.Any team that gives an inch will quickly find itself at the bottom of the standings. The girls are proving how resilient they are after the early-season coaching change.After losing to Capital the Wolves have come back to form, posting a win against Mount Tahoma and going to the championship game at the Las Vegas Tournament.They currently hold a 6-2 record overall and 1-1 league record going into their game at Stadium tonight at 7:30 p.m.Their biggest games coming up include a home game against rival Gig Harbor and an away game against Bellarmine.Mark Feb. 1 on the calendar.That’s when Capital comes to SK, where the Wolves will seek revenge for its ugly loss at Capital on Dec.10.All the SK players said the game will be a different outcome.Though it is cliche to say “take it one game at a time”, the Wolves have all circled Jan. 13 on their calendars.Capital is the only viable team that could end SK’s 70-match league winning streak.These two teams already met once this season at the Highline Team Tournament.They tied 28-28 in the team semifinals before the tiebreaker format gave the Cougars the slight edge and victory.Assistant coach Chad Nass said it may have been better to have lost to Capital, so they’ll be more hungry when they compete in Olympia.The swim team may be lacking depth in dual meets, but individually, a plethora of swimmers have qualified for districts.They should win two of their last three meets. A win against Wilson is improbable but the home meet will be looked at as the last opportunity for swimmers to qualify for the postseason."

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