Sports

Wolves's offensive woes continue

"It’s said defense wins ball games, but the South Kitsap High School boys basketball team proved a good defensive team will not win games if its shooters can’t hit the side of a gym wall.Actually, for three-and-a-half quarters against Lincoln at the SK gym Wednesday night, the Wolves controlled the Abes both on offense and defense, and they did it without starting guard, John Sehmel, who was nursing a sprained ankle suffered last week.But Lincoln’s Leonard White proved too much in the fourth quarter and overtime periods as the Abes went on to win 69-60 in a Narrows League crossover game.Heading into their game against Wilson last night, the Wolves were in second place with a 3-4 Narrows League record. They will be at least tied for second place if they lost on Friday night, or even tied for first if Stadium lost.The Wolves had a tough time with White, who finished with 25 of his game-high 28 points in the second half, including eight in the fourth quarter and 10 in overtime.Despite White’s performance, SK coach John Callaghan said the Wolves would have a couple of wins if the offense were clicking more.“We played fairly well, but man, we’re just not finishing,” Callaghan said of his team’s recent shooting woes. “I don’t know how many shots inside five feet we just don’t get in. It was the same thing at Gig Harbor. We’ve got the looks, they’re just not going down.”Overtime proved anticlimatic after an exciting fourth quarter ended in a 54-54 tie.The Wolves had a lead all but twice leading up to the middle of the fourth quarter.Lincoln went on a tear and led by as many as seven points, with five minutes remaining.Because there is no shot clock in boys basketball, Lincoln tried to play a stall offense, which quickly went awry.After a Roger Cooper bucket cut Lincoln’s lead to 50-45, SK took advantage of Lincoln’s back-to-back turnovers.SK converted those turnovers into buckets, with Brian Johnson bombing a three-pointer and Jason Young’s rebound and putback to bring the Wolves within two points at 50-52.Young finished with a team-high 17 points, followed by Ryan Letson’s 16 points.White hit a pair of free throws to extend Lincoln’s lead to 54-50 with 32 seconds remaining but Young countered with a huge three pointer from the corner to pull within one point.On the ensuing possession, SK’s press forced Lincoln into another turnover and Letson was fouled after recovering the ball to put him on the free throw line for a one-and-one.He converted the front end to tie the score but missed the second shot, which would have put the Wolves up by one.The Abes’ White hit a three-pointer from 25 feet out with seven seconds left but was called for his fourth carry violation of the game before he shot the ball.SK called a timeout to set up a play against Lincoln’s press. Johnson received the ball from the sidelines and drove down and shot off a three-pointer but fell off the front of the rim to send the game into overtime.White took over in the fourth quarter, nailing all eight of his free throws and finishing with 10 points in overtime.Callaghan said he thinks the practices have not been up to par lately, but vows to change that quickly.“I think it’s our intensity in practice,” he said. “Some of us are playing a totally different game. You can’t play one way in practice and play another way.”Senior guard Zach Sahlberg, who finished with six points, said he, too, has noticed a change in practices.“Lately our practices haven’t been at the potential they should be,” Sahlberg said. “We’re not finishing our shots in the games and it’s showing in practice.”Junior guard Justin Dudley said the team needs to keep battling and get things turned around.“We’re just in a funk,” Dudley said. “Just a breakdown at the end and it fell apart at crunch time.Confidence is something lacking according to some players.“We need confidence. We’ve lost our confidence right now,” junior post, Buck Savage said. “We just gotta keep our heads up and not get down,” Sahlberg said. “We’re playing fine, running the offense, and playing good defense. We’re just not converting off our offense.”"

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