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South Kitsap earns fourth straight visit to tourney
"If Goliath were a woman, South Kitsap High School's Angela Sampson could play the part. The Port Angeles High School girls basketball team learned in its 63-52 loss that it would have taken more than a slingshot to bring down the six-foot post player in the quarterfinal game of the West Central District tournament last Friday night in Puyallup.The win assured the Wolves of no less than fifth place at districts, with the top seven teams advancing to state.Sampson grabbed 23 rebounds and poured in 17 points to help lead SK into the district semifinals.SK will face the Enumclaw Hornets Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the University of Puget Sound Fieldhouse in Tacoma.It was only a year ago the Wolves defeated the Hornets at the district tourney, but both teams know the makeup of each squad is different from last year.While SK had all-state players in Lindsey Foster and Natasja Allen, Enumclaw had its own scoring machine in Kristen Poe.Now graduated, a new crop of players have stepped forward, giving each team a new dimension.Enumclaw coach Ted Carlson said his team is stronger because it's more balanced.We had a terrific player last year and she was most of our team, Carlson said. This year we are pretty well-balanced. Every night, someone surprising steps up.With its only loss to White River, the Hornets go into tomorrow's game with a 22-1 record and the relief of earning a trip to state.But Carlson said his team knows it's up against a big force in Sampson.We haven't decided who's going to match up against her, Carlson said. Whoever it's going to be, it's going to be a tough night.With its tallest player standing at 5-foot-10, Carlson said the team must stay within its game plan, which means quickness and outside shooting.You've got to go with your strengths, he said.The Hornets' balanced scoring attack is led by sophomore Jenny Poe--Kristen Poe's younger sister. The younger Poe entered the tournament averaging 10 points per game. Three temamates are flirting with the same scoring average. Seniors Emily Clyde (9.9 ppg) and Rebekah Gamblin (9.7), and freshman Brittney Osborn (9.2) will force SK to concentrate on the team as a whole.But the Wolves say they will be prepared for Enumclaw because the Hornets are similar to Port Angeles.They are also guard-oriented, senior Beth Ellis said. They are similar to PA with good defense, they press a lot, and they're in your face.SK guard Kristin Boyd said Enumclaw will be hungry for the Wolves, who Wolves beat the Hornets at districts last year. Enumclaw failed to make it to state.Boyd said the motivation to beat Enumclaw is equal.They (the boys team) came in and got our guys, and we're really hungry now because we're representing our whole school, not just the team, Boyd said. Carlson said his team will be in a tough contest.We've seen South Kitsap play a couple of times this year, he said. We have our work cut out for us."