Sports

Wolves' confidence looms large despite loss to No. 1 Lincoln

"Immediately following the 72-68 loss to No. 1 state-ranked Lincoln, the No. 8 South Kitsap High School boys basketball team knew a greater goal lay ahead in the post-season.Though the Wolves lost the Narrows League championship game to Lincoln Saturday at St. Martin's College, SK coach John Callaghan told his players to forget about the loss and think about Thursday night.South Kitsap (17-4), the No. 2 seed in the West Central District tournament, hosts No. 7 seed Federal Way (13-6) of the South Puget Sound League Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. in a first-round matchup.The winner will play the winner between Kentwood and North Kitsap Saturday.Callaghan said he's confident his team will do well in the tournament if it plays the same way it did against Lincoln.They're a good team, Callaghan said of Lincoln. There's a reason they're the No. 1 ranked team. But I'll tell you what, we're a good team. I can't be more proud of our guys' effort. They should feel like they can beat Lincoln. If we can beat Lincoln, who can't we beat?The Federal Way Eagles will look to be that team.They are led by Tui Avaava, a slick guard who can shoot and penetrate.Complimenting Avaava are two other guards, Virgil Mathews and Teddy Williams.The inside game falls on the shoulders of 6-5 post Nate Sanchez.Callaghan said the Eagles and Wolves play a similar brand of basketball and the game could come down to depth, which Callaghan feels gives his team an advantage.Federal Way runs a variety of defenses, Callaghan said, and SK will need to be prepared to break full-court and half-court pressure.They're very quick and athletic, Callaghan said. They'll put pressure on us, but we should be able to handle it.Balance scoring and depth is what has led to SK's successful season, and though the team lost to Lincoln, the Wolves proved the value of not having one player a team can key on.Tyler Mayfield led SK with 17 points against Lincoln, followed by Beau Pilon's 14 points.Justin Dudley added 11 points, and Tremaine Curry enjoyed his best game of the year, scoring 10 points off the bench.Curry said the loss to Lincoln was a little disappointing, but there's no reason to hang their heads as they tip off the district tournament tomorrow.The season's not over, Curry said. We've still got a lot to look forward to. There are a lot of teams out there that wish they could be where we are right now.Callaghan said it won't take much to get his players focused on Federal Way.Our guys will rebound because they have all year, he said. They just gotta learn from the loss and get ready to go Thursday. It'll be nice to play at home. "

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