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SK continues to work its way through loser's bracket
"At press time the game between the South Kitsap High School girls basketball team and Olympia had yet to be played.But the game had major implications for the Wolves, who have been duking it out with other teams in the loser's bracket of the West Central District tournament.The Wolves entered the loser's bracket needing three wins in a row to earn berth at state.They survived its first elimination game with a 55-45 win against Narrows League rival Mount Tahoma.SK needed to defeat Olympia last night or else the season is officially over. It would mark the first time since 1996 the Lady Wolves didn't make it to the state tournament.If they won last night, the Wolves will play tonight against last night's winner between Port Angeles and Jefferson.If SK were to win tonight, it would advance to the fourth-place game Saturday at the University of Puget Sound.All would not be lost for the Wolves if they lose tonight, but it will force them into uncomfortable territory.A loss tonight will send them in a loser-out game Friday night at Emerald Ridge High School against the other consolation semi-final loser.The winner of that game Friday night would then have to travel the next day to Heritage High School in Vancouver and play the Southwest League No. 2 team for the seventh place and the final berth to state.Obviously, SK can keep away from these scenarios if they won last night and win tonight.Going into the Olympia game last night SK coach Mike Allen said he was confident his team can get the job done.If SK rebounds and plays defense like it did against Mount Tahoma, Allen said he didn't anticipate his team falling short of a state berth.The Wolves have continued to play without starting post Rachelle Cooper, who is still out with a sprained ankle.If the Wolves stave off elimination, Cooper could be back on the court at the state tournament.But other than the loss at Rogers, SK has continued its winning ways without Cooper.SK senior guard Nicole Eggebraten and Rebekah Proctor have been shooting the hot hand, and Katie Ralph has provided the muscle down low to keep defenses honest.Eggebraten proved her value as a scorer as she set the pace for SK against Mount Tahoma with 16 points, including 14 in the second half.Ralph scored a game-high 19 points, and Proctor followed with 11 points.Allen said he liked the matchups between SK and Olympia, and also Jefferson or Port Angeles.SK defeated Olympia 60-50 during the regular season.Port Angeles and Jefferson both have some solid scoring around the perimeter, but SK's size is an advantage.Allen said he doesn't worry so much about other teams but his own.We needed to get back on (winning) and have some things go right for us, Allen said. We've gotta win three in a row but we've done that all season.Allen's big adjustment has been setting the right mindset with his bench players.At times against Mount Tahoma they looked like deer in the headlights, but Allen said it's not because they lack talent.We (coaches) need to have them understand they need to come in and do some stuff, Allen said. We told them at the beginning you don't need to come in and score points. Come in under control, run the offense correctly, and get the ball into peoples' hands that can score when they need to. Just need to step back a little bit and not force it. "