Sports

It’s come down to crunch time for South Kitsap girls

A sense of urgency has settled over the South Kitsap High School girls basketball team.

The Wolves (5-4 Bridge Division, 7-10 overall) sit alone in fourth place heading into a crucial home game tonight at 7:30 p.m. against second-place Gig Harbor (6-2, 11-4) in a Narrows League Bridge Division contest.

After falling to Port Angeles (9-0, 13-2) Friday 79-60, SK coach Mike Allen said his team needs to win its final three games to assure itself at least a third-place finish.

The difference between third and fourth place is monumental.

If SK fails to get out of fourth place, it will be forced to play the Bay Division No. 5 seed in a loser-out game.

The winner of that game then plays the Bay Division No. 4 in another loser-out game.

The winner of that game earns the seventh and final seed into the West Central District tournament.

Allen knows what it takes to get through the backdoor and doesn’t want his team to be subjected to it.

It happened to the Wolves last year at districts and it wiped them out physically and emotionally.

Having to play three games just for a district berth will sap the team’s energy.

“I don’t want that again,” Allen said. “We need to get third or second. If we can win out with three wins, that will bring Gig Harbor and CK down a notch.”

Gig Harbor has a two-game lead on SK, but an SK win closes the gap to one game.

CK is one game behind SK but a win against Olympic, compounded with an SK loss to Gig Harbor, will give CK a two-game lead with two games to play.

That scenario all but guarantees SK fourth place.

CK has the schedule advantage with Olympic, SK and Bremerton left to play.

SK lost at Gig Harbor 50-36 on Jan. 4.

But that game was played without starters Rebekah Proctor and Jamae Feddock.

Allen said the Tides play zone defense and rarely play man to man.

That will force SK to hit its outside shots.

“That’s fine if the shots are falling,” Allen said.

Allen pointed out the zone makes for a soft defense inside, which Feddock — a southpaw — could take advantage of.

“Last time we played them we didn’t have Bekah, Jamae or Kristin (Myles)” Allen said. “It’ll be a much different game with them back.”

NOTES

Sophomore Loni Tostenrude will make her home debut tonight, just six months after knee surgery to repair a torn ACL. She’s played the last two games and her presence is already felt, Allen said.

“She gives us game toughness,” Allen said. “She’s back to full speed but she’s not full basketball speed yet. You can see where’d she be if she played the last 16 or 17 games.”

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