SK opens state tourney play

The good news is South Kitsap won’t face Lincoln or Garfield in its half of the 4A state high school boys basketball bracket at the Tacoma Dome.

The bad news is SK opens the tournament against the Franklin Quakers, a team that defeated Garfield two out of three games this year.

Tipoff is today at 5 p.m.

SK coach John Callaghan said his squad will be facing the quickest and most athletic team it has faced all season.

That said, Callaghan believes SK does hold an advantage on the intangibles.

“They weren’t at state last year and we were,” Callaghan said. “I think that experience at state is huge. Their eyes will be a bit wider and they have to get used to shooting without a back drop.”

A black curtain separates two courts on one end but the other end is an open sea where the point of reference is more than 150 feet away instead of the usual eight feet.

While the experience plays into SK’s hands, Franklin holds the speed advantage.

“If we let them go full court and fast break I don’t think that will be to our liking,” Callaghan said.

Aaron Brooks is the centerpiece of Franklin’s team.

The junior point guard is averaging 17.5 points per game and poured in 29 and 31 points in two wins against Garfield.

SK guard Jason Boyd will be looked upon to try to contain Brooks.

“Everything goes through Brooks,” Callaghan said. “We will do our best to slow him down. We don’t want to let him penetrate. Jason will have to have a good game.”

While Brooks is the most valuable player, Franklin features three other players averaging double figures.

Anthony Grant, a 6-5 senior guard, can light it up from the outside. He’s averaging 16.7 points per game.

Aaron White Jr., a 6-3 senior is averaging 10.6 points per game, and 6-5 senior post Kellen Williams adds a rebounding presence with his 10.1 points per game.

Callaghan said he is optimistic if SK can limit Franklin to one shot per possession.

“We have got to block out,” he said. “They can jump out of the gym. If we can make contact, I like our chances.”

Callaghan said the Wolves have a size advantage but it won’t mean anything if Franklin players are allowed to showcase their leaping ability.

Offensively, Callaghan said SK will need to stick with the fundamentals.

“They will pressure us and we need to be able to take care of the ball,” he said. “Offensively I think we can dominate the inside. If we do that, that opens up the outside.”

SK sophomores Adam Bennett (10 ppg) and Jake Beitinger (15.8 ppg) will be

looked upon to score from inside.

Their presence defensively will be especially crucial to defend penetration.

If SK wins it will face the Enumclaw/ Mead winner tomorrow at 7 p.m.

A win there puts the Wolves in the semifinals Friday at 8:30 p.m.

If SK loses to Franklin it will play the Enumclaw/Mead loser at noon tomorrow.

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