Sports

Wolves aim high for upcoming season

In the nearly 10 years Mike Allen has coached girls basketball none tested him more than the South Kitsap High School girl’s basketball team last year.

Between ineligible players and injuries, Allen couldn’t catch a break with a team he felt was talented enough to go to the state tournament.

Instead, South finished 11-13 overall and failed to advance to the state tournament after going two-and-out at districts.

“We had five games all year where we had everybody playing,” Allen said. Allen said he doesn’t foresee the same problems that has plagued the team since he took over the coaching duties two years ago.

While the Wolves have taken its lumps over the last two years, it also allowed for younger players to step in and gain experience.

Allen said that experience should pay off this year in what is expected to be a tough Narrows League Bridge Division.

Junior Leah Kendrick was one of SK’s bright spots last year as a sophomore.

Though raw at times, Allen said Kendrick showed a knack for getting the ball in the hoop.

The biggest anticipation for a returning player is senior Jamae Feddock.

A gifted athlete and a great scorer, Feddock missed most of last season because of ineligibility.

After suffering the same fate on the soccer team last year, this is Feddock’s last chance to showcase her talents.

Allen said Feddock has straightened things out.

“Jamae is really important to us,” Allen said. “She knows she can’t (let her self become ineligible) again this year.”

Junior Loni Tostenrude will be another important cog to SK’s starting five.

After earning playing her freshman year, a knee injury the following summer kept her out of action until last January.

A tough forward, Tostenrude will be relied on with her rebounding.

But she also has shown a nice shooting touch within 10 feet.

Seniors Kristin Myles and Stephanie Robinson are eager to rebound from last season.

Robinson, a point guard, was a key contributor to running SK’s offense but spent the final two months of the season on the bench because of ineligibility issues.

Myles battled injured knees all season, but Allen said she started strengthening exercises a couple months ago and has seen positive results so far.

“Kristin will be our only true post this year,” Allen said. “We need to keep her healthy. She is valuable to us.”

Allen said it will be point guard by committee, but sees Robinson as the biggest contributor to the position.

The Wolves scoring from the outside will fall on the shoulders of senior Kristi Utter, and juniors Jamie McLean and Christina Bui.

“I told Kristi I expect her to shoot nine or ten three pointers per game,” Allen said. “She shot sixty percent from three-point land last year but she didn’t get the ball as much as I would have liked.”

Allen said watching McLean’s development over the last year has been mind boggling.

Mostly a junior varsity player last year, Allen said she proved herself to be a varsity player over the summer.

“It’s night and day,” Allen said of her improvement. “It’s amazing how much she’s improved.”

Bui is another player Allen said has improved greatly with her shooting.

Turnovers were a problem that plagued SK throughout last season.

Allen said a lack of fundamentals won’t be there this year.

“I think this team passes better,” Allen said. “We’re much quicker this year and I think overall we’ll be a better team than last year.”

That will be crucial to a team that is gunning for first or second place in the Bridge Division.

SK’s fourth-place finish in the division last year forced the Wolves to play a tough draw.

“We will not be fourth again,” Allen said. “We want to gun for first or second.”

Allen said SK will be in the mix with primary contenders Port Angeles, Gig Harbor, and Central Kitsap.

“I think PA is the top dog again even though they lost some players,” Allen said. “CK will be tougher and gig harbor is tough. But I think we can compete with any those teams.”

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