Wolves down Oly in slopfest

When one-third of a basketball team’s points comes from the free-throw line, it’s safe to assume the game lacks any rhythm or flow.

That was the case when the South Kitsap High School boys basketball team defeated Olympia 67-60 Friday night at the SK gym.

The game got off to an inauspicious start when the Olympia bus was stuck on I-5 for nearly four hours because of a car accident. The delay forced the junior varsity teams to play a running clock with 20-minute halves.

Fans arriving to watch the tipoff at 7 p.m. sat and waited nearly an hour and half before the varsity game got underway.

After a well-played first quarter, the game got out of hand in the second quarter.

Coincidentally, it was against Olympia last year that the two teams combined for 49 fouls.

This year it wasn’t any different.

South Kitsap attempted 21 of its 35 free-throw attempts in the second quarter alone. Both teams calmed down in the second half and it was the twin tower play of SK posts Adam Bennett and Jake Beitinger that led the way.

Bennett finished with 16 points and Beitinger added 15.

Starting guards Brian Cox and Trivone Curry chipped in 13 and 11 points respectively.

Defensively, the Wolves held Olympia’s top scorer, Philip Heu-Weller, to just five points. John Kosturos led the Bears with 10 points.

Bennett said things could have gotten out of hand after the rough second quarter, but the SK kept its composure in the second half.

“There were a lot of fouls called both ways,” Bennett said. “We knew what to expect so it was easier to keep our composure and not roughhouse back too much.”

Bennett admitted emotions ran hot in the second quarter.

“We almost exploded there, but other than that we kept our composure,” he said. “In the second half we focused on the things we needed to do, not what they were doing to us.”

SK coach John Callaghan said Olympia is probably one of the most physical teams in the Narrows League because of its lack of height.

“I think with their size they have to play physical,” Callaghan said. “That’s what they want. They’re very athletic and pretty much interchangeable.”

Beitinger said Olympia’s mindset to be overly physical may work on other teams but it didn’t work against SK.

“I think their mentality is that the only way to beat us is to bully us, but that didn’t work,” Beitinger said. “In the second quarter maybe (it worked) because it’s early in the season we haven’t experienced that yet. But at halftime we knew the calls weren’t going to go our way so we had to play our game.”

Callaghan said it always feels nice to win, but the combination of the late start and sloppy fouls didn’t make the win feel too glorious. “(All the fouls) were a little frustrating,” he said. “I can’t fault the refs. They could have called a lot more fouls.

“Any time you come out on top it’s nice,” he said. “But there are a lot of things we need to do to get better.”

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