Sports

A tale of Two Teams

One team is hot, the other is not.

But the one important similarity between the South Kitsap High School boys and girls basketball teams is its place in the Narrows League Bridge Division standings.

Both are 1-0 in the division as the teams gear up for the remainder of the regular season against league foes.

The SK boys are ranked sixth in the state with a 7-0 record, while the girls are 3-4 overall.

SK boys coach John Callaghan said the holiday break has its positives and negatives. When his team hosts North Kitsap today at 6 p.m. it will begin a string of 13 league games.

Callaghan said his biggest gripe with the holiday break is the team’s lull between games. It last played Dec. 22 and today will mark nearly two weeks since the team last played.

“Two weeks of a break looks good and sounds good, but the truth of the matter is that the days off from playing hurt us,” Callaghan said.

While the team has practiced during the break, Callaghan said the competitive flow SK had through seven games has been disrupted.

While the conditioning is the same, if not better, Callaghan said tonight’s game will be an important game to see if the team can pick up where it left off.

Playing on the floor against players other than their own teammates is something everyone looks forward to, he said.

“You get tired of beating up on the same people,” he said. “But some tempers flared and that’s a good thing. I don’t want these guys to be feeling like they’re just playing against their buddy.”

Callaghan said his players understand the importance of the league season.

“We got off to a good start, but it doesn’t make a difference now,” Callaghan said. “These league games are what counts. These guys understand that.”

SK girls coach Mike Allen said the girls game at NK tonight at 6 p.m. will be one of the most important games of the year.

While the team goals are still intact, Allen said the team is still reeling from the three losses at the Pendleton Invitational.

“I don’t think we’ll get over that until we get a win,” Allen said. “Before the season, I knew what to expect. Now I don’t know what to expect. It’s up in the air. I do know we’ll come out and play well.”

At Pendleton, SK’s problems came on the offensive end, where the team shot less than 25 percent from the floor.

Confidence is what builds a team character, and a win at North Kitsap could be the first building block of success in the Bridge Division. It doesn’t get any easier Wednesday when the Wolves travel to Port Angeles, the reigning Narrows League champions.

Allen said he will change up some defensive schemes, but the core of his playcalling will remain the same.

It’s a matter of executing the plays, he said.

“I’ve changed a couple things but I haven’t changed the gameplan,” Allen said. “We want to start winning and get some smiles back on their faces.”

Allen said one player who has emerged in practice the last two weeks is senior guard Stephanie Robinson.

Still searching for that leader, Allen said Robinson is trying to get the team to take on a new attitude.

“Stephanie has taken a positive role with this team and pushing the girls to play hard,” Allen said. “Ideally, the coach would like to shut up and let the players lead. Right now they know what they do wrong. They just need to go out there and do things right.”

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