SK survives NK scare

Teams are indirectly figuring out the best way to compete with the high-powered and No. 6 state-ranked South Kitsap High School boys basketball team.

North Kitsap’s Ryan Young suffered a devastating knee injury during a routine warmup prior to Friday night’s game at South Kitsap, pushing back the starting time nearly 45 minutes.

Emergency Medical Technicians eventually carted Young off by stretcher.

Meanwhile, the Wolves endured their second delay of the season.

On Dec. 13, the home game against Olympia was delayed 90 minutes because of a fatal car accident on I-5.

In both Narrows League games, SK coach John Callaghan said his team came out flat.

Olympia played it close with SK, eventually losing by seven points.

On Friday the Vikings (0-2 Bridge Division, 1-6) hung with the Wolves for three quarters — trailing by just two points — before SK erupted with a 25-10 fourth quarter to run away with a 73-56.

North actually shot better from the field than SK, but committed 25 turnovers compared to SK’s 10.

Despite committing 16 of their turnovers in the first half, the Vikings still managed to trail by just three points entering halftime.

SK posts Jacob Beitinger and Adam Bennett were held in check for most of the night, having combined for just 15 points going into the final quarter.

But it was the play of senior reserve Brad Sehmel that gave SK the lift it needed.

Sehmel opened the fourth quarter with a nifty reverse layup. On the next possession Sehmel swished a three-pointer to push SK‘s lead to 53-46.

That proved to be the momentum shift SK needed. North was unable to cut into SK’s lead.

SK senior Nate Seitz led the Wolves with 15 points, though Seitz was one of many SK players who suffered shooting woes. Bennett and Beitinger finished with 12 and 10 points respectively.

Chad Foster led the Vikings with 15 points and Reid Ammann added 14 points. Anders Ejde chipped in eight points.

Callaghan praised the play of his bench, which combined to score a season-high 22 points.

Callaghan especially lauded the play of Sehmel, Joe Riley, and Ryan Marshall.

Riley made a spot start for Beitinger and made use of his time on the floor with a career-high eight points. Sehmel finished with five points

Beitinger came off the bench because he missed a couple of practices because of a family matter he tended to in California.

Callaghan said it was not punishment, just policy.

But overall, Callaghan said he was not pleased with his team’s performance.

“We just played with no intensity,” Callaghan said. “What’s frustrating is we practiced well all week. We need to learn from this. We can’t play like this against Port Angeles (tonight).”

Callaghan said the most frustration came in the second quarter.

SK held an eight-point lead going into the second quarter, but the shooting went cold and North responded with a 14-9 run in the second quarter to pull within three points.

Callaghan said he understands his players will miss shots, but it was a lack of patience on offense that frustrated him.

The Vikings ran a 2-3 zone defense, which should enable SK guards Brian Cox and Trivone Curry to penetrate and dish, Callaghan said.

“When we run into trouble is when we settle for jumpshots,” Callaghan said. “We didn’t dump it into the post once that quarter. If you penetrate the zone, good things happen.”

Seitz, who scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half, said he was partly to blame for the abysmal second quarter.

Seitz believes the delay of the game clearly had an effect on both teams.

“It’s unfortunate Ryan got hurt,” Seitz said. “I know him and he’s a great guy. A delay like that throws you out of rhythm.”

Seitz said Sehmel added a big lift and gave the team a jolt of energy the remainder of the game.

“Brad stepped up tonight,” Seitz said. “It was just another league game but we can’t play down to our competition like that.”

Despite its blemishes, SK remains undefeated as it enters its home game tonight at 7 p.m. against a talented Port Angeles team.

PA handed SK a loss last year, and returns three of its star players.

Callaghan said Bennett and Beitinger will be matched well with PA posts Matt Sinnes and Scott Helpenstell.

PA guard Nate Gossard is one of the better shooters in the league, Callaghan said.

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