SK takes high road against Highclimbers

In close games this season, South Kitsap High School boys basketball coach John Callaghan has shown disappointment with some aspect of his team’s play.

For a team ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press poll, the Wolves should be beating these teams more handily, right? Callaghan said he couldn’t find any weaknesses in his team’s 59-57 home win against a tough Shelton team Wednesday night. The only thing missing in this game was a full game from junior starting posts Jake Beitinger and Adam Bennett.

Both missed a practice earlier and only played a little over half the game.

Beitinger still managed 16 points and six rebounds in 18 minutes of play.

Seniors Joe Riley and Albert Jenkins stepped in and held their own against the tallest team in the Narrows League.

Riley finished with seven points and Jenkins had six.

SK hosted Bremerton last night. Results were unavailable at press time.

“Offensively, we’re starting to move the ball more with the pass,” Callaghan said. “That’s a step in the right direction.”

It’s the Wolves’ offense that Callaghan has found the most frustrating, despite the team’s 11-1 record going into last night’s game.

But if Wednesday’s game was any indication, Callaghan said the offense will only improve after each game.

Callaghan said his team’s defense is what has won the majority of the games for SK this year.

“Obviously we’ve been playing great defense,” he said. “Once we get rolling on offense we’ll be fine.”

One of SK’s offensive threats, Nate Seitz, scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half. In the second half, Seitz had some open looks to the basket but passed it up instead.

Callaghan said that could be a sign of maturity, with Seitz staying within the flow of the offense. On the other hand, Callaghan said he has no qualms about Seitz choosing to shoot the open shots.

“There was a time or two he had the opportunity to shoot the ball,” Callaghan said. “He’s one of the purest shooters in our league. But if he’s not shooting, that means he’s going to the hole, which he can do well, too.”

Callaghan said Shelton deserves some credit for playing well on the road against SK.

Shelton’s Colby Brewer showed he’s one of the better shooting guards in the league by nailing four 3-pointers and finishing with a game-high 20 points.

Shelton’s talented post, Aaron Sawyer, added 12 points, though foul trouble limited his minutes.

Beitinger and Bennett were able to neutralize Sawyer, but the timing of the matchups allowed them to play when Sawyer was on the bench and vice versa.

The actual matchup between Sawyer and Beitinger was limited to about eight minutes. Beitinger said he was surprised by Shelton’s ability to shoot the ball.

“It seemed like they were hitting everything,” Beitinger said.

Beitinger said the problems for SK didn’t come until the end of the game.

SK held a 59-52 lead with three minutes to go before going into a stall offense.

Shelton converted an SK turnover and a rebound of a missed shot into five points and trimmed SK’s lead to two points at 59-57 with 30 seconds to go.

After getting the ball towards the SK bench, Callaghan called a timeout to set up a bread and butter out of bounds play to Beitinger.

Beitinger received the pass under the basket but his shot rolled around the rim and popped out.

Shelton got the rebound and pushed the ball up, but Brewer turned the ball over to SK with 23 seconds left.

Senior Brian Cox was fouled with 17 seconds left, but he missed his one-and-one free throw and Sawyer grabbed the rebound.

Shelton raced up the floor and Sawyer got off a 14-foot baseline shot.

The ball missed the hoop but Shelton’s Bill Richardson grabbed the long re-bound and dished off to Brewer in the corner.

Brewer’s shot was released just before the buzzer, but it was rushed and caromed off the side of the backboard to end the game.

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