SK and Tahoma — the rematch

A Narrows League championship and No.1 seed into the West Central District tournament is on the line tonight when the South Kitsap High School boys basketball team (19-1) entertains Mount Tahoma (16-4) tonight at Bremerton High School at approximately 7:30 p.m.

It will be a rematch from last year’s district seeding game—which Mount Tahoma won 53-52 to earn the No.3 seed—though a lot more will be on the line tonight.

South Kitsap will attempt to win its first Narrows League title since 1986.

The game will also be a battle between two state-ranked teams.

With a win against the No.6 Thunderbirds, the No.3 ranked Wolves would earn the top seed into districts.

The consolation prize to the loser is the No.2 seed into districts, which isn’t bad either.

“I anticipate a great game,” Callaghan said. “Mount Tahoma will be ready to go and we’ll be ready to play.”

Callaghan said the key to slowing down Mount Tahoma is finding some way of slowing down junior guard Baree Ward (18.1 points per game).

“He is an outstanding point guard,” Callaghan said. “He can shoot the three and he can take it to the hole.”

Callaghan said the lesser of the two evils is to force Ward to shoot from the outside.

“I would definitely rather see him shoot the threes than driving to the hoop wreaking havoc,” Callaghan said. “When he jumps in the air he stays in the air.”

While a lot of the efforts will be on stopping Ward, Callaghan said it will equally important to defend posts Tyrell Curry (11.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg) and Julio Feliciano (9.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg).

“I think we’re definitely going to have to block out,” he said. “If we limit their second shots we’ll be alright. We just need to make contact and keep them out of the paint.”

The Wolves have won 10 straight games, including the last two without starting post Jake Beitinger.

Beitinger, who had minor sinus surgery, has practiced this week with the accompaniment of a specially designed face mask to protect his face from a physical Thunderbirds team.

If SK continues to play well at the defensive end, Callaghan said he has the utmost confidence in his players.

Offensively, he’d like his team to stay away from Mount Tahoma’s attempt to play rat ball.

“(Mount Tahoma) is very quick and they want to get out and get in the passing lanes,” Callaghan said. “They want the game to be totally up tempo. We want to be up tempo on offense but if we don’t get anything off the break then we want to be patient in the half court. If it’s an open gym atmosphere it’s not going to be to our advantage.”

Callaghan said the defensive assignment on Ward will belong primarily to Trivone Curry and Jamil Moore, though he hasn’t rule out putting the bigger and more physical Cody McCulley on him.

Callaghan said there’s no question Ward is the key to their success.

“If we control him and block out we’ll be good to go,” he said.

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