Wolves dump Stadium in home opener

You want to play physical? The South Kitsap girls basketball team can do that. You want to run the floor? They can do that, too.

The Wolves proved that Wednesday night, alternating between physical play and fast breaks on their way to an impressive 73-51 home-opening win over Stadium High.

Forward Loni Tostenrude ripped down 15 rebounds and scored 13 points while Leah Bradley used her quickness to score a game-high 22 points to help lead South Kitsap’s move to 2-1 on the year, despite a foul-laden game that saw the teams combine for 48 infractions.

“It was a little ugly,” South Kitsap coach Mike Allen said of the game. “And it was a big difference from playing at Kentridge (SK’s season-opening game Dec. 1), where everything physical was allowed to go, and down at Mountain View (last Monday), where everything physical was allowed to go.

“Then we come here and hand checks are called,” Allen said. “We haven’t had a hand-check called in any game. (Wednesday) it’s like every foul (is called). Shoot, we had more fouls tonight than in our two games with both teams combined. But that’s how it goes.”

The physical play, combined with some hot 3-point shooting by Stadium’s Bailey Graves and Jamika Scott and some shoddy ball handling by South Kitsap, led to an early 17-7 deficit for the Wolves.

“We switched up a little bit on our defense,” Allen said. “But they were hot. And we’ve seen tape on them and they have not been that hot before. So they had a night.”

Stadium hit 10 of 26 threes, most of those coming in the first quarter.

But the quick start didn’t faze Tostenrude or her teammates.

“We didn’t have our heads on coming into the game,” Tostenrude said

Allen sat his five starters down midway through the first quarter. It worked, as the reserves — Megan Gilbert, Schelsey Zimmerman, Shamika Curtis, Lindsey Costello and Sharissa Pauley — actually closed the gap by four points.

“We needed to be able to sit down and look at ourselves and analyze a little bit,” Tostenrude said. “Our bench players did an awesome job.”

The reserves cut the lead from 10 points to six before the starters returned, providing plenty of rest for the starting five.

“That’s the thing we’ve been really stressing this year, we have to be 12 deep,” Allen said. “We have to have everybody be able to come in. If one group isn’t doing it, then another group comes in and we don’t lose anything.

“That’s our goal, and it’s a lofty goal, but it happened tonight,” Allen said. “They came in and played some good defense and made a couple of points.”

And the starters knew they had to deliver.

“So we got back out there and kind of did our job,” Tostenrude said. “But that can’t happen anymore.”

South Kitsap turned a 17-7 deficit into a 38-30 halftime lead behind seven steals from Bradley and inside buckets from Tostenrude.

“I think it’s because of Monday (a 39-37 win over Mountain View),” Bradley said. “Monday was a great game, and my shots have improved a little bit more. I think I got more points driving to the basketball.”

Bradley did plenty of driving, taking three of her steals the length of the floor for easy buckets.

Tostenrude said it was her ability to dominate inside that helped the Wolves.

“Yeah, it was because they’re not real strong in the post, I got a lot of my own rebounds,” Tostenrude said. “It was an easy game, in that aspect of it.”

Allen knew he needed solid games from both his stars to win.

“I expect that out of both of them and I think you’ll see that all season long,” Allen said. “They’re both pretty explosive players and can do a lot in the position they’re best at.”

Allen said the difference in the game was the play of his post players.

“I thought Meagan Gilbert played a great game, she did a great job defensively with a couple of steals,” Allen said. “I thought the biggest kudos of the night went to our post players for rebounding and getting the outlet passes. They did a great job of getting the ball clear and getting the ball down the floor.”

Allen cited Sierra Vinson and Sharissa Pauley for clearing rebounds and setting up fast breaks with quick passes of the boards.

“I shouldn’t say, ‘no I don’t like how we’re playing,’” Allen said. “(But) no, I don’t think we’re at the best we’re going to be. I think we’re going to improve a lot. I think we’ve made a lot of improvements already.

“So, do I like where where’re at, at this point in the season, absolutely,” Allen said. “But none of us are satisfied yet and we have a long ways to go.”

The Wolves, who faced Capital late Friday night, travel to Eatonville Monday.

South Kitsap 73, Stadium 51

Stadium 20 10 7 14 - 51

South Kitsap 17 21 18 17 - 73

Stadium - Nelson 4-6, 0-0, 7; Phan 0-0, 0-0, 0; Minzel 0-0, 0-0, 0; Peden 9-27, 4-8, 18; Russo 0-2, 0-2, 0; Scott 5-22, 0-3, 8; Riggs 2-11, 2-5, 5; Vaetoe 0-0, 0-0, 0; Miller 0-0, 0-0, 0; Graves 5-14, 2-5, 10; Parker 1-1, 0-0, 2; Rychlinski 0-1, 0-3, 0; Brubaker 0-0, 1-2, 1. Totals 26-84, 9-28 - 51.

South Kitsap - Bui 0-8, 0-0, 0; Finnie 1-1, 0-0, 2; Zimmerman 2-7, 2-3, 6; Costello 0-0, 0-1, 0; Curtis 1-1, 0-0, 2; Vinson 4-6, 0-0, 8; Bradley 8-14, 6-10, 22; Pauley 2-3, 2-4, 6; Wiggin 3-7, 0-0, 6; McLean 1-6, 1-3, 3; Tostenrude 3-11, 7-11, 13; Gilbert 2-7, 2-2, 6. Totals 27-71, 20-34, 73.

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