Shelton the latest to sample Wolves' hospitality

After a hot-and-cold first half against Shelton Wednesday night, the South Kitsap girls basketball team put together something that had been lacking so far this year.

“This is the first third quarter we’ve had that we’ve played well,” Wolves’ coach Mike Allen said. “So it was good to pick that up a little bit.”

After seeing their 13-4 first-quarter lead trimmed to a 20-16 halftime edge, the Wolves, in effect, put the game away by outscoring the Highclimbers 13-3 in the third and cruised to a 42-31 Narrows League Bridge Division win at the SK gym.

“I think we had some moments of greatness and some moments of not-so-great play,” Allen said. “But overall, I think we controlled the game most of the way through. There were some lapses in there, but I think we were in control all the way. I don’t think the game was ever in question.”

It never was, thanks to a spark provided by the South Kitsap bench and junior Megan Gilbert, who scored eight points, all in the second half.

“She did a great job,” Allen said. “She did a real good job (on offense and defense) and we know she’s obviously really capable of doing that. We need to get her with the ball in her hands more often.”

Gilbert, a junior guard, scored twice on easy layups midway through third to put the Wolves up 31-18.

“I think you need a strong sixth man to get your team really going,” Gilbert said. “Sometimes when the first five can’t do it, you need some bench players to come and do it for them.”

The South Kitsap bench scored 11 points in the game, led by Gilbert, who took advantage of a soft spot she saw in the Highclimbers’ defense.

“The open key,” Gilbert said. “They left that open a lot, so I was taking advantage of hitting the posts (with passes) and that open court.”

Gilbert also has three steals in the game and got her hand on plenty of passes, deflecting them to waiting teammates.

“Last year I wasn’t so good on my defense, so I’ve tried picking that up,” Gilbert said. “Hopefully my offensive game will come after that.”

South Kitsap got another strong performance from Leah Bradley and Loni Tostenrude. Bradley scored a team-high 10 points while Tostenrude stuffed the middle, ripping down seven rebounds and scoring nine points.

The Wolves, now 4-2 overall and 1-0 in league play, also got a strong defensive game out of Christina Bui, who chipped in with eight points.

“We have to continue that,” Allen said. “I don’t think anybody counted us in. Shelton was supposed to be that No. 3 team. We didn’t think so, and we’re going to continue to prove everybody wrong. That’s our goal.

“Nobody counted us in,” Allen said. “We actually looked at that and we said, ‘That’s cool.’ Call us out and we’ll show you. We’re going to work hard to get into that top spot.”

Tasha Taito netted a game-high 13 points to lead Shelton, which fell to 2-3 and 0-1.

The Wolves played late Friday night at Port Angeles and return to action Jan. 7 at Gig Harbor.

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