Wolves fall at Key Arena

It was supposed to be fun — and it was, for the most part. But it was also a game, and being on the losing end put a bit of a damper on South Kitsap’s appearance at the King Classic Saturday at KeyArena in Seattle.

But only a little bit.

“It was great. I was telling the guys it was going to be fun,” senior forward Jake Beitinger said after the Wolves’ 59-52 loss to Snohomish. “This is probably the only time we’re ever going to play at the KeyArena (home to the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics), and everybody was excited. Everybody was just revved up and ready to go. I had fun. I think we all did.”

The Wolves, coming off a Friday night win over Olympic, joined 11 other Puget Sound area teams in a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King. SK was originally scheduled to face 3A power Mark Morris but switched opponents to help set up a classic battle of top-ranked teams, as Mark Morris played Bethel.

Still, players and coaches enjoyed the experience, although the timing could have been a little better.

“It’s a great experience for our whole team,” senior Adam Bennett said. “It’s kind of cool. I mean, even just the parking lot, you’re out there and you know that’s where the pros park before coming in here to play. You go out there on that floor and it’s just a lot of fun and a good experience all around.”

Both teams looked a little sluggish, especially towards the end of the game. Both teams had played league game the night before.

“I think (fatigue was a factor) a little bit,” Callaghan said. “And I think maybe a little stage fright. I think the tank wasn’t full, for sure.

“We played fairly well,” Callaghan said. “In the first half we just didn’t take care of the ball like we have the last few games. But Snohomish had something to do with that too. They’re a good team.”

The SK-Snohomish game showcased the battle of the big men with the 6-8 Beitinger facing the Panthers’ 6-8 junior sensation Jon Brockman. That battle was a stalemate as Beitinger scored 22 points and pulled down 13 rebounds to Brockman’s 21 points and 19 boards.

“He’s tough,” Callaghan said of Brockman. “We knew he was tough. He’s probably every bit as good as his dad (former SK star Gordy Brockman, who played in the 1970s) was. He’s a good one.

“I think they were pretty much a draw,” Callaghan said. “I think Jake might have even got the better of him.”

Brockman broke open a close game with 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter.

“I played against him a couple times this summer,” Beitinger said of Brockman. “He’s one strong kid. I knew it was going to be a challenge for me. But I figured our games would kind of complement each other — me the finesse guy and him just a brute in the middle. But it was fun. He did a really good job and we tried really hard to match their intensity.”

Beitinger was the only SK player to score in double figures. Sophomore Conner Gehring saw plenty of action and scored nine points while Bennett added six.

“For our guys, what a great experience,” Callaghan said. “It’s a game and it counts on our schedule, the festivities were great but when it’s time to lace them up, it’s time to play. We played as hard as we could and we wanted to win as bad as we do any time.

“For us, it’s a positive even through we came up a little short,” Callaghan said. “It’s an experience you just can’t get every day. I’m just really happy that they invited us.”

Both Callaghan and his players said the experience will help them in the coming weeks as crunch time begins in the Narrows League Bridge Division.

“I think this was a good tuneup for us,” Bennett said. “It was good for us coming in here, and it doesn’t really go against our record. I mean, it will be on our record but it’s not league or anything. It’s a good warmup for next week.”

Next week brings the showdown for first place in the Bridge as the Wolves travel to Silverdale today to face Central Kitsap. CK sits atop the division at 5-1 and is 8-3 overall. The Wolves are now 6-5 overall and 4-1 in league play.

After that, SK plays host to Shelton before having to play three games the following week, getting Port Angeles sandwiched between a pair of games with Gig Harbor.

In Friday’s win over Olympic, Beitinger had a triple-double with 12 points, 15 rebounds and 12 blocks while Conner Gehring scored 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.

Jamil Moore netted 14 for the Wolves while Bennett scored 10.

Snohomish 59, South Kitsap 52

South Kitsap 10 12 13 17 — 52

Snohomish 13 14 13 19 — 59

South Kitsap - Michael Lizama, Conner Gehring 9, Rory Cosgrove 2, Jamil Moore 5, Reilly Hawkins, Derrick Webb 5, Jake Beitinger 22, Adam Bennett 6, Connor McPherson 3.

Snohomish - Justin Abel 7, Curt Krause, Jeff Rodland, Beau Siegel, Cris Lorenzen 8, Marcus Reinhard, Bobby Carlson, Jake Hammons 2, Michael Delaney 4, Jon Brockman 21, Darrel Martin 11, Adam Heater 4, Eric Jensen 2.

South Kitsap 57, Olympic 49

South Kitsap 14 14 9 20 — 57

Olympic 4 9 9 27 — 49

South Kitsap - Jake Beitinger 12, Adam Bennett 12, Michael Lizama 5, Conner Gehring 10, Jamil Moore 14, Derrick Webb 4, Connor McPherson 2.

Olympic - Chester Thomas 6, Reagan Logova 2, Reid Kessler 2, Brendan Campbell 8, Jeff Shaw 16, Steve Braun 3, Robert Messing 6, Brian Smith 6.

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