Sports

It’s payback time as SK tops Shelton

Technical fouls are geared to penalize a team, but Friday night they had the opposite effect on the South Kitsap boys basketball team.

Having just blown a 16-point third quarter lead, highlighted by back-to-back technical fouls called on their bench, the Wolves responded with some tenacious defense and let big man Jake Beitinger do his thing as South ended the game on a 15-2 run and recorded a 70-55 Narrows League Bridge Division win over Shelton.

“I really wanted to win this one,” Beitinger said. “We really owed them one.”

Beitinger scored a season-high 30 points and pulled down 17 rebounds as South moved to 8-5 overall and 6-1 in division play with the win.

“We owed them one because they beat us last time (a 51-47 loss back on Dec. 17),” guard Derrick Webb said. “In the locker room, we decided to come out and play as hard as we could for 32 minutes, and that’s what we did.”

For the most part.

But a 40-24 lead early in the third quarter quickly dwindled to a 55-53 advantage with four minutes, 30 seconds left in the game after a furious scoring rush by Shelton and two technical fouls on the SK bench — one for obscene language and the other on coach John Callaghan for kicking a water bottle that somehow ended up on the court.

It was then that things changed, as the Wolves outscored Shelton 15-2 over the game’s final 4:30.

“It got out of hand, but we got back after it and got the lead back up,” senior guard Jamil Moore said. “And we had to calm down Coach first.”

Callaghan, who was furious at the technical calls and had to be restrained by players and assistant coaches, said he was impressed with the way his team responded.

“You know, I have to hand it to our guys,” Callaghan said. “Our intensity, it appeared as if it went up. We stayed aggressive, offensively and defensively. It was nice to see our guys respond like that.”

In fact, Shelton scored just one bucket the rest of the game, as the Wolves turned up the heat and let Beitinger do his thing.

“I just tried to rally the troops,” Beitinger said. “We have to keep our composure and keep grinding because we have a game out here. The guys were looking for me and I was just trying to win a game.

“Defensively we struggled, and we have the last couple of games,” Beitinger said. “But I think we really put on the pressure towards the end and that’s what really saved us.”

Beitinger scored nine points in the fourth quarter while his team rallied around him. Webb ended the night with 11 points while Moore added eight. Adam Bennett did his part with 13 points and eight boards.

“He came up huge,” Callaghan said of Beitinger. “We did a really nice job of attacking the zone. Connor (Gehring), Derrick, Jamil and Mike (Lizama) all did a nice job of getting the ball into Jake, which is not always an easy thing to do. But we did a nice job of getting it in to him in a good spot so he could score.”

The Wolves also did a nice job of slowing down Shelton’s two big scorers, guard Colby Brewer and center Bill Richardson. Brewer scored 21 to lead the Highclimb-ers while Richardson battled Beitinger and Bennett all night and ended up with 20.

“We played that diamond-and-one, and I was on (Brewer) and he’s such a tough shooter, but we did our thing,” Webb said. “We held him a little bit. I mean, he still got his points, but we did a good job.”

Callaghan echoed that thought.

“That guy (Brewer), he can shoot. He’s always been that way,” Callaghan said. “If you give him an inch, he can drill them. But Derrick and Mike, I thought they did an excellent job of trying to keep the ball away from him, No. 1, and when he got it, they were right there. He never got an open look. But he did hit some amazing shots.”

The win keeps the Wolves in first place in the division, although they face a tough week that started late Monday night against Gig Harbor. South travels to Port Angeles tonight before closing out the week with another game against Gig Harbor.

“The guys are playing real hard and I’m really proud of them,” Beitinger said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do still, but we’re getting there.

“The major thing is Jake may have had 30 tonight and Adam gets his, but our perimeter play is improving,” Callaghan said. “And the more our perimeter improves, the tougher we’re going to be.”

SOUTH KITSAP 70, SHELTON 55

Shelton 11 11 23 10 — 55

South Kitsap 19 17 13 21 — 70

Shelton - Colby Brewer 21, Tom Creekpaum 3, Isaiah Taito 3, Jeff Kieburtz 8, Bill Richardson 20.

South Kitsap - Connor Gehring 8, Jamil Moore 8, Derrick Webb 11, Jake Beitinger 30, Adam Bennett 13, Mike Lizama, Rory Cosgrove.

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