Wolves record unsatisfying win

Mike Allen didn’t mince any words after his South Kitsap girls basketball team barely survived with a 52-50 win over North Kitsap Friday night.

“It’s a little step backward,” Allen said. “We weren’t as good from the free-throw line and that turned into baskets for them. And we turned the ball over and our defensive intensity was way low compared to usual. Our press was pathetic tonight compared to usual.

“So we took a few steps back, but it’s not going to hurt us down the stretch,” Allen said. “It’s just something we all look at and go, ’OK, we understand we can’t let down and be complacent in our game. We have to be up.’ ”

Up is where the Wolves find themselves heading into the final two games of the season — up by two games on Bremerton for the fourth and final playoff spot. South improved to 11-7 overall and 8-4 in division play and faces last-place Olympic Wednesday before closing out the regular season at Central Kitsap.

The Wolves control their postseason fate and can lock up the final spot with one more win.

“This week is very important for us,” senior guard Christina Bui said. “I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to hold our own. We’ve been doing well and we haven’t been getting big heads about this. We’ve been coming into every game and playing hard through to the end and I think we’re going to do OK.”

Friday’s game was the final home game for seniors Bui, Loni Tostenrude, Shamika Curtis, Leah Bradley and Jamie McLean, which may have had something to do with the outcome.

“I think Senior Night has not been traditionally our best night,” Allen said. “People are always focused on all the flowers and stuff. I think we’ve won every Senior Night since I’ve been here, but I think we uglied our way through it. It kind of looked like we were playing from behind most of the time instead of with a lead.”

South lead throughout the game but could never put North away, thanks to some fine defensive play from the Vikings, who shut down Tostenrude.

“That was our goal, and we played a box-and-one on her, and then she got in foul trouble in the first half and ended up sitting at lot and that kept us in the game,” North coach Dan Weedin said. “I thought we did a good job on her. She’s an outstanding player.

“We played a great defensive game,” Weedin continued. “South’s a good team and they needed this win, so they were motivated to play well.”

Tostenrude, who averages around 15 points a game, scored only six, all in the fourth quarter.

“Yeah, she didn’t touch the ball very much,” Allen said of Tostenrude. “But you know that North Kitsap. That’s their game plan to take her out, and they did a good job of that and other people had to do something and at times they did.”

Those other people would be Bradley and Bui, who scored 15 points each for the Wolves.

“Their season is pretty much over and I’m sure they wanted to spoil ours,” Bui said. “They came out and held their own. It was close, but we kept it up, it was good defense in the end.

“I was hitting my threes tonight,” Bui said. “I feel it in practice now. It’s just coming, and I’m going to need them because the season’s not over yet.”

Bui hit three 3-pointers in the game.

“She’s a great player. We’ve played her many times,” Weedin said. “She’s, in a sense, the X factor because if you start trying to take away Tostenrude, then that leaves the opportunity for someone like her to hit some shots and she made some plays today for them.”

Bui has been a bigger part of the Wolves offense of late, and that’s been by design.

“We’re letting the game come to them more than being aggressive,” Allen said. “If you wait for the game to come to you, then the offense comes. If we force it, we tend to be a little bit out of control. I think they did a good job of holding out and being set for the shots and not rushing things.”

The Vikings’ Jenna Reed did her part in keeping North in the game, scoring a game-high 19 points while Jasmine Hill added 10.

South Kitsap 52,

North Kitsap 50

North Kitsap 11 15 7 17 — 50

South Kitsap 13 15 15 9 — 52

North Kitsap - Brenda Stice 3, Jenna Reed 19, Jasmine Hill 10, Rachael Kramer 5, Katie Swanlund 7, Heather Case 2, Coreena Stout 2, Ali Lydick 2.

South Kitsap - Christina Bui 15, Shamika Curtis 6, Leah Bradley 15, Loni Tostenrude 6, Sharissa Pauley 2, Morgan Wiggin 4, Megan Gilbert 4.

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