Wolves lack intensity in loss

If ever there was a time to come out a little flat, Tuesday night was it.

And that’s pretty much what the South Kitsap boys basketball team did in its Class 4A West Central/Southwest District semifinal matchup with Puyallup.

“The bottom line is we weren’t as intense as we needed to be,” South Coach John Callaghan said of the Wolves’ 53-46 loss.

“We played hard,” Callaghan said. “I don’t think we played with the intensity we’re capable of.”

It would be hard to blame the Wolves for the somewhat lackluster performance. After all, they were coming off an emotionally charged 51-43 victory over undefeated and top-ranked Bethel last week — a victory that propelled them into their fourth-straight Class 4A state tournament.

“We may have been thinking a little bit about our last game instead of Puyallup,” Callaghan said. “The last game was great and we learned from it, but this is a different game and it’s down to the end and I think we let one slip away.”

South, now 17-8, has one more game remaining before next week’s state tournament begins. The Wolves face Auburn at 2 p.m. today in the third/fourth place contest.

Callaghan seemed ready to let his Wolves slide a bit on the intensity, but just a bit.

“Maybe — but at this point, we don’t have too many more games left,” Callaghan said. “And we talked about that. It’s a 32-minute game and we ended up losing by the amount of points we were down by in the first quarter. You have to play all 32 minutes.”

Puyallup, 17-7, faces Mount Tahoma at 6 p.m. tonight in the WCD title game.

“We’re playing hard and that’s what it takes at this time,” Puyallup Coach John Wetterauer said. “We’ve picked it up on defense and we’ve been kind of making things happen.”

The title contest will be the Vikings’ third home playoff game of the year, something that Wetterauer likes.

“We aren’t going to turn it down,” Wetterauer said. “Obviously, we didn’t throw the game against Kentwood (a 66-54 loss in the South Puget Sound League tournament last week) to get into that bracket. It’s a nice opportunity for us.”

Puyallup’s Doug Noteboom scored a game-high 18 points, which was a surprise to both coaches.

“We’re a team and we don’t have anyone that scores a ton of points,” Wetterauer said. “Doug picked up a big night for us. He just had a huge night for us offensively.”

“(Noteboom) was not at the top of our list, that’s for sure,” Callaghan said. “He hit some tough shots but that’s the way it goes.”

Jake Beitinger paced the Wolves with 17 points while Adam Bennett added 13 and Jamil Moore tossed in 10.

“It was a game to more of their liking,” Callaghan said. “Our guys played hard but I don’t think our intensity was there. Obviously in the first quarter, the first half, maybe. The intensity, it’s going to have to be better than that.”

Puyallup 53, South Kitsap 46

Puyallup 15 16 7 15 — 53

South Kitsap 11 14 7 14 — 46

Puyallup - Doug Noteboom 18, Justin Terry 2, Jacob McKinney 6, Adam Grant 5, Johnny Spevak 13, Austin Kirkpatrick 7, Makai Borden 2.

South Kitsap - Jake Beitinger 17, Adam Bennett 13, Mike Lizama, Derrick Webb 2, Jamil Moore 10, Conner Gehring 2, Rory Cosgrove 2.

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