South follows familiar formula to Hoopfest win

They did it once so why not again.

Down by as many as eight points in the second half, the No. 3 ranked South Kitsap Wolves turned up the heat on Roosevelt and once again pulled away in the end to gain a 50-45 victory Monday in the Eighth Annual King Holiday Hoopfest at the University of Washington.

The Wolves, now 12-0 on the year, had beaten the Roughriders and Arizona-bound Marcus Williams 64-58 in overtime Dec. 29 in the semifinal round of the Oh Boy! Oberto Christmas Classic, coming back from a double-digit deficit.

“It was just like the first time basically,” senior wing Jamil Moore said. “But this time our main key was to block (Williams) out. That's where he gets all of his points, off rebounds. He's strong - he's a good all-around player.”

Moore once again was asked to defend the 6-7 superstar, as he had done three weeks earlier. The first contest saw Williams burn the Wolves for 32 points. But Monday, Moore was up to the task as Williams scored just 18 points, way under his average and the first time this season he has been held under 30 points.

“Jamil is as tough as they come,” South coach John Callaghan said. “He was looking forward to the challenge. Jamil did a really nice job all the way around.”

Moore got into early foul trouble in the first matchup but he said he learned a lot from that game and brought that knowledge into the second matchup.

“I'm playing against a Division I prospect so that makes me feel better (about my game),” Moore said. “This time I knew how he played and I felt better about it coming in.”

Williams was just 7 of 22 from the field and hit a 3-point at the buzzer to get to 18 for the night.

But even so, the Roughriders pulled out to a semi-comfortable margin at half time, leading 26-20, and maintained it until late the fourth quarter. But that's when the Wolves turned up the pressure.

Just as it had been three weeks earlier they started forcing turnovers that led to easy transition baskets. South had overcome a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit against Roosevelt in the first game using their full-court pressure late in the game.

“We pressured them throughout,” Callaghan said. “At the end, we kind of picked up our intensity a little bit and all the way, it wears them down a little bit. We stayed aggressive and good things happened.”

Senior guard Derrick Webb once again led the way offensively for South with 15 points. Junior post Josh Monagle held his own inside with 13 points and 13 rebounds while junior wing Conner Gehring, who also helped out on Williams, added seven points and five boards.

“Our guys, they feel pretty confident knocking it down if they are open,” Callaghan said. “So I think staying aggressive and attacking the basketball all the through, in the end, I think that helped us out.”

The Wolves were also helped out by making 20 of 24 free throws which made up for a poor shooting day. The Wolves hit just 16 of 56 shots but played tough enough on defense to remain unbeaten.

Now, their attention returns back to Narrows League Bridge Division play. The 6-0 league-leading Wolves play host to Central Kitsap, 5-1, tonight at 7 p.m. in the South Kitsap gym.

“In the big picture, this fun and we want to win every game,” Callaghan said. “But (tonight's) game is probably a bigger game. But I think we'll be ready to go.”

South Kitsap 50, Roosevelt 45

Score by quarters

Roosevelt 9 17 10 9_45

South Kitsap 11 9 11 19_50

Roosevelt - Amin Tufa 2, 0-1_5; David Aberg 2, 0-0_2; Dustin Jensen 0, 0-0_0; Carlos McArthur 8, 0-0_8; Marcus Williams 13, 5-6_18; Aaron Haggon 0, 0-2_0; Mike Odland 2, 0-0_2; David Grant 6, 4-4_10. Team totals: 36, 9-13_45.

South Kitsap - Conner Gehring 5, 2-2_7; Tippy Burk 3, 2-2_5; Jamil Moore 4, 3-3_7; Evan Atwater 0, 0-0_0; Derrick Webb 6, 9-10_15; Jacob Yount 0, 0-0_0; Josh Monagle 10, 3-5_13; Ryan Sweet 2, 1-2_3; Connor McPherson 0, 0-0_0; Joe Pisa 0, 0-0_0; LP Neloms 0, 0-0_0; Ty Curry 0, 0-0_0. Team totals: 30, 20-24_50. Three-point field goals: Tufa, Williams, Gehring, Burk. Rebounds: Williams 11, Tufa 10, Monagle 13. Assists: McArthur 3, Moore, Atwater, Webb. Steals: Williams 2, Burk 4.

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