Wolves get the message

John Callaghan had a clear message to send to his team last week — and apparently they got it.

And Central Kitsap paid the price.

Senior post Josh Monagle scored a game-high 21 points and ripped down 12 rebounds in just three quarters of play Friday night to lead the South Kitsap boy’s basketball team to a convincing 82-47 Narrows League Bridge Division win over CK.

The win came just hours after South’s first setback of the season, an overtime loss to Gig Harbor on Wednesday night in which the Wolves not only blew a 15-point second-half lead but looked undisciplined and uninspired in doing so.

“We got smacked in the face (Wednesday night) and we had something to prove,” Callaghan said. “That was the pressure that we had to have and the intensity that we have to play with. I’m just really proud of the way they bounced back.”

The Wolves followed not only some outstanding inside play from Monagle but intensive pressure from its defense to move to 7-1 overall and 3-1 in Narrows League Bridge Division play.

The loss dropped the Cougars to 5-3 and 3-1.

“My dad told me, and then coach Callaghan told me, after you lose a game it’s how you bounce back that counts,” Monagle said. “So I wanted to make sure (the Gig Harbor) game was behind us, and I wanted to come out and have a good came (Friday night).”

Monagle started strong and finished even stronger, as the Wolves proved their mettle in blowing out CK.

L.P. Neloms added 13 for South, while Joe Pisa came off the bench to score 10. Ryan Sweet and Tysaiah Curry scored eight and nine points respectively.

“We had a real good practice (Thursday). Everyone was focused,” Neloms said. “We were determined to show that we were better than what we showed against Gig Harbor.”

South jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the game even started when Tippy Burk drained a pair of free throws after Central was called for a technical foul right before the game's tip.

South never lost that lead, first building it to 24-15 at the end of the first eight minutes before taking a 41-28 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The lead grew to double digits early in the second quarter and continued to expand throughout the rest of the game.

Callaghan said the biggest key was staying aggressive and playing all 32 minutes of the game, opposed to just the 16 or so minutes the Wolves played Wednesday night.

“The one thing that we did better than we’ve done all year is we pushed the ball when we had the break, but we were able to grind it out in the half-court,” Callaghan said. “And hopefully that’s something that will help us out down the road.”

Monagle said the team wanted to make a statement against CK and beat them by 30 points. And they did just that by getting the ball inside to him early and often and relying on a defense that caused multiple turnovers.

Monagle made up for a poor game last week by taking control inside early. T

he 6-5 senior had 14 points by halftime, 12 of those coming on layups.

“I was more focused,” Monagle admitted. “I think coming into the Gig Harbor game, we were a little cocky. We were like, ‘We’re going to beat them. It’s at our home and it will be no contest.’ And they gave us a reality check, and that’s good.”

South now finds itself in a second place tie in the league with Central and Port Angeles.

The Wolves play host to North Kitsap Wednesday with a new outlook on the season..

“Coach kind of opened our eyes and reminded us that we have to take it one game at a time now,” Monagle said. “Every game counts now.”

Callaghan credited his team with producing its best practice of the year the day after losing to Gig Harbor and said that practice translated well onto the floor.

“If we can build on this,” Callaghan said, “then we’re going to be OK.”

South Kitsap 82, Central Kitsap 47

Score by quarters

South Kitsap 24 17 25 16 - 82

Central Kitsap 15 13 6 13 - 47

South Kitsap - Conner Gehring 6, 0-0 - 6; Tippy Burk 2, 2-2 - 4; LP Neloms 11, 2-2 - 13; Josh Monagle 18, 3-4 - 21; Ryan Sweet 8, 0-0 - 8; Joe Pisa 10, 0-0 - 10; Tysaiah Curry 5, 4-6 - 9; Evan Atwater 2, 3-3 - 5; Dan Nelson 4, 1-1 - 5; Kris Carlson 0, 1-2 - 1; Jared Privatt 0, 0-0 - 0. Team totals: 66, 16-22 - 82.

Central Kitsap - Michael Dorsey 4, 0-0 - 4; JR Gordon 14, 3-3 - 17; Nick Arena 6, 1-3 - 7; Jordan Deck 0, 0-0 - 0; Mike Simpkins 10, 0-1 - 10; Cody Oakes 2, 0-0 - 2; Danial Zylstra 5, 0-1 - 5; Zac Brown 0, 0-0 - 0; Bryan Alpach 0, 0-0 - 0; Eric Dore 0, 0-0 - 0; JD Rastovski 2, 0-0 - 0. Team totals: 43, 4-8 - 47.

Three-points goals: Gordon 2, Zylstra, Neloms, Curry.

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