South gets passing grade at season's mid-point

John Callaghan is used to handing out grades; he does it on almost a daily basis at Marcus Whitman Junior High.

But as his South Kitsap boy’s basketball team hit the season’s halfway mark Wednesday night with a 73-52 win over Olympic, the Wolves find themselves tied atop the Narrows League Bridge Division standings thanks to Central Kitsap’s win over Gig Harbor. The Wolves (12-1, 7-1) started the second half of league play late Friday night at home against Shelton and face it’s toughest stretch of the season next week with road games at Port Angeles (9-4, 5-2) Wednesday and at Gig Harbor (11-2, 6-1) Friday.

So with that in mind, Callaghan, in his eighth year as the ninth-ranked Wolves’ coach, handed out some grades on his own team’s performance so far this year.

OFFENSE: “Our offense off the break is excellent I think. Our halfcourt offense, that’s improving. That’s the one area offensively that we need to work on and improve at. And just finishing shoots around the basket. So those two areas, but execution in the halfcourt is the main area of concern. I’d say our halfcourt offense would be about a C-plus or B- minus and off the break, it’s probably an A – going to the hoop, we’re alright.” Grade: B

DEFENSE: “Defensively, again we are improving. I think our pressure has been excellent. Our rebounding has been pretty good, we’re doing a nice job of getting a butt on people and not giving up a lot of second shots. Our halfcourt defense, we’ve just been solid in the halfcourt, it’s an area we need to improve in.” Grade: B

GUARDS: “I think our guards (Tippy Burk, Tysaiah Curry, L.P. Neloms, Dan Nelson) have done a nice job of taking care of the ball, running our offense and scoring. I think the thing is that we just haven’t been tested a lot up till now, unfortunately. So it’s hard, until we get pushed and Gig Harbor is really the only game that we have been pushed and we’ve had a lot of game where we’ve blown people out. So it’s hard (to grade) because we haven’t had that experience of end-of-game execution.” Grade: B

WINGS: “They (Conner Gehring, Evan Atwater, Garrett Boone, Jared Privatt) have been solid and I think that’s a strength of ours. Our wings have done a nice job of shooting the ball, taking care of the ball, I have no complaints right now.” Grade: B

POSTS: “(Josh Monagle, Ryan Sweet, Joe Pisa, Kris Carlson) have been OK, I’d say they’ve been pretty good. Obviously, Josh got off to a fast start Ryan getting hurt, gave Joe an opportunity to show what he can do and he’s done a nice job. Kris has really come on and done a nice job.” Grade: B

BENCH: “I think the bench is definitely our strength. I don’t there’s been a team that’s come close to outscoring us off the bench, or even been close. And that’s nice because we’re pretty comfortable (playing) nine or even ten guys right now. Our bench is definitely the strength of this team.” Grade: A minus

COACHING: “I don’t know. The coaches (Callaghan, Darren Bowden, David Rodriguez, Jim Savage, Justin Anderson), we’ve gone out and got our scouting done and we’ve been hard at it. But it’s been an interesting start to the season but somewhat frustrating. I mean, here we are 12-1 but I wouldn’t say I was ecstatic or overly happy about how things have been just from a discipline standpoint. But that is improving. We sat down and had a team meeting and ironed some things out when we were in Yakima, which was excellent – it was just what we needed. So I anticipate the coaching to improve also. Definitely.” Grade: B

OVERALL: “I think we’re moving in the right direction. And that’s the most important thing. I think we are getting better, well, we’re definitely getting better. And we still have a long ways to go. Hard work is something that we’re still doing and we’re still going after what we want. As far as goals that we had set, there still out there and attainable for us. So I’d say things are looking good. Grade: B plus.

Notes: Ryan Sweet scored 17 points and pulled down six rebounds to lead the ninth-ranked Wolves to a 73-52 Narrows League Bridge Division win over Olympic Wednesday night. Evan Atwater continued his strong play with 12 points, Josh Monagle netted 11 while L.P. Neloms added 10.

South Kitsap 73, Olympic 52

Olympic — Ryan Neal 4, Chris Maclaren 9, Rodney Jones 8, Sean Joyner 9, Xavier Mancha, Rich Smith 8, Marc Valencia , Justin Turner 12, Tony Williams 2, Chris Lane, Rashad Greene.

South Kitsap — Conner Gehring 6, Tippy Burk 3, LP Neloms 10, Jsoh Monagle 11, Ryan Sweet 17, Jared Privatt, Gibson Davies 2, Tyisaiah Curry 6, Evan Atwater 12, Kris Carlsen 2, Garrett Boone, Joe Pisa 4.

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