GIRLS BASKETBALL | Wolves’ season gets off to rough start

It is difficult to imagine at worse start to South Kitsap’s season.

In addition to a 49-28 setback Tuesday night in a nonleague game against Renton, the Wolves watched sophomore guard Libby Borgonia wheeled off on a stretcher after a hard foul.

Borgonia was knocked into the padded wall after driving for a transition layup with 1:01 left in the second quarter and was tended to for more than 20 minutes before she was transported off the court at 8:24 p.m. and taken to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma. Borgonia appeared to suffer a lower back injury, but South coach Mike Hulet said he was not clear about that afterward.

“I haven’t heard anything,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her. She was hurting pretty bad when she left.”

While Borgonia is not a starter, Hulet said he felt the 5-foot-2 point guard brought energy to the Wolves on both ends of the floor when she entered the game.

“You saw when she went in,” he said. “The tempo kind of went up. She’s a tough kid. She can push and pressure defend. She’s an integral part of our program.”

When Borgonia departed, the game was tied, 17-all. Because of the injury delay, the officials elected to end the first half. Senior Gabrielle Stewart shot Borgonia’s free throws — she converted 1 of 2 — after the intermission. That officially gave South an 18-17 lead at halftime.

The Indians, who compete in the Class 3A Seamount League, took their first lead, 19-18, when senior forward-center Alisha Stowers hit a jumper with 7:49 remaining in the third quarter. South was outscored 16-0 during the third period. By the time the Wolves finally scored again with 5:33 left in the game on a baseline jumper by junior guard Hayley Romo, they trailed 40-20.

While Hulet believes his team was adversely affected by Borgonia’s injury, he said there were other issues. South was outhustled for some loose balls and rebounds during the second half. Junior guard-forward Taylor Farris was the primary beneficiary as she scored a game-high 17 points.

“Like I told the girls, we need to demand more of each other in practice and get after it a little bit more,” said Hulet, whose team also had 21 turnovers. “There’s plenty of work to go around. Everybody needs to pick it up.”

Neither team shot well, but the Indians used several second-chance opportunities to convert layups or draw fouls. Renton made 6 of 22 free-throw attempts, while the Wolves connected on 1 of 4.

“Our help-side defense was suspect,” Hulet said. “They got down into the lane time and time again. Bad things happen when they’re getting into the lane.”

South will not have much time to sort out those issues as its plays on the road for the first time at 7 p.m. Friday at Mount Tahoma.

Renton 49, at South Kitsap 28

Renton             9          8          16        16        —        49

South Kitsap    13        5          0          10        —        28

Renton-Janaya Williams 7, Kiera Houston 0, Shelly Sauls 1, Asia Brisco 0, Bethlehem Alem 2, Natajia McMillan 9, Mariah Perry-Jimerson 7, Taylor Farris 17, Shelby Proctor 2, Alisha Stowers 4.

South Kitsap-Libby Borgonia 0, Hayley Romo 2, Alyssa Melendez 0, Marybeth Bray 2, Alona Lund 0, Hailey Parker 0, McKenna Mallory 2, Brianna Shafer 2, Gabrielle Stewart 9, Kaylee Yergeau 6, Shannon Laupola 0, Hayley O’Dell 5.

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