Sports

BOYS BASKETBALL| ‘Frantic’ Wolves blown out at Bellarmine

TACOMA — Bellarmine Prep guard Malachi Flynn hit four 3-pointers during the first quarter.

South Kitsap made only four field goals in the first half.

That pretty well summed up the game for the Wolves, who struggled to convert shots or make stops, en route to a 62-40 loss in a Class 4A Narrows League contest.

“I think frantic was how we played,” South coach John Callaghan said. “Offensively and defensively. We better turn it around in a hurry.”

It was a much different scenario than Callaghan expected. After all, South (9-5 overall, 2-4 league) defeated the Lions 66-56 in its Dec. 18 league opener.

“Big time,” said Callaghan when asked if the outcome surprised him. “I thought this would be just like every game has been in the Narrows. I thought this would be a battle.”

But the Wolves pretty much eliminated that possibility during the first half when they made just 4 of 23 shots as Bellarmine took a 37-16 lead into halftime. Meanwhile, the Lions (6-9, 3-5) converted 12 of 26 field goals, including 8 of 12 3-pointers, at the intermission.

“They hit 3s, but they had wide-open looks,” Callaghan said. “Shots go in when you shoot when you’re open.”

He equally was displeased with the offense. Callaghan felt the Wolves, who made 6 of 8 first-half free throws, were not aggressive enough in the opening 16 minutes. He also thought South forced too many shots.

“You’re going to have off nights when you don’t shoot the ball when you’re open,” Callaghan said. “We need to be able to run an offense.”

Flynn scored a game-high 18 points, while guard Mar’kese Jackson added 15 to ensure South would not make a second-half comeback. Senior wing Caulin Bakalarski, who scored 14 points, was the only Wolves’ player in double figures.

“Obviously, this probably is the worst game of the year for us,” Callaghan said. “They had something to do with that, too. They played well.”

Afterward, Callaghan was not certain why his team did not play well. This marked only the second time South has suffered a double-digit loss this season. The Wolves’ largest setback was 78-54 on Jan. 4 against Kentridge at Idaho’s Lake City Winter Tournament.

“For whatever reason we were not ready to go,” Callaghan said. “That’s my fault. That’s on me. We need to be ready to play. Otherwise, it’s going to be a short season.”

South still has six league games remaining, including 7 p.m. Friday against Central Kitsap, but would not qualify for the West Central/Southwest Bi-District Tournament if the season ended now. The top four teams in 4A Narrows advance to districts. The Wolves fell to fifth place with their latest loss.

“At this point we need to start playing well or we’re in trouble,” Callaghan said. “We’re not focused at all. We’ve got to get that cleared up. And we will.”

At Bellarmine Prep 62, South Kitsap 40

South Kitsap                9          7          12        12        -           40

Bellarmine Prep          25        12        8          17        -           62

South Kitsap-Ryley Callaghan 9, Caulin Bakalarski 14, Logan Knowles 8, MacIntyre McCarty 2, Teran Mackey, Travis Delgado, Eric Wattree 3, Aaron Scott, Xavier Wells, Forest Bingham 2, Isaiah Lewis 2.

Bellarmine Prep-Malachi Flynn 18, Mar’kese Jackson 15, Alec Foege 3, Drew Griffin 2, Garrett McKay 3, Carson Hollyoak 7, Rex Bodoia 8, John Francis Connelly, Will Wolf 6, Dan Joyce.

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