Sports

Sluggish start sinks SK

South Kitsap
South Kitsap's Michael Longmire goes up for two of his 13 points against Bellarmine.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/Staff Photo

Bellarmine Prep already features one future Pac-10 player.

But it looked like the Lions had a roster full of them in the opening half en route to a 57-48 Narrows League boys basketball against South Kitsap Wednesday night in Tacoma.

There was little that Bellarmine Prep (8-7 overall, 5-4 league) didn’t do well in the first half. The Lions shot 64 percent from the field in the first 16 minutes, while holding the Wolves to 26 percent shooting to build to a 37-19 halftime lead.

“We came out slow with more jumpers than layups,” South guard Tionne Curry said. “Second-chance opportunities killed us.”

The Wolves (9-5, 5-4) have controlled the second half in their last three games, but have lost two of those contests. Coach John Callaghan said it’s time for his team to play smarter and put together a consistent game.

“We played well in the second half, but the game is 32 minutes,” he said. “We dug ourselves too deep of a hole.”

South took a 3-2 lead on a 3-pointer by Curry, but the Wolves never led again after the teams traded baskets during their next possessions. Callaghan was critical of his team’s offensive execution, which included several forced shots and nine turnovers during the first half.

“In the first four possessions, we took three 3-pointers,” he said. “That’s not the way we play. That’s not attacking the basket.”

There also were problems on the defensive end. Curry said the Wolves focused on point guard Abdul Gaddy, who has signed to play at the University of Washington next season. Gaddy entered the game averaging 23.2 points per game, including a season-high 37 points in a loss last week against Wilson.

Gaddy needed a pair of late free throws just to reach 10 points against South, but Jordan Cain (19) and Romece Barnes (17) also reached double figures. Cain had 11 points in the first half.

“Sometimes our mental toughness is a question,” Callaghan said. “We had six rebounds in the first half. They had little 5-foot-9 and 5-foot-10 guys getting offensive rebounds on us.”

Callaghan said that at halftime, he challenged his team to show what they can do. The Wolves responded by shooting 54 percent in the final 16 minutes, while holding the Lions to 38 percent. That helped South eventually cut its deficit to single digits when Tre Haslom scored a layup with 7:40 remaining in the game. Bellarmine Prep led 44-35 at that point.

The Wolves reduced the lead to seven points on three separate occasions, but never were able to get closer. It didn’t help that they only converted 8 of 16 free-throw attempts.

South dropped to fourth place in the Bridge Division with the loss, but is only one game behind second-place Foss and two back of division-leader Lincoln. The Wolves host Mount Tahoma (10-3, 6-2), which is second in the Bay Division, at 7 tonight.

“It’s isn’t going to get any easier,” Callaghan said. “Mount Tahoma is way more athletic than these guys. We’re going to have to play smart.”

Wednesday

At Bellarmine Prep 57, South Kitsap 48

South Kitsap 10 9 14 15 — 48

Bellarmine Prep 18 19 7 10 — 57

South Kitsap-Greg Pickard 0, Isaiah Davis 0, Ivan Rybachuk 0, Tionne Curry 18, Austin Siegel 2, Tre Haslom 7, Joey Osinski 5, Leon La Deaux 2, Mike Longmire 13, Ricky King 1.

Bellarmine Prep-Abdul Gaddy 10, Romece Barnes 17, Markese Brown 0, Scott Hanson 3, Donald Gaddy 3, Imar White 0, Jordan Cain 19, Anthony Griffin 3, Marcus Matthews 0, Brandon Taft 2, Dan Medrzycki 0.

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