Wolves look to add consistency to their game

John Callaghan’s mantra throughout basketball season has been playing with intelligence.

South Kitsap’s boys coach believes the Wolves must couple that with tough defense in order to be successful.

They’ve been inconsistent with the former and it led to mixed results last week. South lost at Bellarmine Prep despite a strong second half and returned two days later with a 72-63 overtime win Friday against Mount Tahoma. The Wolves trailed by 17 points entering the fourth quarter of that game.

“The way we were playing, it looked hopeless,” Callaghan said. “But that’s basketball. You never know.”

Mike Longmire had a game-high 20 points, while Leon La Deaux added 18 points to lead the Wolves.

“All year we’ve played great defense,” Callaghan said. “That’s what has kept us in games. Now we’re starting to figure out where our strengths are on offense.”

Because Tuesday’s game against Shelton was postponed — it now is scheduled for Feb. 9 — the Wolves only play once this week. They played Thursday at Foss, a team that beat them 55-39 on Dec. 10.

“As it turns out, I think it’s a good thing for us,” Callaghan said Tuesday. “It gives us a lot of time to prepare for a really tough game against Foss.”

Callaghan wasn’t complaining about the extra day of preparation for the Falcons (12-4 overall, 8-3 league), who enter the game tied with Lincoln for first place in the Bridge Division. South is in fourth place, but only one game back in the loss column.

“There’s five teams with a legit shot at it and only four are going to get into the Narrows League Tournament,” Callaghan said. “Every game is going to be huge.”

That’s important because the top two teams in both the Bay and Bridge divisions automatically advance out of the Narrows League to the West Central District Tournament. The top four teams in each division qualify for the Narrows League Tournament.

It would be a stretch to suggest that the Wolves’ playoff prospects are tenuous, but a loss against Foss followed by another Saturday at Wilson could put the Wolves (10-5, 6-4) in that position. They host fifth-place Gig Harbor (7-8, 4-7) on Tuesday. The Tides won the previous game between the teams, 53-52, on Dec. 16.

South then plays Thursday at Lincoln before finishing the regular season against last-place Shelton (2-13, 1-9).


At South Kitsap 72, Mount Tahoma 63 (OT)

Mount Tahoma 10 12 20 11 10 — 63

South Kitsap 6 11 8 28 19 — 72

Mount Tahoma — Smithererman 0, Harris 2, Lord 17, Baines 3, McClarron 15, Byrd 4, Bazile 16, Pate 4, Barr 2.

South Kitsap — Greg Pickard 0, Isaiah Davis 6, Ivan Rybachuk 0, Tionne Curry 9, Austin Siegel 0, Tre Haslom 9, Joey Osinski 6, Leon La Deaux 18, Mike Longmire 20, Ricky King 4.

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