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Controversial calls end Wolves' season
Two controversial calls in the last minute of Saturday's game helped end South Kitsap's season and left coach John Callaghan seething.
"I'm just disappointed that an official could be that one way," said Callaghan, whose team lost 55-53 against Wilson at Foss High School. "That's just my opinion."
Holding a 53-51 and possession, South guard Isaiah Davis was called for an offensive foul in the backcourt. Jordan Dam missed a jumper, but Demetrius Smith grabbed the rebound and was fouled by Joey Osinski on a layup attempt. Smith converted both free throws to tie the game with 22.4 seconds left.
"The offensive charge, good lord, that's not even close," Callaghan said. "Let the kids decide it."
That still left the Wolves (13-9) with an opportunity to take the final shot. But Davis was called for traveling with 12.6 seconds left. It appeared the game would go into overtime when Smith missed a 5-foot jumper, but Desmond Trufant corralled the rebound and put in an uncontested layup to end the game.
"At least they scored a basket to win the game," Callaghan said.
He said Trufant, who has signed a football scholarship to play at the University of Washington, has "great ability," but Callaghan believes the venue affected the officiating. In the past, some league tournament games have been held at Bremerton High School, but not this season. Another Tacoma school, Stadium, hosted the league games in addition to Foss.
Callaghan acknowledged his team could have won the game or sent it into overtime by collecting a defensive rebound on either of the Rams' last two possessions, though. Wilson (17-7) capitalized by scoring on its second-chance opportunities.
"That was the last fundamental thing we discussed," said Callaghan, referring to the timeout Wilson took with 11.4 seconds left.
The Wolves trailed 41-40 entering the fourth period and Wilson extended its lead to six points on a South turnover with 3:31 left. Tionne Curry, who had 15 points, scored the Wolves' first points of the quarter on a layup with 3:13 remaining.
That was the beginning on an 8-0 run as South, which was in the double bonus at the free-throw line entering the fourth period, made six free throws in addition to another Curry layup.
But Jordan Coby, who entered the game shooting 53 percent on 3-pointers, was left open a hit a 25-foot shot to cut the Rams' deficit to 51-50. It might have been the turning point.
"I can't even talk about that," Callaghan said. "That's ridiculous. We had the game going our way. We would you leave him?
"A couple of mental mistakes on our part really cost us."
Smith tied the game, 51-all, when he split a pair of free throws with 1:12 left. The Wolves regained the lead on a pair of free throws 10 seconds later by Davis.
"They came back time after time," Callaghan said. "I'm really proud of how hard we played."
In a sense, it was surprising that South, which won the first two games between the schools by six points combined, was in position to win. After all, the Wolves didn't score a field goal in the second quarter, but still managed to produce 10 points. They trailed 48-36 at halftime.
"It wasn't like we weren't getting shots," Callaghan said. "How many layups did we miss?"
And the result was South missing the West Central District Tournament for the second consecutive season. The Wolves haven't advanced to state since 2006, the last of six straight appearances.
Despite that, Callaghan called it "a good year," noting that his team wasn't blown out regularly. South's largest margin of defeat came in a 59-42 setback Dec. 27 against Inglemoor at Bellevue Community College.
The Wolves graduate arguably their two best players in Curry and foward Mike Longmire, but Callaghan said he excited about the returning talent. Sophomore Tre Haslom scored 10 points.
"We've got good young guys coming back that we can build on," Callaghan said. "We'll be all right."
Narrows League Tournament at Foss High School
Wilson 55, South Kitsap 53
South Kitsap 13 10 17 13 — 53
Wilson 20 8 13 14 — 55
South Kitsap-Isaiah Davis 8, Ivan Rybachuk 4, Tionne Curry 15, Austin Siegel 0, Tre Haslom 10, Joey Osinski 2, Leon La Deaux 3, Mike Longmire 11, Riki Blas 0, Ricky King 0.
Wilson-Anthony Gray 2, Dugan Lawton 0, Jordan Coby 16, Desmond Trufant 15, David McMichael 1, Mikey Hope 3, Jibreel Stevens 5, Steven Schultz 0, Demetrius Smith 8, Jordan Dam 2, Xavier Cooper 3, Kyle Peart 3.