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Doormat offense dooms South Kitsap
It was a game that left both coaches ready to discuss their defenses.
Offensively, there simply wasn't much to talk about.
That especially was true for South Kitsap as it lost for the third consecutive time in Narrows League play, 43-34, Wednesday against Gig Harbor.
The loss put the Wolves (3-3 overall, 1-3 league) in a tough position already in the six-team Bridge Division. South, which was coming off a 63-33 loss at Wilson, fell into fifth place and would not qualify for the league playoffs at this point.
“We dug ourselves a hole,” South coach John Callaghan said. “We’ve got to play out of it.”
Callaghan said there still is time to rectify the situation, beginning at 7 tonight at Lincoln (3-2, 3-1). After that, the Wolves play in the Dec. 28-30 Les Schwab Christmas Classic at Bellevue Community College before returning to league play after the new year.
But improvement might have to come through a committee of scorers. South did not have a player score in double figures — it was led by senior forward Leon La Deaux’s nine points — and shot just 23.5 percent from the field.
“We just, you know, we’re just struggling from 15 feet and out,” Callaghan said. “We’re just not filling (the basket) up right now, that’s for sure.”
The Rep Assembly of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association approved an amendment to implement a 35-second shot clock in April. Despite that, the Wolves treated the ball like a game of “Hot Potato,” rarely making an attempt to score before there was less than 10 seconds left on the shot clock.
“We’re not reacting to the defense,” Callaghan said. “We’re just going through the motions.”
Even with those factors in their favor, the Tides (4-2, 2-2) never were able to break away from the Wolves. Gig Harbor had its own offensive problems as all seven of its first-quarter points came from 6-foot-6 junior Austin Seferian-Jenkins. He converted all three of his field goals, while his teammates did not connect on six shots. The Tides shot 39.5 percent from the field during the game.
“We don’t score a lot of points,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “But we play really good defense. It’s a focal point for us to play defense and make some offensive plays as a team. It’s really good when we can do both.”
Neither team led by more than three points — La Deaux hit a 3-pointer on the opening possession — in the first half. South junior point guard Isaiah Davis followed a missed shot with a layup to tie the game, 15-all, entering halftime.
Gig Harbor finally took the lead for good on a jumper by Seferian-Jenkins, who scored a game-high 16 points, to take a 23-21 advantage with 5 minutes, 4 seconds left in the third quarter. The Tides took their largest lead, 37-28, with 5:25 left in the game on a Seferian-Jenkins field goal.
The Wolves were able to cut their deficit to 37-34 with 48.6 seconds remaining when junior wing Kerry Burden split a pair of free throws. But Gig Harbor converted its final six free throws to secure a rare win in Port Orchard.
“Any time we go on the road, we talk to the kids about being mentally tough,” Gig Harbor coach Tom Adams said. “I thought we can say we were.”
It was just the Tides’ second win in their last 10 meetings at South since the teams began playing twice a season in 2000-01. Gig Harbor’s last road win in the series came in overtime, 54-53, on Jan. 4, 2006.
Gig Harbor 43, at South Kitsap 34
Gig Harbor 7 8 16 12 — 43
South Kitsap 7 8 10 9 — 34
Gig Harbor: Troy Castle 4, Brandon Gagliardi 11, David Bigelow 3, Ted Steingraber 0, Chris Repar 7, Cody Williams 0, Igee King 2, Sam Medak 0, Austin Seferian-Jenkins 16.
South Kitsap: Josh Dubble 0, Greg Pickard 2, Isaiah Davis 4, Nars Martinez 5, Cedric Brown 2, Chris Blue 2, Joey Osinski 2, Leon La Deaux 9, Riki Blas 3.
At Wilson 63, South Kitsap 33
South Kitsap 8 6 10 9 — 33
Wilson 19 16 11 17 — 63
South Kitsap: Josh Dubble 2, Greg Pickard 1, Isaiah Davis 0, Nars Martinez 9, Steven Ebner 0, Cedric Brown 2, Chris Blue 0, Joey Osinski 2, Leon La Deaux 8, Colin Gallagher 0, Riki Blas 2.
Wilson: Jackson 8, Smith 8, Waters 2, Davis 2, Hope 19, Stevens 5, Schultz, Lawton 7, Hankins, Dam 2, Cooper 8, Peart 2, Martin 0.