South Kitsap girls basketball one win away from state playoffs

South Kitsap's girls basketball team has few links from last season.

But the three returning players — junior Kelsey Callaghan and seniors Danielle Stewart and Molly Werder — all said they learned from the Wolves' first state-playoff berth in nine years last season.

Callaghan said one point of emphasis was to avoid the consistent loser-out situations they faced in the playoffs a year ago.

South (17-6) ensured that will not be a concern in its next game after a 64-47 win Thursday night against Emerald Ridge in the Class 4A West Central District Tournament playoffs. The Wolves play Federal Way at 6 p.m. Saturday at Foss High School. The Eagles (20-4) defeated Olympia 61-35 on Thursday.

The winner qualifies for the state playoffs.

"Last year, we had to fight, fight, fight," Callaghan said. "We were fighting for our lives. Now it's just one more game. Another time mark on our voyage."

South scored nine unanswered points to start the game and never trailed. Callaghan, who had 10 points and seven assists, and her teammates frequently moved the ball in the motion offense until they found an open shooter. The main beneficiary was junior Angela Romonsky, who hit five 3-pointers en route to a team-high 17 points. Six Wolves scored at least eight points.

"We were really clicking offensively in the first half," South coach Mark Lutzenhiser said. "Kids were seeing people and shots were falling. It made it difficult for them to even get started."

The Jaguars (11-12), who play in the South Puget Sound League South Division, did not score a field goal until sophomore guard Karina Matias converted a layup with 2 minutes, 7 seconds left in the first quarter. Emerald Ridge hit just 2 of 15 shots in the opening eight minutes.

The Wolves took a 37-23 lead at the intermission and Emerald Ridge was not able to cut its deficit into single digits during the second half. The Jaguars, who play a loser-out game Saturday against Olympia, shot just 26.2 percent from the field. They were led by sophomore guard Taylor Buie, who scored 20 points.

West Central District Tournament

At South Kitsap 64, Emerald Ridge 47

Emerald Ridge 7 16 8 16 — 47

South Kitsap 19 18 14 13 — 64

Emerald Ridge: Stephanie Riley 7, Ashly Johnson 1, Taylor Buie 20, Audrey Sullivan 7, Alex McCoy 0, Elise Johnson 0, Karina Matias 4, Jamie Rothermel 2, Charleen Pleasance 6.

South Kitsap: Kelsey Callaghan 10, Kelsey Stoner 0, Jackie Steiger 9, Angela Romonsky 17, Danielle Stewart 8, Ali Davis 0, Jodi Bowe 2, Monieca Thuring 2, Dana Goularte 8, Molly Werder 8.

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