Sports

Bulldogs crush Wolves' dream

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For 20 breathtaking minutes on Friday night, it looked as if Sequim's Wolves might be able to put some salve on that two-year-old wound.

But a single jump shot simply made that wound a little deeper.

Down one point with seconds furiously ticking off the clock, North Mason guard Jennifer Hicks found herself open at the top of the key and calmly swished home a three-pointer, giving the Bulldogs a 35-33 win and denying the host Wolves their first win of the season.

"I though they played amazing," Sequim coach Stephanie Lewis said of her Wolves. "They're starting to understand basketball (and) ... realize how it is to be up in the fourth quarter."

The Wolves, seeking to snap a 40-game losing streak that dates back to February 2008, hoped to send their two seniors (Katrina Ignagni and Amanda Bekkevar) out on a good note with a win on Senior Night, their final home contest in Sequim.

For much of the first half, it seemed neither team could find a spark. North Mason, out three starters due to injury, saw their junior varsity-fueled lineup limp out to a 14-6 lead by halftime while Sequim (0-15 in league play, 0-19 overall), missing two key starters, missed all 29 shots from the field and sank just six of 16 free throw tries.

But in the third quarter, led by freshman Taylor Balkan and junior Lindsey Soha, the Wolves came alive. They scored 17 points and jumped out to a 23-20 lead.

"(They all) stepped up and filled that void," Lewis said.

A Balkan free throw pushed Sequim out to its biggest lead at 31-27 with two minutes remaining, and she hit a pair of freebies with 1:41 on the clock to give Sequim a 33-30 advantage.

But Hicks closed the gap to two points with free throws and, after a key Wolves turnover, got the ball with five ticks on the clock. She hit it, deflating an energized Sequim crowd.

Lea Hopson's last-second three-pointer missed the mark.

Balkan led Sequim with 14 points while Soha chipped in with 10 points, 13 rebounds and four steals. Hopson had seven steals and 12 rebounds.

"I really wanted it," Ignagni said, moments after her final home game. "It's tough because it was our last chance (at home)."

The Wolves were scheduled to finish the 2009-2010 campaign in Silverdale on Feb. 16 against the Olympic Trojans.

Ignagni said she plans to attend Peninsula College in Port Angeles next year and catch some home games to root on her former teammates.

"(I'll miss) just playing the game, being with all my friends," she said. "I've been playing with some of them since we were really young."

Vikings fend off hungry Wolves

Still grasping to slim hopes of a playoff berth, North Kitsap's Vikings weren't about to let a scrappy Sequim squad end those aspirations.

Indigo Williams was red-hot, leading the Vikes with 20 points while teammate Brandi Ritter tossed in 14 of her 16 points in the second half as North Kitsap downed the host Wolves 55-41 on Feb. 9.

Rylleigh Zbaraschuk led Sequim with 14 points while Hopson added 13 points for Sequim, who kept close all game long.

After dropping a 57-32 decision to North Kitsap earlier this season, the Wolves kept the Viking lead to single digits until the end of the third quarter.

Haleigh Harrison had seven points while Caitlin Wiker added three in the defeat.

Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette.com.



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