Sports

Hardcourt heartbreak no more

Sequim’s Lea Hopson guards a Port Townsend player in the Wolves’ 52-45 win on Dec. 7. Hopson led the squad with 23 points.    Photo courtesy of The Leader (Port Townsend)

by MICHAEL DASHIELL
Sequim Gazette


Let a new streak begin.

Sequim High’s girls basketball squad — those victims of a two-year-plus losing streak — is back in the win column, and in a big way.

Sequim swept aside a trio of opponents, including two Olympic League rivals, and headed into this week of play with a 3-1 overall record.

This, after a pair of winless seasons in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010.

Sequim coach Stephanie Lewis credits her team’s attentiveness and hard work for the turnaround.

“They are buying into the system; we’re way more focused in practice,” Lewis said. “(And) we work hard in practice so we can play the game. The girls are smiling when they come off the court, not just because they’re winning but because they’re having fun.”

After toppling a pair of peninsula foes early in the week, Sequim traveled to Belfair on Dec. 10 for a bit of revenge against host North Mason. (The Wolves looked like they had snapped their losing streak at the end of the 2009-2010 campaign at home against the Bulldogs on Feb. 12, holding a one-point lead (33-32) with just five seconds left. North Mason guard Jennifer Hicks sank a three-point shot, however, that proved to be the game-winner and prolonged Sequim’s dubious streak.)

On Friday evening, however, Sequim’s Lea Hopson and crew made sure this game didn’t come down to a last-second shot. Hopson scored 20 points as the Wolves jumped to a 35-14 halftime lead and
held on for a 51-41 win.

Taylor Balkan and Haleigh Harrison added 10 points each.

Sequim was scheduled to play four games in five days this week, including Dec. 13 at Bremerton and Dec. 14 against a travel team from Australia; results for the games were unavailable at press time.
Sequim hosts Klahowya on Dec. 15 and travels to North Kitsap on Dec. 17.

The Wolves then have a break until the Mark Morris tournament in Longview, set for Dec. 29-30.

Sequim stomps Chimacum
Sequim outscored Chimacum by 18 points in the final 16 minutes of play to rout their 1A foes 54-34 on Dec. 9.

Harrison led the charge with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Hopson added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
“A lot of good things (tonight),” Lewis said following the victory. “Everybody touched the ball. We got fired up at halftime.”

Sequim led 9-3 after a quarter but saw the lead dwindle to just three points by the break.

That’s when the Wolves put on the press and forced a barrage of turnovers, racking up 16 steals. Hopson had four thefts while Balkan and Columbia Haupt had three each.

Rylleigh Zbaraschuk added seven points and six rebounds.

Demiree Briones had a solid all-around game in the post, tallying 10 rebounds, two points, three assists and two steals.

Streak-breaker comes in P.T.
With a fast and furious start and cool presence at the end, Sequim players can now forget Feb. 23, 2008.
That 11-point win against Steilacoom at the West Central District tournament was the last time Sequim had won a game — 43 games ago.

The Wolves put to bed the losing streak with a 52-45 victory at Port Townsend, getting 23 points from Hopson, the senior guard, and nine points from Zbaraschuk.

The Wolves jumped out to a 21-12 lead by halftime and held on, hitting key free throws down the stretch.



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