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Wolves take second at district tourney
by MATTHEW NASH
A week of magnificent basketball led Sequim to a second-place finish for the West Central District Championship.
The Olympic League co-champions Wolves took on the Clover Park Warriors on Monday in the razzle dazzle of the ShoWare Center in Kent after a string of three district wins against Steilacoom, Franklin Pierce and Sumner.
Clover Park’s David Crisp goes up and under — and past Sequim’s Erik Christensen — for two of his game-high 26 points. The Warriors topped Sequim, 60-45. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell
The Warriors jumped to a 10-2 lead after three minutes and some early Wolves turnovers. Sequim kept pace, though, and finished with Clover Park leading in the first period 17-9.
Early in the second period, Clover Park went into single bonus foul, sending Anthony Pinza and Gabe Carter to the line: They made three of five free throws.
Sequim couldn’t capitalize on the foul advantage, finishing with the Warriors up 30-18 at halftime.
Jayson Brocklesby, Carter and Rory Kallappa came out aggressively in the second half helping cut their deficit to seven points with less than two minutes to go in the third period.
But the Warriors made the most of more Wolves turnovers to balloon their lead to 15 off and on.
With a surge from Brocklesby, scoring 13 of his 22 points in the fourth, Sequim got as close as 10 before losing 60-45.
After the game, head coach Greg Glasser had few words to say for his team.
“We haven’t been in this position much, but this is good,” he said. “We’re better for the experience.”
Carter said that Sequim isn’t done yet.
“I want us to be a top-eight team at state,” he said.
The Wolves return to Kent on Saturday, Feb. 23, to play at 4 p.m. in Kent-Meridian High School against either the Hockinson Hawks or the Washougal Panthers (the opponent was decided after press time).
If Sequim wins, then it moves on to the state bracket. The Warriors play the Olympic Trojans after Sequim’s game in the same venue, a game which could pit the Wolves against either of those teams in the first round of the state tournament.
Carter said they obviously don’t know much about their opponents for Saturday, but they plan to work on passing and not making turnovers.
“With a team like Clover Park, each time we turn it over it’s an automatic two points,” he said. “We need to cherish each possession.”
Sequim committed 22 turnovers against the Warriors.
Leading to shot at the title
Sequim opted for the No. 2 seed as co-champions of the Olympic League behind the Trojans.
Olympic was knocked out in its first regional game against White River, 69-66, before winning a shot at fifth place in districts. The Trojans beat Kingston 56-54 to earn a shot to enter the state bracket.
The Wolves first faced the Steilacoom Sentinels on Feb. 13 at Lakes High School and won 62-47.
Brocklesby and Alex Barry led Sequim with 15 points each.
The Wolves then faced the No. 4 seed Franklin Pierce Cardinals on Feb. 15 and won 48-42 to move onto the semifinals against Sumner, which had upset No. 1 seed Renton.
Sequim kept its 20-game-winning streak alive by overpowering Sumner 55-48.
Brocklesby paced Sequim throughout the districts averaging 19.5 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game. He also received a sportsmanship award after the finals against Clover Park.
The last win in the state tournament for Sequim came in 2009 against Tumwater, but the team didn’t place, going 1-2.