Excuse the Wolves if they're a little chippy. It's been five years since they've humbled their rivals from Port Angeles on the basketball court.
But thanks to an aggressive zone defense, an über-patient offense and some clutch free throws from Ary Webb, Sequim managed to get past the Roughriders 34-30 on Saturday night.
"That's a big booster for our guys," Sequim coach Greg Glasser said. "We talked a lot about finishing games. In the fourth quarter ... it was all of us working together."
Webb scored a team-high 16 points, hitting five of six from the line in the last four minutes to preserve the win.
The all-league guard/forward combo sank a pair of free throws with 24.8 seconds remaining for Sequim's 33rd and 34th point, the last scores of the game.
"I had a lot of shots that just didn't go in," Webb said, minutes after finishing the contest five-of-17 from the field. "It's sweet. I don't remember the last time we beat P.A."
That was back in December 2003, when Webb was still in middle school. Back then, Chris Mobley scored 16 points as the Wolves edged Port Angeles 48-47 under the coaching reins of Brian Roper.
Saturday's game was a battle of patience and defense. Sequim (2-4 in league, 5-5 overall) worked relentlessly to get Webb open looks while the Roughriders tried to capitalize on the Wolves' relative lack of size inside.
After a rather muddled first quarter that saw Sequim take a 4-2 lead, Port Angeles found a bit of rhythm in the second frame. The Roughriders ran off an 11-0 run thanks to a pair of put-backs by Colin Wheeler and Steve Rogers, plus a three-pointer and pair of free throws from Ian Ward.
Down 15-9 at halftime, the Wolves reaffirmed their commitment to patience on offensive and defensive ends. Webb and Textor each had a pair of buckets and, after Jeremie Oliver's steal and score, Sequim led 23-18.
Port Angeles looked for Rogers, the tall junior on the inside, but couldn't consistently get him a clean look with the Wolves' 1-3-1 diamond-shaped zone seeping down on him. Without a reliable outside threat, the Roughriders settled for passing it around, hoping for an open shot.
That, Glasser said, was a mistake.
"We don't mind a slow-down game," he said. "We're long enough and quick enough that we're going to get a hand on something eventually."
Textor had two scores to open the fourth and give
Sequim its biggest lead at 27-20. But Port Angeles had a run of their own, scoring six straight points to get within 27-26. A Sequim turnover with a little more than four minutes gave the Roughriders a chance to go ahead, but the visitors from the west missed three shots in a row.
Webb converted a Port Angeles technical foul into a pair of free throws and hit another with the free possession. Clancy Catelli's lay-up pushed the lead back to six points at 32-26.
The Roughriders had one last gasp, getting put-back scores from Dustin Walsh and Rogers to close to 32-30. Webb's free throws put Sequim ahead for good.
"P.A. is like the Sequim Super Bowl," Wolves forward John Textor said with a grin.
It was Textor who turned a discouraging performance at the line into something super, preserving the Wolves' four-point lead with a block of a Roughrider three-pointer with almost no time left.
Seconds earlier, Textor had missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw chance, the second such miss of the quarter. After the block, the senior roared with excitement.
"That sort of made up for the free throws," he said.
Textor finished with eight points and a team-high seven rebounds. Oliver added six points, five rebounds and
The Wolves committed just six turnovers to the Roughriders' 10. Sequim held Port Angeles to 12-of-42 (29 percent) from the field.
Glasser said that though Port Angeles is having a down year (1-5 in league, 2-6 overall), the Roughriders are dangerous.
"In rivalry games, anything can happen," he said. "That's a good team. That team can knock some people off."
The Roughriders nearly knocked off North Mason (8-1) the night before, losing by three (41-38).
While Port Angeles was nearly taking down the league's top 2A team on Friday, Sequim was busy getting hounded by a strong North Kitsap squad in Poulsbo, falling to the Vikings 70-55.
Taylor Hoffer led North Kitsap with 23 points, giving his team a two-game lead over other Olympic League 3A schools.
Ary Webb had another strong game against North Kitsap, hitting for 23 points. Oliver and Textor had eight points each, but their best efforts couldn't overcome a 36-27 halftime deficit.
On Jan. 6, the Wolves got their first Olympic League victory of the season with a 57-37 win at Kingston.
Ary Webb scored 19 points and dished out five assists while Textor added 10 points and three steals in the win.
"It was a great team effort," Sequim coach Greg Glasser said. "We executed like a team and played good, fundamental basketball."
Sequim's Catelli and Oliver each scored eight points while Taylor Thorson chipped in with six points.
The Wolves' defense shut down Kingston for a four-point second quarter, giving Sequim a 24-15 lead at halftime.
Aaron Lawrence led Kingston with eight points.
Sequim was scheduled to play Bremerton Jan. 13 - results were unavailable at press time. The Wolves host Olympic Jan. 16.
Michael Dashiell can be reached at miked@sequim gazette.com.