For a while, the Port Angeles gymnasium felt like old times, with the Roughriders energizing their crowd with hustle and the Wolves on their heels.
But it didn’t last.
Sharpshooter Alex Barry and the visiting Sequim Wolves shook off that raucous crowd and the Roughriders with a 20-8 run in the third quarter that turned a five-point Sequim lead into a rout.
Only a string of points at game’s end kept the final score — 63-55 — from the true nature of the blowout.
“It was kind of nerve-wracking,” said George Johnson, a Sequim senior playing in his first Sequim-Port Angeles contest. “(The key was) playing tough defense and making shots when they count.”
Port Angeles, behind a strong rebounding front line, held a 12-11 lead after one quarter. But an Anthony Pinza 3-pointer — his only points of the night, though he had eight assists — and another by Barry put Sequim up 17-12. The Roughriders answered with a 9-0 run of their own as the first half clock dwindled, but Sequim senior Rory Kallappa chimed in with a 3-pointer that gave Sequim a 23-21 advantage. They would never lose the lead again, taking a 31-26 edge into halftime.
Second half surge
The Wolves kept that momentum in the second half. Barry nailed another 3-pointer — he finished with a game-high 23 points, 4-of-6 form beyond the arc — and his steal-and-layup combo put Sequim up 36-26. One possession later, Barry converted a three-point play the hard way, and drained another 3-pointer on the ensuing possession. With a Barry free throw at the 1:31 mark of the third quarter, the Sequim junior was outscoring the Roughriders 12-4 by himself.
Barry also had 10 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
“He is surprisingly strong with the ball,” Sequim coach Greg Glasser said of Barry.
Glasser credited Barry, Erik Christensen and Josh McConnaughey with solid work on the glass against a tough rebounding Port Angeles squad.
Victory versus Vikings
Sequim started the week with a come-from-behind win against the visiting North Kitsap Vikings, getting a huge game from their man in the middle. Christensen led the team with 17 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks, helping the Wolves overcome a five-point halftime deficit.
Barry added 15 points and 12 rebounds, Vance Willis scored 13 points and Pinza added seven assists.
North Kitsap was without 6-foot 9-inch center Calvin Dennis, who earned a pair of technical fouls in a non-league game against Evergreen the night before and was forced by rule to sit out the league contest.
Sequim was slated to play at Bremerton on Jan. 13 — results were not available at press time for this edition. The Wolves are at Port Townsend on Jan. 15 and at Olympic on Jan. 17.
“Every one of these games is a big game,” Glasser said.
“If we stick to our game,” Johnson said, “we’re pretty hard to beat.”