With six and a half minutes left on the game clock, Sequim’s floor general went to the bench with five fouls.
The visiting Roughriders took full advantage.
Fueled by some quick hands and clutch shooting from junior guard Kyle Benedict, Port Angeles overcame a six-point second half deficit to knock off rival Sequim, 59-52.
The win gave Port Angeles a season sweep — they roughed up Sequim 75-45 on Dec. 13 — but it didn’t come easy.
Led by guards Payton Glasser and Nate Despain, Sequim built a 41-35 lead by the waning moments of the third quarter. The Riders scored the final five points of the third quarter to close the gap, and when Despain fouled out with 6:34 left in the fourth, it shifted the momentum of the back-and-forth game toward the visitors.
Port Angeles went on a 12-2 fourth quarter run that saw Benedict account for 10 of those, including a pair of 3-point daggers.
Sequim looked to respond with Glasser, who led all scorers with 26 points, but the Roughriders held the high-scoring senior to just four points in the final quarter.
“We’re asking a lot out of one guy in particular, especially when Nate goes out,” Sequim coach Greg Glasser said.
“That was really hard; I felt like I could have helped the team out,” Despain said. “(But) the guys played an awesome game, Cole (Williams) with his rebounding, Payton with scoring.”
Coming off a big win against Bremerton earlier in the week, Sequim looked to avenge one of their more lopsided losses of the season, and through three quarters it looked as if it might happen. Yet at each step of the way Port Angeles seemed to have an answer. The Wolves jumped out to a 16-11 lead late in the first quarter — 12 from Glasser — but Colton McGuffey tallied a pair of baskets to close the gap to 16-15.
Port Angeles took a 22-18 lead in a hard-fought second frame, with Payton Schmidt sinking a key 3-pointer. Sequim reserve Rigo Langston answered with a 3-pointer of his own, and a trio of Glasser free throws kept it close; Port Angeles held a 26-25 lead at half.
Early in the third quarter the teams traded the lead four times before Despain hit a deep 3-pointer for a 32-30 Sequim lead. The SHS advantage grew to six as Glasser worked inside for scores. Langston answered a long range bomb from Roughrider Andrew Borde with a triple of his own to bring Sequim’s lead to 41-35, but Port Angeles would go on an 19-4 run spanning the third and fourth quarters, and held on for the victory.
Despite the loss, Greg Glasser said he was impressed with how his younger players — in particular, Langston, Joey Oliver, Taig Wiker and Hayden Eaton — stepped up during what not unexpectedly turned out to be an emotional game.
“Rigo didn’t hesitate (to shoot) — it’s huge for them to have that confidence,” Greg Glasser said. “That’s such a huge thing for a high school kid.”
Eaton, a ninth-grader that Glasser started Friday and wound up with four points, helps bolster Sequim’s front line while Langston, Oliver, Wiker and other young backcourt players have provided some depth.
“Nice problem to have; now we can test the waters with these guys,” Greg Glasser said. “We’re trying to get 10-12 points from our bigs (forwards and center) — that way we can spread it out more,” he said.
Despain, who had nine points in the loss, said Sequim can learn from the loss.
“Our practices have been amazing; (so has) the effort in general,” the junior guard said. “We’re going to take that into next week and focus on the next game,one game at a time.”
Garrett Edwards led Port Angeles with 17 points. Benedict had 11 points, all in the fourth quarter.
Eight Roughriders had at least four points.
SHS boys rout Bremerton
The Wolves got plenty of scoring from multiple players and rolled to an easy, 62-32 Olympic League win over the Knights on Jan. 9.
The Wolves got 16 points from Riley Cowan and 14 from Despain. Glasser, the team’s leading scorer, chipped in 11 and Eaton scored eight.
Glasser led the team with seven rebounds while Cody Bell had five. Despain had five assists and six steals while Cowan had four steals.
Sequim had a 9-7 lead after one quarter but ran away with it in the second frame, taking a 26-12 lead into halftime that they would not relinquish.
Sequim was scheduled to host Kingston on Jan. 16.
The Wolves are at Bremerton Jan. 19 and host North Mason on Jan. 23.
Following a Jan. 26 match-up at Olympic, Sequim closes the season with two home games: Jan. 30 against non-league foe Coupeville, and Feb. 1 against North Kitsap.