Sequim’s newest chapter of their rivalry with Port Angeles was a tale of two halves. Unfortunately for the Wolves, it didn’t include a happy ending.
The Wolves took advantage of a Roughrider squad that didn’t amp up their trapping defense for two quarters, building a 20-16 halftime lead in their Jan. 12 match-up.
But that Sequim lead dissipated in mere minutes in the third quarter, when full court pressure and slick floor play from senior Gracie Long and freshman Madison Cooke sparked a 27-8 PA run and led to a 60-33 Roughrider victory.
“The first half we were able to go back and forth with the defenses we wanted to show them,” Sequim coach Larry Brown said. “Defensively we played the best half all season.”
But the Riders’ 1-3-1 zone proved to be too difficult for the young Wolves, Brown said, particularly in a deciding third quarter.
“PA’s a really good team,” Brown said. “We’ve given up a quarter a game. I’d like to see that go to a half a quarter per game.”
Sequim got a big first half spark from guard Bobbi Sparks, who scored a trio of baseline baskets in the first half, and 3-pointers from Abby Schroeder and Jayla Julmist.
“Bobbi gave us a big boost in everything; she gives us a big-time increase in speed and production,” Brown said.
Port Angeles coach Michael Poindexter said his team was a little too tight in the opening frames.
“We weren’t relaxed at all,” he said. “We were real tentative. Sequim played hard, they played well; we thought they would. They knocked down some shots early.
“We tried some new defenses in the first half, particularly in the second quarter. But our problem was tentativeness and tightness.”
Sparks fouled out in the third quarter, leaving the Wolves short-handed against a stifling Roughrider defense.
The Wolves crawled back to within 15 points midway through the fourth quarter after Kalli Wiker’s 3-point heave, but big baskets from a host of Roughriders — particularly Cooke, whose 19 points led all scorers — kept Port Angeles’ lead safe.
Freshman Jaida Wood provided the exclamation point with less than a minute left, scoring a four-point play.
Julmist led the Wolves with eight points. Sparks and Schroeder had six points each. Wiker had five while Hope Glasser and Alicia Grasser had three points apiece.
Brown said he wanted to make sure his players didn’t stay too disappointed after the loss. “I try to tell them to stay within their game,” he said. “A couple of the girls were down. I let them know that we’re better than that.”
In a Dec. 13 league game, Port Angeles out-scored Sequim 21-0 in the first half.
Wolves avoid upset, KO Knights
A winless Bremerton held on as long as they could, but Sequim simply overpowered the host Knights 49-34 on Jan. 9. Kalli Wiker led a balanced attack with nine points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter.
Sequim jumped to a 10-4 lead after one quarter and 30-15 lead by halftime.
Pilar Aliseda hit a pair of 3-pointers and finished with eight points while Julmist, Sparks and Jessica Dietzman had seven apiece.
Hope Glasser, Sequim’s leading scorer coming into the game, had just five points but led the team with 13 rebounds and seven steals.
“We started out really slow and finally started to find the basket,” Brown said.
“Defensively, we played a very strong and aggressive game,” he said. “We were able to force a lot of turnovers and capitalize on those.”
Roxanna Dunklin led Bremerton with 13 points.
Sequim was scheduled to play at Kingston Jan. 16.
The Wolves are at Olympic on Jan. 18 and host Bremerton on Jan. 19. They follow that with three road games: a non-league game at Friday Harbor on Jan. 20, North Mason on Jan. 23 and another non-leaguer at Cascade Christian on Jan. 24.
Michael Carman, a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum, contributed to this story.