Undersized and down at halftime, Sequim’s Wolves dug deep for a key win against a league foe.
Nate Despain led all scorers with 25 points — including a basket and pair of free throws in the final minute — to lead Sequim to a 51-47 victory over Olympic on Jan. 29.
The win secures for Sequim (7-4 in Olympic League play, 12-7 overall) the league’s No. 3 seed to districts that start on Feb. 6 and bumps Olympic (5-6 in league, 9-10 overall) to the fourth seed.
“They’re well-coached and had us guessing at times,” Sequim coach Greg Glasser said. “Nate and Riley (Cowan) were able to step up.”
The 6-foot 2-inch Cowan, for much of the second half the only Wolf taller than 6 feet, helped to contain Trojan big men Caleb Morgan (6-6) and Greg Brehmer (6-3), with help from Despain and a rotation of guards Dallin Despain, Michael Young, Kyler Rollness, Rigo Langston and Erik Christiansen, as Sequim recovered from Olympic’s 33-27 halftime lead.
“We talked about (making) sure we got bodies on those guys; they help out so well,” Glasser said.
“If we’re going to be small, that’s who we are … and we’re OK with that,” he said.
After a back-and-forth first quarter and second frame that saw Olympic start to pull away, Glasser went with a smaller lineup that sacrificed a big of length for quickness, and it paid off. Tied 44-44 with 2:36 on the clock, Christiansen grabbed a steal for a breakaway layup that put Sequim ahead for good.
Olympic’s Morgan, who had 10 points and 14 rebounds, missed the first of a pair of fourth quarter 3-pointers, and Nate Despain had a layup to pus Sequim’s lead to 48-44.
Olympic guard Brandon Barron scored on a free throw and layup to trim Sequim’s lead to 48-47, but Nate Despain hit a pair of free throws, and a Barron 3-point try rimmed out. Young added a free throw to cap the win.
Christiansen and Cowan had three steals each while Young led the team with six rebounds.
Christiansen, Rollness and Nate Despain had three assists each.
Nate Despain was 9-of-18 from the field and had three 3-pointers; he also had eight deflections on defense.
Barron led Olympic with 15 points.
The Trojans out-rebounded Sequim 27-19, but the Wolves had 13 steals to Olympic’s five.
Sequim finishes the regular season on Thursday against rival Port Angeles. The Roughriders (10-1 in league, 15-4 overall) seek an Olympic League title; they are tied with North Kitsap’s Vikings (10-1, 16-3), who are at North Mason on Thursday.
Sequim lost a 74-29 decision at Port Angeles on Jan. 8.
“I think that was one of my poorest coaching jobs,” Glasser said of the loss.
Girls fall at Olympic
Sequim’s girls didn’t fare as well against the Trojans in Silverdale Tuesday night, dropping a 49-45 decision the knocks the Wolves out of a shot at an Olympic League title.
Hope Glasser scored 13 points and Kalli Wiker added 11, but Sequim (8-3 in Olympic League play, 13-5 overall) fell behind by 12 points at halftime (25-13) and couldn’t complete the comeback.
“We knew playing at Olympic was going to be tough with them vying for the fourth-place seed at districts,” Sequim coach Linsay Rapelje said. “It was a very physical game with little to no fouls being called in the first half, and we struggled to score.”
Sequim out-scored Olympic 20-12 in the final frame.
“We did not give up, though, and my girls fought hard to come back within two points in the last 10 seconds of the game,” Rapelje said.
“Even though it didn’t go our way in the end, I believe we not only learned a lot from this game, but I’m proud of the grit we showed in the end.”
Brilee Triggs led Olympic (5-6, 8-11) with 12 points. The Trojans are now tied with Kingston for the fourth and final league berth to districts; the teams play each other at Kingston on Thursday.
Sequim takes on rival Port Angeles on Thursday in a varsity doubleheader. The girls play at 5:45 p.m., followed by the boys’ game.
Sequim dropped a 59-50 league game at Port Angeles on Jan. 8.