Sequim’s boys basketball team earned two tough, scrappy wins last week, beating the North Mason Bulldogs 51-46 at home on Jan. 22 before beating Bremerton’s Knights on the road 52-42 on Jan. 24, avenging a difficult loss from earlier in the season.
In the North Mason game, the Wolves fell behind in the opening minutes but then raced out to a lead, utilizing a press to disrupt the Bulldogs’ offense for much of the first quarter.
In one fast-scoring sequence, Sequim’s Isaiah Moore hit a 3-pointer, followed by Hayden Eaton earning a steal and an easy layup on the ensuing possession, and finished by a Michael Young 3-pointer — his first points of the season — after another Bulldogs turnover, all in the span of about a minute.
The Wolves held a 32-27 lead at halftime, but a strong third quarter from the Bulldogs would set a more tense tone for the second half.
A pair of 3-pointers from Moore and Erik Christiansen extended the Wolves’ lead early in the third quarter, but Sequim was outscored 13-2 the rest of the period to leave the game tied at 40 going into the fourth quarter.
For much of the frame, the Wolves and Bulldogs traded buckets and turnovers, but with less than two minutes to go the momentum finally started shifting in Seequim’s favor.
A tough bucket from Moore gave the Wolves a 47-45 lead, and following a close foul against the Bulldogs on the ensuing possession, North Mason forward Julian Betancourt’s complaint led to a technical foul. Wolves guard Dallin Despain hit one of the two resulting free throws. He and Moore added free throws in the last 20 seconds to secure the win.
“We just wanted to win that game,” Despain said. “We knew how important that was for making the playoffs, securing a spot. We knew we had to stop them.”
“It was a tight one down (the stretch),” Sequim head coach Greg Glasser said. “We made some adjustments after losing Miller Campbell at times. He made some great shots you had to tip your hat to, and we have to respond better to that at times when a guy gets hot like that.”
Moore led the team in scoring with 15 points on the night while pulling down six rebounds. Christiansen scored 12 points with five steals as a big part of helping keep the Bulldogs’ mid-range game in check.
Despain was a big part of the team’s defensive lockdown in the fourth quarter, holding North Mason to just six points in the last quarter. He found more success at the offensive end of the court than in recent games.
“I’ve been waiting for my offensive game to build up,” Despain said after scoring nine points on the night, along with two steals and eight rebounds. “I know what I can do, it’s just been a matter of executing it.”
“(Dallin) works tirelessly,” Glasser said of Despain’s offensive improvement this season. “I’m not sure anyone else here takes more shots than he does in the offseason.”
Battling the Knights
After suffering a 77-62 loss at home to the Knights earlier in the season, the Wolves raced out to a 19-11 lead after the first quarter.
The Knights were able to close the gap to 23-19 by halftime using their high-pressure defense, but Sequim responded with 29 second-half points while maintaining control of the Knights’ fast-break offense.
Christiansen led the scoring for the Wolves with 11 points, with Michael Young and Stew Duncan adding 10 apiece.
Young also pulled down six rebounds and handed out five assists, sharing the creative load with Despain, who had six assists, three points and two steals with his usual strong defense.
“Young gives us a different dynamic out there,” Glasser had said after the North Mason game.
“He’s so strong and so tough defensively. He and Dallin aren’t afraid to guard anyone on the court, no matter their size, and that can give teams a lot of trouble. Those two combine so well.”
The Wolves are set to play their final home game of the regular season against the North Kitsap Vikings on Jan. 31, with tipoff scheduled for 7:15 p.m. as the second half of a girls-boys double-header that night.
Sequim then heads out on the road to face the Olympic Trojans on Feb. 4 before finishing their season with a trip to play the Port Angeles Roughriders on Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m.
If the Wolves qualify for the postseason, they’ll vie for one of six state tourney berths at the 2A West Central District 3 playoffs scheduled for Feb. 13-22.