Sequim’s Wolves were in full control in their last game before the Olympic League season kicks off, beating the visiting Port Townsend Redhawks 67-55 on a night where the Wolves’ two young big men dominated.
With the team’s leading scorer Erik Christiansen sidelined thanks to a minor wrist injury, junior forward Hayden Eaton and freshman Isaiah Moore controlled the paint at both ends of the court and set the pace offensively.
“That’s a really good pairing,” SHS head coach Greg Glasser said of Eaton and Moore. “They’re both athletic and run the floor really well. I’d like to see them be a little bit stronger inside, and we’re going to work with them this week on (a few things).
“We have very talented young big men right now, and I’m very excited about that.”
Moore led the team with 17 points on the night on eight-of-10 shooting from the field,adding nine rebounds, five assists, three steal and two blocks.
Moore had a block of a 3-pointer in the third quarter that left the Redhawks so stunned that he was easily able to outpace them for a runaway layup.
Eaton earned the Wolves’ first double-double of the season, with 14 points and 13 rebounds, helping Sequim improve to 3-1 on the young season.
“I really like (playing with Moore),” Eaton said. “We have a really good connection. I know where he wants the ball and he knows where I want the ball and we can get it there.”
Stew Duncan also had a good night, helping keep the scoring momentum going in the first half with two key 3-pointers alongside strong work on the defensive end of the court.
“Stew had a really good night,” Glasser said. “He’s really growing into his role as a leader and a senior in this team, and he had some really important moments for us tonight.”
Duncan was a significant part of keeping star Port Townsend forward Noa Apker-Montoya quiet until the fourth quarter when the game was well in hand — when Glasser rested most of his starters to give the bench some quality court time.
Season’s first week
In the Wolves’ season opener on Dec. 2 against the Klahowya Eagles, they had to overcome a 23-16 halftime deficit to take the lead with less than three minutes left in the game and ultimately win 45-37.
Junior guard Riley Chen, who was starting and playing in his first varsity game, hit four 3-pointers en route to a team-high 14 points, with Christiansen adding 13 and Moore scoring eight, as well as getting two blocks in the second half at key moments to help push the momentum in Sequim’s favor.
Sequim got an explosive scoring output from Christiansen against Neah Bay on Dec. 4, putting up 28 points to pace the Wolves to a 65-49 win.
“I’d like it if my three-(pointer) was better,” Christiansen said, “so I worked on my driving and (it worked). I like the way the team is shaping up; we have great chemistry.”
After a back-and-forth first quarter, the Wolves took full control in the second quarter to post a 38-23 lead by halftime.
Moore scored 13 points with six assists, eight rebounds and a block, while Eaton made his season debut with nine points and six rebounds in 16 minutes of action.
The Wolves fell to the Fife Trojans 55-39 on Dec. 7 after a mistake-laden first half. The Wolves, led by Christiansen’s 14 points, played better in the second half, including a 17-2 run in the third quarter and to pulling within eight points during the fourth quarter
“I was pleased with our second half play,” Glasser said, “but we are not going to beat many teams if we (keep playing) like we did in the first half.”
The Wolves start their Olympic League season against the Kingston Buccaneers on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Rick Kaps Gymnasium. They then head on the road to face the North Mason Bulldogs on Dec. 13 and come home to host the Bremerton Knights at 7 p.m. on Dec. 17 before taking a brief break for the winter holidays.