Sequim’s boys took a tough loss on Jan. 31, falling 83-42 at the hands of the North Kitsap Vikings.
Against an incredibly athletic North Kitsap team that also carried a notable size advantage, the Wolves struggled for interior productivity at either end of the court. The Wolves’ perimeter shooting allowed them to keep the game relatively close early — they trailed 22-14 after the first quarter — but their inability to get anything going inside allowed the Vikings to steadily pull away.
Between the middle of the second quarter until the middle of the third quarter, the Vikings went on a 19-0 scoring run that saw them race out to a 55-30 lead.
SHS’s Erik Christiansen snapped the run with a 3-pointer, but the Wolves never got closer than 20 points behind again, ending the third quarter down 65-40 before the Vikings shut them down in the final quarter.
The Wolves especially struggled to contain Vikings’ star point guard Kobe McMillian, who didn’t score a ton of points on his own but used his excellent ball handling skills to create tons of easy scoring chances for North Kitsap that other opponents the Wolves have faced this season would have struggled to manage.
“They’re a tough, tough team,” Wolves’ head coach Greg Glasser said. “They’re playing some good basketball at the right time of year. Scott (Orness) does a great job with his team, and they’ve got plenty of weapons out there.
“Our effort was there, but they were better than us. If our guys recognize that, hopefully it’ll motivate them to work harder in the offseason to get stronger and better.”
The win makes the Vikings the presumptive winners of the Olympic League this season, set to finish their campaign against the Kingston Buccaneers and North Mason Bulldogs, who have combined to win three games this season.
SHS senior Stewart Duncan, who was honored before the game as one of two seniors on the team alongside Zach Ballantyne, had 11 points against North Kitsap, hitting three 3-point shots in the first half to help keep the Wolves in the game early.
“I’m sad it’s ending,” Duncan said of his high school career. “It’s been a lot of fun. I love this team, they push me a lot in practice and in games.
“I definitely felt some extra pressure tonight, but I knew I could make the shots I was taking.”
“Stew’s been great to have here,” Glasser said. “You don’t see many kids in the gym working more than he does. He’s been working towards this moment for a long time, and he’s been such a leader this year. I’m really going to miss him.”
The Wolves were without point guard Dallin Despain, who hurt his right knee against the Bremerton Knights on Jan. 24 and remains in question going forward this season.
Shooting guard Riley Chen was also absent after struggling with illness in recent weeks.
“That made it a lot tougher on us, losing two starters,” Glasser said. “It completely changed the perimeter game. Michael Young stepped up and played really well, but it would have been a different game if we had Dallin and Riley.”
The Wolves were scheduled to face the Olympic Trojans on the road on Feb. 4. Results were not available at press time, but a Sequim win would clinch for the Wolves a spot in the West Central District 3 playoffs.
Sequim’s final game of the regular season will be on the road against the Port Angeles Roughriders at 7:30 p.m. If the Wolves lose both of their remaining games and the Trojans win both of theirs, the two teams would play a tiebreaker game to determine the fourth place finisher and final berth to the district playoffs.
The district tournament is scheduled for Feb. 13-22.