The Port Angeles Roughriders didn’t play their cleanest game, but their defense was impenetrable for Sequim much of the night as the Wolves managed just five points for the first 15 minutes, 59 seconds of the first half.
Host Port Angeles emerged with a 62-22 win over their rivals on May 12, holding a 42-8 lead at halftime even after Pryce Glasser hit a 3-pointer for Sequim at the halftime buzzer.
The Wolves, playing without Erik Christiansen, one of their best players, can take a small amount of solace in the fact that the Riders have stymied three straight opponents this year, with their other two wins by even bigger margins. Port Angeles has allowed an average of just 26 points in three wins while scoring 74 points a game, and winning by an average of 48 points.
The Wolves (2-3) can also take heart that they played better in the second half, holding the Riders to just 20 points in the half.
“We didn’t play well; we played scared and back on our heels,” Sequim coach Greg Glasser said. “Hopefully, instead of hanging our heads, they’ll learn from this experience.”
The Riders only allowed seven points in the second half in their previous game against Olympic. So, in 32 full minutes of basketball spread over two games, Port Angeles’ defense allowed just 15 points.
Riders coach Kasey Ulin thought his team played well defensively all game, but lost focus in that low-scoring second half.
“I told them I’m not going to beat you up for that poor second half, but to take it as a challenge,” he said.
Port Angeles passed well, especially in the paint. Adam Watkins and Chase Cobb executed a couple of nice give-and-go plays in the key and John Vaara added a pretty pass in the key to Watkins.
“That’s the first time anyone all year has played man against us,” Ulin said. “We spend a lot of time talking about ‘read and attack.’ It’s all based on making the right play.”
Vaara, at 6-foot-9 with a long wingspan, had a great game defensively for Port Angeles. He had two big swats that got the crowd excited and broke up what appeared to be an easy basket on a 2-on-1 fast break. He simply reached out with one of his long arms and broke up a pass to not even allow a shot on the fast break.
It was also the Wolves’ fifth game in eight days, but Glasser said the Wolves can’t complain about that. “We can’t make excuses. We got beat by a superior team,” he said.
Glasser said Christiansen has a shoulder injury that will require surgery in the summer and that the shoulder popped against East Jefferson. He is hoping he can return this season.
Ten Roughriders scored. Chase Cobb led Port Angeles with 12 points, while Vaara had 10, Xander Maestas nine and Wyatt Dunning eight.
Isaiah Moore led the Wolves with six points, while Glasser had five. Glasser said Jayden Possin played a good game at point guard for the Wolves.
The Wolves were scheduled to host Kingston on May 18 — results were not available at press time.
Sequim is at Klahowya on May 22 and Bremerton on May 26 before finishing the regular season with two home contests against class teams: 3A Central Ktisap Cougars on June 2, and Bainbridge’s Spartans on June 3.