The Sequim Wolves suffered their first league defeat of the season at the hands of the Bremerton Knights on Dec. 17, falling 77-62, a game in which they never held the lead.
“It’s tough to learn how to play against a team like Bremerton in one night, in one game — and we didn’t,” Wolves head coach Greg Glasser said. “We didn’t make the adjustments we needed to.”
The Knights’ high-pressure, high-pace trapping scheme focuses on forcing turnovers and smothering the other team, then using a lightning-quick transition to create quick points. The Knights scored in bunches all game long.
“You’ve got to want the ball more than they do, and we just didn’t do that tonight,” Glasser said. “We also want to transition fast, but they just weren’t giving us that space.”
A bright spot for the Wolves was Isaiah Moore registering his third straight double-double and a season-high in scoring with 26 points and 12 rebounds.
Moore was key to keeping the Wolves in the game in the first half, scoring 19 of the team’s 33 points in the first two quarters.
“I feel like we need to stop calling Isaiah a freshman,” Glasser said. “He works so hard, and he’s so coachable. He’s got a lot of room to grow still, but he’s off to a great start.”
One of the big struggles the Wolves dealt with through the game, however, has been the team’s issues from outside the 3-point arc. The Wolves were just three-of-15 from range on the night. During a stretch in the second half the Wolves forced 3-point shots to try to cut Bremerton’s lead instead of looking to get points in the paint.
“Saying that we need to focus on getting inside and actually doing it are different things,” Glasser said. “We knew we wouldn’t be able to run a lot of our sets against (Bremerton’s defense), but we have to not only have the guys getting into the paint, but the guys with the ball have to see that and not just keep it around the perimeter.”
Securing a win
The Wolves had a scare against the 1A Forks Trojans on Dec. 18: a Forks 3-pointer at the close of the third quarter brought the Wolves’ once-sizable lead down to four points, and the Trojans scored at the outset of the fourth quarter to cut that lead to two.
Sequim recovered, however, to explode for a 25-point quarter, one of their highest single-quarter marks all season, to secure a 63-49 win.
Erik Christiansen led the way for the Wolves with 23 points on the night, including hitting three 3-pointers and going six-for-six from the free throw line — a trend for Sequim on the night that helped them secure the win.
The Wolves were 17-for-17 from the line, and for the first time this season took more free throws than 3-point attempts.
Three Wolves had excellent defensive performance as well, with point guard Dallin Despain earning two steals and his third block in two games, and forward Hayden Eaton getting a pair of blocks of his own, along with two steals.
Moore had 10 defensive rebounds to lead the game, and the Wolves go into the winter break with a much-needed win after their struggles against Bremerton.
The Wolves will travel to Lynden on Dec. 27 to participate in the Cloud 9 Classic tournament. They are set to face Washougal at 3:15 p.m. on Dec. 27, and Sehome at 11 a.m. on Dec. 28.
Sequim then returns home to the Rick Kaps Gymnasium on Jan. 3 to face the Central Kitsap Cougars in a non-league game at 4 p.m., then resumes league action on Jan. 7 when they hit the road to face the North Kitsap Vikings.
The Wolves then come home for a two-game home stand, first against the Olympic Trojans at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 10, then hosting the Port Angeles Roughriders in a double-header with the girls basketball team. The boys game starts at 7:30 p.m.