by MATTHEW NASH
It’s been a while since the Lady Wolves varsity basketball squad celebrated a win over rival Port Angeles.
Sequim’s Sarah Moores last led them to victory on Jan. 19, 2007, at home with 24 points but since then Sequim has struggled, losing 15 consecutive to the Roughriders including losses of 64, 58, 56, 52, 48 and 47 points.
But one last second shot changed that on Friday night.
Down by one and with 18 seconds left, Sequim worked the ball around the 3-point line looking for an open shot until Kylee Williams found a wide open Jordan Miller.
A moment of quiet fell over Sequim’s bleachers before her shot put Sequim ahead for good in the 35-33 win.
Moments earlier in a timeout, Sequim coach Evan Still said Miller asked if someone was open at the 3-point line if that girl could take it.
“It’s ironic she’s the one who hit it,” he said.
Out of a jam
Sequim had to work its way out of a last-minute deficit after leading much of the game. The Roughriders took an early 9-5 first quarter lead until Caitlin Stofferahn, who led all scorers with 11, nailed a 3-pointer shortly into the second quarter and Victoria Cummins scored a minute later to put the Wolves ahead 10-9.
Adrienne Haggerty, who led the Wolves with eight rebounds, added two buckets and Elise Beuke and Cummins each scored to put Sequim up 18-13 at halftime.
The Roughriders fought back to whittle down the Wolves’ lead with Lauren Lunt tying it at 22 with 3:57 left in the third quarter before Cummins scored and sank a free throw to push Sequim back up at 25-22 with just under three minutes to go.
Scoring went stagnant for both teams and momentum continued to swing for the Wolves when Haggerty blocked a layup with 40 seconds to go.
McKenzie Bentz capped the quarter with a half court 3-pointer with less than 2 seconds on the clock to put Sequim up 28-22.
The fourth quarter’s scoring mostly came from the free throw line. Port Angeles narrowed the lead to three early on before Stofferahn went to the line on two occasions, shooting 3-4. Two of those shots came after Roughriders’ coach Mike Poindexter was called for a technical foul for complaining to referees about a no-call foul on the previous possession.
Maddie Boe cut the lead to four with a bucket at 4:17 to play and Nizhoni Wheeler followed that up with another bucket for a 31-29 Sequim lead at 3:54.
Stofferahn made one of two free throws on the Wolves’ next possession but Wheeler put Port Angeles within reaching distance and ahead on their next possessions, nailing two free throws and an inside jumper to go up 33-32 with less than 30 seconds to go.
For Sequim’s last possession, Still said there wasn’t a set play and they were just looking for an open shot and he was proud of how the girls moved the ball.
Miller said she’s never hit a game winner before but one of her shots has sent the team into overtime. She attributes the game-winning shot to her teammates passing the ball around and Kylee Williams finding her open.
Port Angeles had one last shot at the buzzer but missed from near half court.
Assistant coach Justine Wagner, who was on the 2007 Wolves squad, applauded the team for the final shot.
“It’s tough to get back on defense after a shot like that,” she said. “The transition was huge there.”
Still said the game’s atmosphere with a packed gym is what high school basketball is all about.
“I’m happy to be on this end of it,” he said.
Bentz, who hit a game-winner against Bremerton last year, said there’s nothing like that shot.
“I love that feeling,” she said. “It makes you feel like you’ve made up for everything that went wrong up to that point in the game.”
Sequim finished last week 2-1 and 3-2 in the Olympic League and 6-6 overall with a 72-38 win over North Mason on Jan. 6 and a 57-38 loss in Neah Bay.
Against the Bulldogs, Sequim shot 60 percent from the field and 10/17 from 3-pointers led by Haggerty with 22 points, 11/12 from the field and eight rebounds, Stofferahn with 19 and Miller with 11 while Williams had seven rebounds and six assists.
“It was the best team win that I have ever been a part of as a coach,” Still said. “We passed up good shots for great shots. We had 27 assists on 30 made shots. Team passing doesn’t get much better than that.”
The game marked the return for Stofferahn from injury, too.
“She stretches the defense and opens things up on the inside,” Still said.
In Neah Bay, Still said the Wolves didn’t do a good job of recognizing the Red Devils’ shooters with Kaela Tyler going for 27 with five 3-pointers and Faye Chartraw for 20 points. Williams led the Wolves with nine.
Sequim kept it close through three quarters down 11-7 in the first, 24-20 at halftime and 39-32 at the end of the third before Neah Bay broke it more open with 18 points.
Next up: Sequim hosted North Kitsap on Jan. 12 and they host Chimacum on Jan. 14 and Bremerton Jan. 16. Sequim travels to Port Angeles on Jan. 30.