Sequim’s girls basketball team wound up second in the Olympic League after falling to the Port Angeles Roughriders on Feb. 6, losing their final game of the regular season 61-45.
Much as in their first meeting this season, the Wolves struggled to deal with the Roughriders’ intense and physical defense, not letting them establish their tempo and forcing plenty of Sequim turnovers.
The Wolves had seven first quarter miscues and 11 overall in the first half as the Roughriders ran out to a 26-14 lead by the break.
“It was a frustrating game for us,” Sequim head coach Linsay Rapelje said.
“I feel like whenever we play Port Angeles, we never play like ourselves. I think sometimes when we’re not in a flow defensively or offensively, it’s hard to capitalize on things.
“It was the same thing when we played them last time, it was a super physical game then and it was a super physical game tonight. They already have a very good defense, and when the referees don’t call much it makes it harder.”
The Wolves managed to get their offense rolling for stretches of the second half, scoring 31 points in the final two quarters of the game — though the rarely got closer than 15 points.
Still, Rapelje said she was proud of her team continuing to play hard throughout the night.
“We got down at one point by (more than) 20, but the girls didn’t let it get them down” she said. “They kept playing, they kept working. That’s a great quality to have in a team where they don’t give up.”
Jayla Julmist scored 14 points to lead the way for the Wolves on the night, adding eight rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Hannah Wagner was a spark for the Wolves off the bench, scoring a season-high nine points and playing strong defense in a night that drew Rapelje’s praise.
“Hannah Wagner was my player of the night,” the Sequim coach said. “She was probably the calmest on our team, she didn’t let the intensity of the game rattle her. She played great defense, she got through to the basket, she did all the little things we need.”
The Wolves went into the Port Angeles game with significant momentum after beating the Olympic Trojans on Feb. 4 to the tune of a dominant, 80-24 win that saw the team hit a whopping 15 3-pointers — including five each from Kalli Wiker and Jessica Dietzman.
“We had a little bit of a rocky start,” Rapelje said of a stretch in the first few minutes of the game where Olympic was able to rattle Sequim before Hope Glasser huddled the team.
Dietzman scored a season-high 22 points thanks in large part to her five 3-pointers; she also chipped in five assists, five rebounds and four steals. Wiker scored 19 with five rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block.
Glasser added three assists and three steals to her nine points in what was the last regular season home game for her and Dietzman, both seniors.
Glasser and Dietzman both said the Wolves were happy to have a strong performance going into the final regular season game.
“I was just waiting out there while the team was doing so good penetrating and pinching,” Dietzman said of her big scoring night. “They gave me a lot of open shots and that’s something coach is always telling me to take, so I did it.”
“I watched them their sophomore year,” Raplje said of her team’s two seniors. “I saw their potential, and now that I’ve coached them and seen their growth, especially as leaders, it’s been great.
“I want my girls, especially my leaders, to be able to make changes on the court like Hope did (in the first quarter). I want to see them recognize and adjust without me having to tell them to. Last year, that would have been me making the call, but now Hope knows enough to do that herself. I’m proud of that growth.”
The Wolves are set to host the Foster Bulldogs (8-5 league record, 9-11 overall) in the first round of the West Central District 3 playoffs. The game tips off at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12.
Sequim played Foster in the regional round of the 2A state tournament last season, going on a 28-0 run over the last 12 minutes of the game to come from 44-26 down and win 54-44.
“They are definitely a different team than the last time we played them,” Rapelje said of facing Foster again. “I am excited to host, though. We just need to focus on our game when we play them.”
If the Wolves win, they‘d move on to face the Fife Trojans (11-2, 19-3) on the road on Feb. 14.
A loss to Foster would send them to a Feb. 18 consolation bracket game of either Renton or the winner of a Kingston-Franklin Pierce first round game.
Sequim need to win two games during the district tournament to qualify for the 2A State tournament that begins Feb. 28.