After a three-game non-league losing streak during winter break, Sequim High’s girls basketball team got back to their winning ways with big wins over North Kitsap and Olympic last week.
The wins propel the Wolves to a 5-0 Olympic League record (9-3 overall) and a tie for first place in the league standings heading into a Jan. 14 match-up with co-league leaders Port Angeles (also 5-0, 9-3).
The Wolves started the week with a 55-45 win over the North Kitsap Vikings on Jan. 7, a game that was hard-fought in the first half until the Wolves’s shooters got rolling in the second half.
Kalli Wiker scored all 12 of her points in that second half, with Hope Glasser adding 12 points and keeping the Wolves ahead in key moments in the first half.
“I knew I had to keep shooting, and my teammates have told me that before,” Wiker said after overcoming a cold start.
“Hitting that shot at the start of the half was big. It was a really good game. It wasn’t like we just blew them out. It was close and a really strong game and that feels good.”
Wiker also talked about adapting her game to get inside more and not just staying on the perimeter, something that earned her praise from SHS head coach Linsay Rapelje.
“I’m ecstatic (about this win),” Rapelje said. “I’m so excited because we had three losses against really tough teams, and I feel like the way we played (tonight) and stayed composed, I feel like that would not have happened without those non-league games.”
The Wolves actually trailed 29-23 after the first half, with the Vikings taking advantage after SHS post Jayla Julmist got into foul trouble. But on the Wolves’ first possession of the second half, Wiker hit a 3-pointer to cut the Vikings’ lead in half, and Jessica Dietzman hit two quick field goals in the following moments to put the Wolves up 30-29 just two minutes into the third quarter.
The teams then traded blows throughout the third quarter, with the Vikings again going on a short run with Julmist off the court in foul trouble at the end of the frame; SHS led 38-36 going into the fourth quarter.
However, Wiker, Dietzman and Hannah Wagner all hit big 3-point shots in the final quarter to help the Wolves pull away.
“Our defense did so well in that last stretch,” Rapelje said. “We didn’t block out well against Tumwater, and we could have won that game if we had. I’m not sure we did it well tonight, but we did it a lot better, and we won because of it.”
The Wolves’ win over the Olympic Trojans on Jan. 10 was more straightforward, running out to a 21-12 lead after the first quarter and keeping their proverbial foot on the gas to the tune of a 70-28 win.
“Our defense won this game,” Rapelje said. “We took that intensity and were able to put it into our offense, especially in the second half where we capitalized on (turnovers) and could fast break.”
Jayla Julmist led the team in scoring with 16 points and earned her fifth double-double of the season by adding 10 rebounds, adding two steals and two blocks for good measure.
Wiker scored 15 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and freshman Hannah Bates scored double-digit points off the bench for the third time this season by adding in 11 — including hitting a 3-pointer and going three-for-three from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
Held scoreless, Glasser provided seven assists and pulled down eight rebounds while serving as what Rapelje called the spark for the team on the night.
The Wolves were scheduled to face the Port Angeles Roughriders on Jan. 14, but the game was postponed due to snow cancelling schools in both cities and was rescheduled for Jan. 18.
They return to the Rick Kaps Gymnasium for the first time in a month on Jan. 17, with the Kingston Buccaneers (1-3, 4-8) coming to town for a 7 p.m. tip-off. Then they host the Roughriders the next day in that rescheduled game at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 18.
Sequim is back out on the road for one game against the North Mason Bulldogs (3-2, 6-5) on Jan. 22, then return for a four-game homestand. The Wolves first face the Bremerton Knights (0-6, 2-10) on Jan. 24, the Kings Knights on Jan. 29, the North Kitsap Vikings on Jan. 31 and finally the Olympic Trojans on Feb. 4.