Elise Beuke and Kylee Williams helped Sequim avoid an 0-2 start for the season by overpowering the boards last Friday night against the visiting Klahowya Eagles.
Both girls grabbed 15 rebounds with Beuke rounding up 12 offensive boards. Sequim recorded 32 offensive boards and 57 total boards as a team in the 35-24 win.
Head coach Evan Still said they have strong post players and he wants to utilize them more as the season progresses.
However, the Eagles put some pressure on in the first half to lead 5-4 in the first quarter and 13-10 at halftime. Both teams shot poorly with the Wolves going 21 percent from the field and 33 percent from the free throw line.
Still said the girls are going to have games where the buckets don’t fall and that it’s OK because they had good looks at the hoop.
It helped that the Wolves earned second- and third-chance opportunities in the second half.
Sequim tied it up with a layup by Victoria Cummins at 15 points, less than two minutes into the second half. She led the Wolves with 10 points followed by Williams with six and Beuke, Hailey Lester and McKenzie Bentz scoring five points each.
Both teams traded buckets in the third quarter until Bentz hit a 3-pointer at 3:35 to go up 20-17. The Wolves never trailed from here, ending the quarter up by one (22-21).
Cummins scored back-to-back buckets to start the fourth quarter followed with another score from Williams to go up 29-21 at 5:02 to go. The Eagles’ only bucket was a 3-pointer at 3:36 left. They went into the foul bonus at 2:42 due to Sequim’s aggressive defense but missed their foul shot opportunities.
Beuke and Lester gave the Wolves their biggest lead with the last two buckets of the game.
After the game, Still commended the girls’ athleticism and pressure defense but he emphasized the difference between their first and second halves.
“We cannot afford to start slowly,” he said. “How we started that third quarter is how we should always play.”
Still commended his bench players who “played with a lot of energy and were very loud and supportive.”
The Wolves played without Caitlin Stofferahn who is still recovering from a knee injury but she expects to be cleared for games this week. Katherine Landoni has been out, too, but Still expects her to return this week. Sequim’s Jordan Miller left early in the fourth quarter with a cramp and did not return to the game.
Stopped by Spartans
Earlier in the week the Wolves opened their season in Bainbridge with a 51-40 loss.
The Wolves shot poorly, scoring only 1 point in the first quarter and were down 13 at halftime.
Still said the girls weren’t able to recover an offensive rebound until well into the second quarter.
However, Sequim surged in the fourth quarter to score 23 points and chip away at the Spartans’ lead. Bentz and Lester scored 11 each for the game and sophomore Adrianne Haggerty-Hill finished with nine points and five rebounds.
The Wolves play away this week against Bremerton (Dec. 9), Crosspoint (Dec. 10), and Coupeville (Dec. 13).