Girls basketball: Wolves fall to top-seeded Ellensburg

The Sequim girls basketball team hung reasonably close to No. 1 ranked and unbeaten Ellensburg for three quarters in their 2A regionals matchup, but the Bulldogs rode a 12-0 spurt at the beginning of the fourth quarter to run away from the Wolves for a 59-35 win on Feb. 24.

Despite the loss, the No. 2-ranked Wolves will still move on to the Yakima SunDome this week.

The eighth-seeded Wolves (20-3) play in a loser-out contest against 16th-seeded Sammamish (19-6) at 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 1.

Ellensburg is a 22-0 team and it’s easy to see why the Bulldogs are so tough — Ellensburg has had only one game all year in which a team managed to stay within 10 points. They feature 6-foot-6 post player Olivia Anderson and 6-foot-4 forward Alana Marrs.

Sequim’s tall front line of Jelissa Julmist, Sammie Bacon and Dani Herman did a good job controlling Anderson and Marrs, but the Wolves were undone by Ellensburg’s defense and ability to create steals and turnovers.

The Bulldogs also hit some timely 3-pointers.

“Jelissa had a great game on both sides guarding their bigs one on one,” Sequim coach Joclin Julmist said.

Jelissa Julmist led the Wolves with 14 points and four rebounds, while Hannah Bates hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored 12 to go along with three steals. Jolene Vaara had four steals and seven points.

It was an odd game early with the referees calling a ton of fouls. Sequim was actually put in the penalty in the first quarter, a rarity in high school basketball. Despite the flurry of early whistles, the Wolves managed to avoid too much foul trouble with Jelissa Julmist the only player getting to four fouls.

A bucket by Dani Herman late in the third quarter had the Wolves at 41-29, still within striking distance. Ellensburg turned up the pressure on defense, forcing a number of turnovers to begin the fourth on a 12-0 run. They ended up outscoring Sequim 18-6 in the fourth.

Sequim ended up with 21 turnovers.

“We were right there with them for most of the game until the end of the third quarter when we started to turn the ball over,” Joclin Julmist said.

“We missed too many open layups in the first half and second half. Then we started to turn the ball over and they got easy baskets of our turnovers.

“We didn’t have a complete team effort tonight. We need every one of our starters to bring their best games to win games like this. [But it was a] good effort by the girls got to get ready for Sammamish on Wednesday night.”

Sammamish was the champion of the KingCo League and finished fifth in the District 2/3 tournament. The Redhawks won their regional game 45-38 over Sehome. Sequim won the Olympic League and finished second in the District 2/3 tournament.