The Wolves dominated in two games last week, riding an explosive 40-point first quarter to beat Neah Bay 86-63 on Dec. 4 before beating Port Townsend on the road, 66-24 on Dec. 9.
“I don’t think that’s ever happened here,” said head coach Linsay Rapelje of that first quarter output against Neah Bay. “Pushing the ball up the court and playing at a higher tempo is something we’ve been working on, and the girls really got into a rhythm. Before we knew it, they were making everything and we looked up (at the scoreboard) and were shocked.”
Neah Bay would steadily work back into the game, including taking advantage of some weakness in the Wolves’ defense against three point shots to hit 13 3-pointers to claw their way closer throughout the game.
“That’s something we’re going to be working on,” Rapelje said of her team’s struggles to defend out wide.
“They’re a great shooting team, they hit a lot of great shots, but that’s one more thing we need to adjust and get the girls to do.”
Kalli Wiker lead the team in scoring on the night with 19 points, including hitting five of her eight 3-point attempts.
Hope Glasser added 17 points, Jessica Dietzman scored 16, and Jayla Julmist put up 15 alongside 17 rebounds and two blocks.
“Jayla had a couple of really beautiful moves that she was trying for the first time,” Rapelje said, “and you couldn’t tell that she was doing them in a game for the first time.”
The Wolves were also playing with some incentives on the night: making their coaches do extra work in practice.
“This game I told them that whenever they make a basket and get fouled and make the free throw, the coaches owe them a sweet eight,” Rapelje said. “They made six of them tonight. I’m going to be in shape by the end of practice.”
The whole team looked in top form by the time they played Port Townsend on Monday, Dec. 9, running out to a 26-13 halftime lead before putting the game away with 40 second half points and a lock-down defense.
“We made some adjustments in the second half and did a great job passing and pushing the ball up the court,” Rapelje said.
Freshman guard Hannah Bates led the team in scoring with 14 points, hitting four consecutive 3-pointers in one stretch to continue an impressive start to the season.
Glasser earned her first double-double of the season, with 12 points and 10 rebounds to go with three assists and a pair of steals.
Julmist was quiet on the offensive end of the court with just five points, but dominated on the defensive end with four blocks, six steals and 12 rebounds.
The Wolves are back on the road on Dec. 11, opening their Olympic League campaign against the Kingston Buccaneers.
They play at home in the Rick Kaps Gymnasium on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. against the North Mason Bulldogs, then head back out on the road to visit the Bremerton Knights on Dec. 17.
After that, the Wolves have a short break in their schedule for the winter holiday before taking on Sehome on Dec. 27 and Lynden Christian on Dec. 28 at the Cloud 9 Christmas Classic in Lynden.