The Wolves live to play on.
Sequim’s girls basketball squad used a stifling defense to shut won the fifth-seeded Tumwater 38-24 in the class 2A state consolation semifinals on Friday Afternoon.
Already sporting the most wins in the program’s history, the Wolves (22-4) will take on 10th-seeded Othello (19-9) at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, in the tourney’s fourth/sixth place game.
Regardless of outcome, the 2022-23 Wolves will record the highest state finish in school history. (Sequim qualified for the 3A tournament in 1985-1986 and 1986-1987 and the 2A state tourney in 2006-07, but didn’t place.)
Against Tumwater, the Wolves’ defense dominated early, holding the Thunderbirds (20-7) to just eight points at halftime and taking a 23-8 lead at the break.
At one point, the Thunderbirds were shooting just 1-of-19 (5.3 percent) from the field.
Sequim was comparatively better, hitting 15-of-45 (33.3 percent) from the field.
“It was a much better day shooting the ball,” Sequim coach Joclin Julmist said.
Meanwhile, SHS junior Jolene Vaara made Tumwater pay, leading the team with 17 points.
“Jolene was good getting out on the breaks and finishing,” Julmist said. “She also did a good job playing defense and stayed out of foul trouble.”
Jelissa Julmist nearly recorded a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds, and Hannah Bates added 10 points and four rebounds.
“Hannah did a great job leading us tonight on both sides,” Joclin Julmist said. “Jelissa had a better game today. She worked hard.”
The Sequim coach also had high praise for guard Taryn Johnson.
“Taryn was special on both sides. Even though she didn’t score, she had a huge impact on the outcome of the game. She played great defense and was always in help side. She had some good passes today.”
Kyle Waltermeyer led Tumwater with 12 points and eight rebounds, but Sequim held the Thunderbird star scorer to 4-of-24 from the field.
Overall, Tumwater shut just 9-of-58 (15.5 percent).
A cold night shooting from the field and from the line kept Sequim from knocking off White River in the quarterfinals of the class 2A state girls basketball tournament Thursday night, as the Hornets edged the Wolves 44-37 in overtime.
In a back-and-forth, low-scoring affair, the Wolves (21-4) jumped out to an early lead, then had to battle back from a seven-point deficit in the third quarter, and survived a turnover-filled fourth quarter — some without leading scorer Jolene Vaara, who fouled out — but in the end ran out of gas against seventh-seeded White River (19-6).
“The girls played hard tonight but couldn’t get the ball in the basket,” Sequim coach Joclin Julmist said.
The Wolves, the tournament’s eighth seed, take on fifth-seeded Tumwater (20-5) in the consolation quarterfinals today (Friday, March 3) at 2 p.m. The winning squad plays again at 9:30 a.m. Saturday for fourth or sixth place; the losing squad sees their season end with a top-eight state finish.
Against White River, Sequim managed to draw plenty of fouls but simply couldn’t convert at the line, sinking just eight of 27 (29.6 percent).
The Wolves struggled from the field as well, going 14-for-54 (26 percent) overall and just one-of-10 from 3-point range.
In a game that saw both teams turn the ball over 21 times apiece, Sequim stayed in the contest with strong defense, holding the Hornets to 14-of-53 from the field (26.4 percent).
“The defense was good, but we just couldn’t make baskets,” Julmist said.
Star senior forward Jelissa Julmist faced double and triple teams, her coach/father noted, and was just 1-of-15 from the field, though she grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds.
Vaara had 14 points, seven rebounds and five steals before fouling halfway through the fourth quarter.
Hannah Bates chipped in nine points and two steals.
“Hannah did a great job running the show,” Joclin Julmist said.
He praised guard Taryn Johnson for her defense and rebounding by posts Dani Herman (nine rebounds) and Sammie Bacon (seven).
“Tough loss; they were right there,” Joclin Julmist said.
A second half run Wednesday night helped Sequim’s Wolves keep their historic run going.
Jelissa Julmist had a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds to help Sequim survived a loser-out match-up against Sammamish, 57-37, at the class 2A state basketball tourney in Yakima Wednesday night.
“Jelissa was a beast on the boards,” Sequim coach Joclin Julmist said.
Sequim (21-3) moves on to play White River (18-6) at 9 p.m. tonight, Thursday, March 2, in the state tourney quarterfinals.
The winner takes on the winner of Burlington-Edison/Tumwater in the semifinals on Friday evening (9 p.m.), while the losing squads face each other at 2 p.m. Friday in the consolation semis.
Jolene Vaara had a team-high 14 points and Hannah Bates added 14 points, seven rebounds, six steals and four assists.
“Hannah did a great job leading tonight and … Jolene was really good the second half getting her hands on stuff and creating easy baskets,” Joclin Julmist said.
The Sequim coach had high praise for Taryn Johnson’s defense and passing, Sammie Back and Dani Herman for their post play and Libby Turella for defense and a key first half shot to stymie a Sammamish run.
Sequim jumped out to a 10-4 lead and a 23-18 advantage by halftime, but the Redhawks (19-7) rebounded midway through the third quarter and briefly held a one-point lead, but a Vaara steal sparked a big run to give SHS a 37-29 lead after three quarters.
In the final frame it was all Wolves, as they outscored the 16th-seeded Sammamish squad, 20-8.
“The girls stepped it up on the defensive side in the second half,” Joclin Julmist said. “We did a pretty good job on the boards not giving them second chances.”
In other Round of 12 play on Wednesday, 10th-seeded Othello knocked out No. 2 seed Lynden 33-31, sixth-seeded W.F. West eliminated West Central District 2/3 champ Renton, 57-48, and No. 5 Tumwater knocked out 12th-seeded Enumclaw, 36-29.