Winter sports preview: Wolves;s boys hoops team looks to reach top of league

The theme for this year’s Wolves squad is big. Big expectations, big shoes to fill, big questions about their lineup … and they’re just plain big.

Sequim guard Alex Rutherforfd (center) applies some defensive pressure to Dylan Lott in a preseason drill. Rutherford and the Wolves tip off their season Dec. 5 at Klahowya. Looking on are (from left) teammates Jackson Oliver

Sequim guard Alex Rutherforfd (center) applies some defensive pressure to Dylan Lott in a preseason drill. Rutherford and the Wolves tip off their season Dec. 5 at Klahowya. Looking on are (from left) teammates Jackson Oliver

The theme for this year’s Wolves squad is big. Big expectations, big shoes to fill, big questions about their lineup … and they’re just plain big.

Boasting nearly 10 players at 6 feet 2 inches or taller, Sequim has the size to match up with anyone in the Olympic League, but head coach Greg Glasser says that doesn’t necessarily equate to victories.

“One thing we learned at the state tournament is it all comes down to who wants that ball,” he says. “We want more shots than the other team.”

The Wolves are seeking another shot at that state tourney after going 1-2 at state in 2013-2014 and dropping both games at the West Central District tournament last season.

While Sequim loses a pair of key starters in all-league honorable mentions Anthony Pinza (point guard) and Rory Kallappa (forward), the Wolves do see the return of all-Olympic League first-teamer Alex Barry, who led the Wolves with 16.5 points and eight rebounds per game.

Also back is shooting guard Vance Willis, who was second behind Barry in three-point shooting and scored 7.6 points per contest, plus several key role players in guard Alex Rutherford and posts Bailey Earley and Josh McConnaughey. (McConnaughey was fifth on the team in rebounding and third in blocks.)

Making the jump from the junior varsity ranks are guards Jackson Oliver, Dustin Bates and Dylan, and forwards Adrian Espinoza (“probably our best athlete,” Glasser notes) and Tim Tyler.

Brand new to the Sequim program is Austin Adams, a strong post player who transferred from Las Vegas, Nev.

“Austin … is a nice kid and he’s totally bought into what we want to do,” the Sequim coach says.

Also new is freshman guard Payton Glasser, the Sequim coach’s son.

“I love it,” the coach says. “He’s asking, ‘What can I do to get better’ and played in the camps and tournament (in the summer).”

“This is one of the younger, more inexperienced teams I’ve had,” says Glasser, entering his eighth season as head coach in Sequim. “It may take some time (for the newcomers) to catch up to varsity speed.”

While the team is young, Glasser notes his squad is double-figures deep — presenting coaches with a real challenge as to how to fill up a starting five and how to spread out court time.

“It may be a challenge night to night — we may go 10 deep before we figure out a combination,” Glasser says.

Some SHS varsity players may see a half of JV action and another half of varsity time on certain nights during the season.

“I don’t want them to sit too much at the varsity level,” Glasser says.

Last season, Sequim went 13-3 in league play — second behind champ Bremerton (15-1) — and 15-5 in the regular season before falling to Foster and Sumner at districts.

Glasser sees Sequim fighting Olympic League foes for one of the premier berths to districts.

“The goal is to capture one of the top two Olympic League seeds — that gets us a home district game,” he says.

The Wolves open the 2014-2015 campaign with a pair of non-league road games, taking on Klahowya in Silverdale on Dec. 5 and Kentridge on Dec. 6.

 

SHS boys basketball

Head coach: Greg Glasser (eighth season)

2013-2014 record: 13-3 in Olympic League, 15-7 overall,; 0-2 at districts

Returning players: Alex Barry, Bailey Earley, Josh McConnaughey, Jackson Oliver, Alex Rutherford, Vance Willis

Newcomers: Austin Adams, Dusty Bates, Adrian Espinoza, Payton Glasser, Dylan Lott, Timothy Tyler

Key games: Dec. 9 vs. Bremerton, Dec. 19 vs. Olympic, Jan. 9 vs. Port Angeles, Feb. 3 vs. North Kitsap

 

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