EAST BREMERTON — The Trojans reached down deep on Senior Night and came up with a victory that saved their season for at least a couple more days.
Senior guard Brilee Triggs touched off a 10-0 run in the second quarter that saw Olympic take a 12-point lead over Sequim into the halftime break. The team held on to upset the Wolves, 49-45, and forced a do-or-die regular season finale with Kingston on Thursday.
Facing the possibility of playing their final home game, the team put together a stellar effort for its four departing seniors — Triggs, Zoie Matheny, Alannah Mitchell and Matilde Dainelli.
“It pumps us up,” Triggs said. “This our last home game so let’s do it for the seniors, especially if this is a game we need for the playoffs. And we got it done.”
Triggs opened up that fateful second quarter with a pair of 3-pointers and scored again moments later on a steal. Jakyiiah Willis followed with a bucket and Olympic had a 20-8 lead.
Triggs had a team-high 12 points and Willis finished with 11.
“We had a good long steady run that got us a nice lead,” said Olympic head coach Bryan Hanley. “And then we went away from the stuff that gave us that lead. Instead of dribble attacking consistently and putting pressure on their defense, we started standing around and waiting for someone else to do the work.”
Sequim slowly climbed back into the game over the course of the second half, starting with a pair of 3-pointers by Kalli Wiker. The Trojans also got into some foul trouble in the second half, getting into the double bonus early, which gave the Wolves, a solid free throw-shooting team, an opportunity to close the gap.
“We haven’t been in a position where we need to hold the ball,” Triggs said. “So I think that it shocked our whole team.”
Matheny helped stem the tide early in the fourth quarter. After a pair of baskets by Hope Glasser, Matheny knocked down a triple from beyond the arc to restore the team’s double-digit lead. After a 7-0 run by Sequim, Matheny came up big again, sinking another 3-pointer from the left baseline with three minutes to go.
“I think we got back into where we were playing like a team,” Hanley said. “And you have to really be pleased with and proud of the defensive effort down the stretch because they had a lot of opportunities and we were shutting them down.”
Glasser’s layup brought the Wolves within a basket. Then, after forcing a turnover, Melissa Porter’s free throw cut Olympic’s lead down to two.
In a wild final sequence, Glasser missed a pair of free throws, and then a jump ball off the rebound gave the Trojans the possession. The overhead inbound pass ended up hitting the back of the backboard, giving the ball back to Sequim.
The Wolves missed the subsequent shot and Kaylani Riley was fouled after colecting the rebound. Riley stared down the hoop and hit both of her free throws to ice the victory.
“That’s a big win for us,” Hanley said.
The season boils down to one final game on Thursday at Kingston. The Trojans and the Buccaneers are tied for fourth place in the Olympic League with 5-6 records. The winner of the matchup heads to the playoffs, the loser sees their season come to an end.
Olympic 49, Sequim 45
SQ 8 5 12 20 — 45
Oly 10 15 12 12 — 49
Sequim (45) — Glasser 13, Wiker 12, Julmist 8, Dietzman 4, Porter 3, Pyeatt 3, Sparks 2.
Olympic (49) — Triggs 12, Willis 11, Matheny 9, Riley 7, Mitchell 6, Kroesser 4.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN