PORT ORCHARD — The Wolves defense swarmed the opposing offense all night, holding Graham-Kapowsin opponent to just six first half points. The offense took care of business on the other end and the result was a 52-27 league win.
Emma Erickson led South Kitsap with 11 points in the Jan. 22 contest and sophomore Marissa Linne collected 12 rebounds.
“I thought we had a really good first half defensively,” said head coach Mike Allen. We had a lot of kids play. I’m pretty happy with it, every day we get a little bit better.”
South Kitsap went on a 13-2 run in the second quarter that blew the game open. The team consistently drove to the lane and got to the free throw line where they made the most of their opportunities. Kaylei Reyes and Areeza Amian were perfect from the charity stripe.
The Wolves did have a little trouble containing Eagles junior Jennie Goldsberry, who dropped a game-high 18 points and dominated on the boards. But despite getting outrebounded, Graham-Kapowsin was rarely able to get a clean look at the basket, resulting in plenty of missed shots on second and third chances.
“We struggle with rebounding in the zone, that’s the biggest weakness of the zone in my opinion,” Allen said.
Fortunately, South Kitsap kept every other Eagle bottled up. Only three opposing players reached the score sheet.
Meanwhile, the offense continued to consistently churn out points. The team increased its output to 14 points in the third quarter and 17 points in the fourth. Amian and Emily Riehl each chipped in 9 for South Kitsap and all 12 players scored at least one point.
The Wolves are still alive for a playoff spot, but they will have to make some headway in the standings with five league games left. They have two games in hand on Puyallup, which is currently holding the sixth and final playoff spot.
But while chasing the Vikings for that postseason berth, the program is also keeping an eye toward the future with so many underclassmen on the roster getting significant experience in key situations on the varsity club.
“They’re doing a really good job,” Allen said of his young players. “They work really hard, they learn every day and they come to practice ready to go.”
South Kitsap 52, Graham-Kapowsin 27
GK 4 2 10 11 — 27
SK 8 13 13 17 — 52
Graham-Kapowsin (27) — Goldsberry 18, Coates 7, Tolson 2.
South Kitsap (52) — Erickson 11, Amian 9, Riehl 9, Linne 4, Millet 4, Reyes 4, Byrd 2, Glisson 2, Hughes 2, Rodriguez 2, Spandler 2, Ohman 1.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN.