South Kitsap junior point guard Riley Escolta (24) drives the lane against Olympia in the Wolves’ opening night 49-37 loss. (Photo: Mark Krulish | Kitsap Daily News)

South Kitsap junior point guard Riley Escolta (24) drives the lane against Olympia in the Wolves’ opening night 49-37 loss. (Photo: Mark Krulish | Kitsap Daily News)

South Kitsap falls to Olympia in home opener | Boys basketball

Deante Ward led the Wolves with 19 points.

PORT ORCHARD — With three juniors and two sophomores in the starting lineup for its Dec. 1 opener, South Kitsap High’s boys’ basketball team knew it was in for a tough matchup against an experienced, well-coached Olympia squad.

And, true to form, the Bears sizzled early, taking off on a 10-0 run in the second quarter from which the Wolves never recovered.

Despite improved play by the Wolves in the second half, Olympia went on to post a 49-37 victory.

South Kitsap got a game-high 19 points from junior wing Deante Ward, but the team struggled to create high-percentage opportunities in the paint against a quick, aggressive Olympia defense.

“They played hard, but we have struggled with physical teams,” South Kitsap head coach John Callaghan said. “[Olympia] is as physical as it’s going to get.”

The critical sequence took place in the second quarter when Olympia opened with consecutive 3-pointers from guards Dylan Sawyer, Ethan Gahm and Lucas Bowser.

The shots pushed the Bears’ lead to 22-11; South Kitsap would only occasionally trim the deficit to single digits from that point forward.

“We just couldn’t hit a shot,” Callaghan said. “We were getting shots, but we had a little stage-fright where we were dribbling around when we should just be moving the ball.”

The Wolves were held off the board for the first four minutes of the game until Kyler Kelso notched a basket, which helped turn momentum in their favor. A 3-pointer by Kelso with 47 seconds remaining in the first quarter gave South Kitsap its only lead of the game, but Sawyer answered with a long three of his own to restore Olympia’s lead.

The ill-fated second quarter proved to be the difference — the Wolves managed to tally just three points. The two teams scored 23 points each in the second half, but the Wolves never got on a prolonged run to narrow the score.

Any time South Kitsap threatened, the Bears generated a response. And it usually came from Bowser’s smooth-shooting stroke. He led the Bears with 17 points and hit four 3-pointers in the game.

Junior wing Donavin Grant was a bright spot for South Kitsap, scoring six points off the bench. He was a threat to score any time he touched the ball and his ability to drive the lane helped open up more opportunities for his teammates on the outside.

“We have guys that can do the job,” Callaghan said.

“They just have to work at it and gain the confidence to do it.”

Olympia 49, South Kitsap 37

Olympia 13 13 12 11 — 49

South Kitsap 11 3 12 11 — 37

Olympia (49) — Bowser 17, Young 9, Sawyer 6, Wood 6, Grant 4, Gahm 3, Effland 2, Mastin 2.

South Kitsap (37) — Ward 19, Kelso 10, Grant 6, Kambich 2.

More in Sports

Bainbridge quarterback Jack Grant, left, hands off to Garrett Goade as Port Angeles defender Jeremiah Hall closes in on Friday night in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Football Roundup: Week 7

Port Angeles 27, Bainbridge 7 The Spartans had their opportunities, but the… Continue reading

Colton Bower passed for 363 yards and six touchdowns in North Kitsap’s 56-21 win over Bremerton. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bower throws 6 TD passes, runs for 100 yards in romp

Friday night brought together a North Kitsap team that loves to air… Continue reading

Bainbridge senior Eden Michael took home a second-place finish in the final regular season cross country league meet at Battle Point Park. Michael’s performance helped lead Bainbridge to a team victory. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group photos)
Bainbridge girls win final league meet

NK girls, Kingston boys each run to 2nd place

Bainbridge senior Maddy Brown looks to pry the ball loose from a Sequim player during her team’s 1-0 win Thursday night. Mark Krulish/Bainbridge Island Review photos
Bainbridge maintains top spot with 1-0 win over Sequim

Keeping the positive momentum going was the order of the day for… Continue reading

Mark Krulish
Prep playoffs could mirror Mariners excitement

If you were one of the 44,164 folks who attended the Mariners… Continue reading

Bainbridge middle blocker Allie Wildsmith blasts a shot through Kingston’s defense in her team’s three-set win Tuesday night. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Spartans defense feeds offense in win over Kingston

Offense might get a lot of attention in volleyball, but without good… Continue reading

Bremerton quarterback Josh Tapangco threw a pair of touchdown passes in his team’s 32-0 win over Bainbridge on Friday night. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Football Roundup: Week 6

North Kitsap 49, Sequim 7 The Vikings continued their march through the… Continue reading

Bainbridge’s Caleb Durrance closes in on fallen Bremerton quarterback Joshua Tapangco during the Spartans 32-0 loss to the Knights. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
10 turnovers help Bremerton blank BI

It was Friday night and Homecoming night at Memorial Stadium on Bainbridge… Continue reading

Kamora McMillian tries to step past Kingston’s Cora Caldis. McMillian is a team captain and one of just five seniors on North Kitsap’s girls soccer team this year. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
NK girls soccer springs forward this fall

Although no one was happy to have lost their full slate of… Continue reading

Most Read