Win clears one obstacle for SK boys

But Wolves need another win and a little help to avoid fourth-place finish

Sometimes the schedule breaks just right for a team.

The South Kitsap boys basketball team suffered two consecutive losses and needed wins in its final two games to have a chance to finish better than fourth place in the five-team Narrows League Bridge Division.

Enter last-place Wilson.

The Wolves (11-8 overall, 7-6 league) opened up with an early lead that never disappeared in a 66-45 win Friday. South played Tuesday at Foss — results weren’t available by press time — and needed a win for any chance to avoid fourth place. Even if the Wolves win, they need Lincoln to beat Foss later in the week to secure a tie with the Falcons.

It’s a significant distinction in the Narrows because the fourth-place team must play a loser-out game Feb. 8 at Stadium against the Bay Division No. 4. The winner then plays another loser-out contest the next day at Mount Tahoma with the winner earning the No. 6 seed out of the league at the West Central District Tournament.

Meanwhile, the third-place team plays its Bay counterpart Feb. 8 at Stadium. But that isn’t a loser-out scenario and the winner earns an automatic berth in the WCD.

The ramifications of the win against Wilson (4-14, 2-10) weren’t lost on anyone in the South locker room, especially after the Wolves’ 62-49 loss Wednesday at Gig Harbor that essentially would’ve secured the third seed. South defeated the Tides 51-50 on Dec. 7 — its ninth win in the last 10 games of the series — and would’ve owned the tiebreaker against Gig Harbor with a win.

“It was very important,” said South forward Collin Monagle, referring to the win against Wilson. “We didn’t come out with enough intensity against Gig Harbor. We wanted to show we’re a team to be reckoned with.”

The Wolves were a force — at least in the post. Monagle and 6-foot-6 forward Nick Johnson both had a game-high 14 points.

“We knew coming in that they didn’t have much height,” Monagle said. “Nick and I worked well together and it showed.”

South coach John Callaghan said the inside emphasis also was a byproduct of the Gig Harbor result.

“Our last game against Gig Harbor, we shot jump shot after jump shot,” he said. “We weren’t attempting to go inside.”

It wasn’t just the Wolves’ work on the inside that won the game, though. Gibson Davies, a senior who played his final home game along with fellow guard Corey Hoffman and Johnson, scored all 11 of his points in the first half to give South a 36-19 halftime edge.

“It was the last game for the three of them and I think there was extra motivation,” Callaghan said.

The Wolves also committed just one turnover in the first 16 minutes and had eight for the game, while the Rams finished with 13.

“We did a nice job of taking care of the ball,” Callaghan said. “We played more intelligently than we have.”

Monagle said he likes the mentality the Wolves played with and wants to see it continue.

“In the future, we don’t want to be intimidated by better teams,” he said. “We want to take it to them.”

At South Kitsap 66, Wilson 45

Wilson 12 7 12 14 — 45

South Kitsap 24 12 18 12 — 66

Wilson—Jordan Coby 11, Desmond Trufant 7, Jibreel Stevens 2, Terrell Alberta 12, Lee Matz 0, Saku Enkhbat 2, Anthony Gray 0, Giulio Vanni 0, Drew Jensen 0, Dugan Lauren 2, Jordan Dam 9, Xavier Cooper 0.

South Kitsap—Jon Hoffman 0, Gibson Davies 11, Corey Hoffman 7, Tionne Curry 3, Austin Siegel 6, Nick Johnson 14, Joey Osinski 2, Leon La Deaux 5, Collin Monagle 14, Mike Longmire 4, Ricky King 0.