Wolves nip Vikings on final shot

Trevor Pyle/ Staff Photo Lindsey Ross (32) raises for a shot against Sequim on Tuesday. North fell to the Wolves by one point.

“Vikings’ record evened at 1-1. POULSBO – A final shot from an unlikely player gave the Vikings their first loss of the season. The Sequim Wolves came into the NKHS gym Tuesday night, facing a North Kitsap girls’ basketball team that had used pressure defense and efficient offense to put the Wilson Rams away early last week. For a while it seemed as if the game against Sequim would yield the same results, with the Vikings jumping out to an early lead and their defense causing several turnovers. But the Wolves attacked the press, and for much of the game, the Vikings’ offense wouldn’t come out to play. Every time the Vikings managed to build a lead, the Wolves would hack the lead down again. Then, with only 16 seconds left in the game, the Wolves erased that lead for good. North had taken a 47-45 lead with Mari McKinstry, who would be the Vikings’ leading scorer, sank two free throws. Sequim came down the court, and the Wolves’ Holly Thornton, a sweet-shooting guard who would score 15 for the game, buried a three-pointer. Sequim now held a 48-47 lead, and as the cheers grew louder and the clock ticked down, the Vikings moved down the court. The Vikings’ shot caromed off the rim, seemingly to two waiting Wolves. But the ball bounced loose, where McKinstry scooped it up and hit the shot to give the Vikings the 49-48 lead. Now, with 18 seconds left, it was the Wolves’ chance to take the lead again. They marched down the court, then passed the ball around the perimeter. Instead of ending up in the hands of the dangerous Thornton, though, the ball was passed to Taya Dancel, who was set up behind the three-point arc. With the whole gym watching and gasping, Dancel, well behind the arc, fired … and the ball swished. A Viking drive with eight seconds left ended without a shot (they had to march the ball from one end of the court to another), and the game ended with a 50-49 Sequim victory. Dan Weedin, the Vikings’ new coach who got his first win against Wilson, suffered his first loss against Sequim. The girl who we didn’t want to take that shot never touched the ball, Weedin said. That girl who took the shot, she took a bomb from three-point land, and we’ll take our chances with that, I guess. The final shot was not necessarily the one that sank the Vikings’ ship, Weedin said. The team had trouble running their offense against the Wolves’ man-to-man defense, and their trapping, pressing defense, though it worked at times, Weedin said, was attacked well by Sequim. The Vikings also didn’t rebound as well as they did in the last game, Weedin said, though Alice Wood had a strong effort with 9 rebounds and 5 steals. Sequim was resilient, Weedin said. They kept coming after us. They hit shots, and we didn’t. SEQUIM (50) Thornton 15, Thompson 14, T. Millet 8, Dancel 4, Gillissen 4, Reynolds 3. NORTH KITSAP (49) McKinstry 16, Curfman 11, Bergman 8, Ross 8, Harris 4, Bento 2. The results of North Kitsap’s match with Bremerton on Friday night were unavailable at press time. “