The South Kitsap boys basketball team had an extra 24 hours to ponder the importance of Wednesday’s Narrows League Bridge Division regular-season finale.
And it only took halftime’s 10 minutes for them to forget it.
A 48-31 loss against Foss in a game that was postponed a day because of South’s snow closure Tuesday leaves it with the No. 4 and final seed in the Bridge in the Narrows League Tournament. The Wolves play the Bay Division No. 4 — either Mount Tahoma or North Kitsap — in a loser-out game Feb. 8.
Even if they win that game, they must earn another victory the following day at Mount Tahoma to earn a district berth.
It’s a predicament South (11-9 overall, 7-7 league) can blame on its worst second half — and perhaps worst game — of the season.
The Wolves scored just three points in the third quarter and nine in the final half.
Their 31 points easily was the worst of the season. South’s previous low was a 47-43 loss Dec. 29 against Bellevue Christian in the Comcast Christmas Classic and a 66-43 setback Jan. 19 against Lincoln.
“I’m dumbfounded,” said South coach John Callaghan, whose team converted 3 of 11 field goals in the second half and 11 of 40 (27.5 percent) for the game. “It appeared we didn’t have any focus.”
Callaghan wasn’t the only one mystified by the Wolves’ effort — or lack thereof.
“We should have more intensity when we come out,” junior guard Ivan Rybachuk said. “We’ve got to come out hard and play hard as a team.”
But it was Foss (10-9, 9-4), which needed a win to hold on to second place in the Bridge, that quickly established momentum after it entered the third quarter down 22-19. LuQuam Thompson, who scored a game-high 17 points, hit a 3-pointer 20 seconds into the half to tie the game, 22-all, and the Falcons never trailed again.
South didn’t score its first point of the half until Nick Johnson converted 1 of 2 free throws with 2 minutes, 8 seconds left in the third. By then the Falcons had four 3-pointers in the quarter — two each by Thompson and Deandre Sutton — to give them a 37-23 lead. Sutton’s 3-pointers came back to back.
“Those were big shots,” Callaghan said. “He rose up and knocked them down.”
But he also didn’t feel Sutton’s 3-pointers or the 18-0 Foss run that started at the end of the first half until Johnson’s free throw was the difference in the game.
“Everyone is going to have runs,” Callaghan said. “Sometimes we don’t dig down deep. It appeared we didn’t play with any heart in the second half.”
South didn’t score a field goal in the third quarter until Rybachuk scored a transition layup with 43 seconds left. The final period wasn’t much better as the Wolves didn’t score until Corey Hoffman converted a pair of free throws with 4:58 left.
The Falcons swept the season series — they won 57-52 on Dec. 14 — but Callaghan said there was one positive after the game.
“The good news is we haven’t played our best game yet,” he said. “It’s just a matter of maturity.”
At Foss 48, South Kitsap 31
South Kitsap 10 12 3 6 — 31
Foss 13 6 23 6 — 48
South Kitsap — Scottie McGallion 0, Gibson Davies 0, Corey Hoffman 3, Ivan Rybachuk 2, Tionne Curry 3, Nick Johnson 6, Joey Osinski 0, Leon La Deaux 6, Collin Monagle 1, Mike Longmire 4, Greg Pickard 0, Austin Siegel 6.
Foss — Adrian Harper 0, Nate Walker 2, Dion Gorham 0, Derris Dumas 0, Emmanuel Carter 2, Julian Cruell 3, Nicholas Edwards 11, Allen Brown 1, TeAire Bell 4, Damari Lewis 0, LuQuam Thompson 17, Deandre Sutton 8.