Several missed opportunities and a late fourth-quarter foul ultimately sealed the fate for the South Kitsap Wolves, who lost their conference home opener to the visiting Olympia Bears 49-45 in OT.
The game very well could have ended in the Wolves favor after senior Kyla Hoisington was fouled on a shot from three-point range with just 33.9 seconds left. She sank all three shots, giving her team the one-point advantage.
The ensuing offensive possession from the Bears saw a missed shot, but junior Lauren Juergens rebounded and was fouled, sending her to the line with a chance to take the lead. She would fall short in that effort, but her second foul shot fell true for the Bears, and the game was sent into overtime at a tied score of 42-42.
From there, a Wolves offense that had struggled to find consistency in its offensive scheme since the first quarter scored just three points on a basket from senior Grace Degarimore and a 1-3 trip to the line for Hoisington.
“Honestly, we put our hearts out there, and it just didn’t come our way,” said first-year head coach Dexter Clark. “I think it was nice to be in this position so that when we’re in it next time, everything should work out in our favor.”
Hoisington had started the contest on fire for the Wolves, hitting three shots from behind the arc in the first half and tallying 10 points in the first quarter alone. However, she quickly lost her groove, unable to score a basket in the second half. Additionally, a lack of finished drives and missed foul shots left more points on the court than Clark said he’d like to see.
“We always talk about the layups and free throws, so we’re definitely going to be a little hurt by that. We’ll remember that we could have had this game,” he said.
Senior Kamdyn Hagerty picked up where Hoisington had left off in the second half, finding ways to penetrate into the paint for 12 second-half points. She would finish with 16, just behind her senior teammate’s total of 17 points. Only three other Wolves scored points that night.
It’s a rough start for a program that was brought back to some relevance last season under coach Anthony Lewis, who now commands the boys team at South Kitsap. Clark said his decision to come coach for the Wolves was motivated by what he saw in a group that was ready to prove themselves.
“I came over here and I saw a group of young ladies that were competitive and ready to work. It seemed like they were ready for a culture change,” he said. “I’m always somebody who’s going to hold my girls accountable and make sure everybody gets out there and works.”