Sequim's boys passed their first playoff test of the 2008-2009 postseason Saturday night, dumping Klahowya 60-59 to take the Olympic League's No. 2 seed to the district playoffs.
More importantly, the Wolves get a home-court game against Eatonville on Feb. 28 and avoid a road trip to face Steilacoom (9-3 in Nisqually League, 15-5 overall).
On Saturday it was Sequim's seniors leading the way as Ary Webb and John Textor hit for 17 points each, boosting Sequim to a 25-12 advantage by halftime and 40-26 lead after three quarters.
The Wolves managed to knock down key free throws late and secure the win despite a scoring eruption from versatile Eagle guard Andre Moore. The Wolves controlled Moore for the first half, holding him to five points before he blew up for 23 second-half points, including 14 points in the fourth quarter alone.
Klahowya cut Sequim's lead to five points before free throws sealed the win.
"Our kids did a great job hitting free throws down the stretch," Sequim coach Greg Glasser said. "(They) did a great job executing."
Textor added seven steals and five assists, while Webb had eight rebounds and Catelli had nine points and seven boards.
Klahowya beat Sequim earlier this season, a 58-41 contest back in early December, after getting 22 points from Moore. The Wolves evened the season series with a clutch 50-49 victory on Jan. 20 despite Moore's 27-point effort.
But Saturday night's game was the critical contest, and the Wolves got their biggest road win of the season. Now Klahowya has to face Steilacoom this weekend while the Wolves host Eatonville's Cruisers; both games are loser-out contests, with the winners advancing to the West Central District semifinals. If Sequim wins, they take on Fife (10-2, 14-6), the Nisqually League No. 1 team, on March 4; the Klahowya/Steilacoom winner advances to play No. 4 North Mason that same night.
District semifinal winners are guaranteed a state berth while losing semifinal teams battle each other for the district's third and final state entry on March 7.
Webb leads the Wolves with a 16.7 points-per-game average (regular season only) while Textor averaged 10.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 steals per contest.
If the Wolves were looking for any momentum heading into Saturday night's league seeding game, they had to take it in a moral victory.
Sequim couldn't overcome Larry Dixon and the bigger Silverdale hosts who came away with a 47-40 victory Feb. 17. Dixon led Olympic with 21 points and teammate Dino Thomas grabbed 16 rebounds.
Webb led with 15 points and Jeremie Oliver added 10 points, but the Wolves couldn't overcome a 10-5 Trojan advantage in the third quarter.
Sequim girls fall in finale
The wins didn't materialize, but the smiles and companionship did.
Sequim's girls basketball team finished their 2008-2009 campaign Tuesday night with a 68-21 loss to the 3A Olympic Trojans.
The Wolves finished 0-16 in league and 0-20 overall.
Against the Trojans, senior Yela Minor led the Wolves with seven points and classmate Kathryn Roeber added six points, but it was Samantha Thornton (18 points) and Serah Peterson (nine assists) leading the Trojans to a 47-point win.
Six Wolves said goodbye to fans Tuesday night as part of senior night: Minor, Roeber, Sunma Agostine, Lauryn Garrett, Persephone Nelson and Beverly Buck.
Sequim vs. Eatonville, Saturday night
The Wolves face the Eatonville Cruisers (5-7, third in Nisqually League, 12-8 overall) in the first round of the West Central District playoffs at 7 p.m. Feb. 28 in Sequim. The winning team travels to face Fife on March 4; the losing team is eliminated.
Reach Michael Dashiell at firstname.lastname@example.org.