For all but one five-minute stretch, Sequim's Friday night showdown with Port Townsend played out like a Hollywood-style horror show, only without a happy ending or resolve.
The host Redskins outscored
Sequim 25-13 in the first half and 20-10 in a mistake-laden third quarter to take the contest 55-45 on Jan. 4, thrusting themselves back into the Olympic League 2A title chase.
The Wolves (3-3 in league, 4-6 overall), who were led by Cassie Rogers' 11 points, managed an 18-4 fourth quarter outburst to sneak to within eight points, but the comeback effort came much too late.
Sequim coach Lisa Corbit, looking sour-faced after her team's puzzling loss, tried to pin down the Wolves' downfall.
"Lack of defense. Non-existent defense until five minutes left ... not hitting two-foot shots," she said. "(The players) were very nonchalant, even in their warm-up. I don't know if it's the wintertime blues or what."
The loss was quite a different tale from the team's previous match-up, a 71-66 overtime Redskin victory in the Crush the Slush Tournament consolation finals just five days earlier.
For everything that was going wrong for the Wolves - including 26 turnovers and just 31 percent shooting from the floor - little was going wrong for P.T. guard Sophie Wilson.
The sophomore point guard perplexed Wolves defenders with crisp passes, athleticism and height that makes her such a tough mark: Guard her close, she drives past for lay-ups; lie back, and she hits from the outside; front her off the ball and she snatches back-door lobs for easy buckets.
Wilson finished with a game-high 21 points as the Redskins shot 49 percent from the field and collected 17 steals.
"She's a great athlete - she's tough," Corbit said of Wilson.
The Redskins took a lead right away, forcing eight first-quarter turnovers en route to a 15-4 advantage. Sequim was just 2-of-12 from the field.
Sequim's Lynzie Joslin drained a three-point bomb to open the second quarter and baskets by Rogers and Laine Briggs brought Sequim to within six points, but Port Townsend closed the first half on an 8-2 run.
The third quarter was even worse for the Wolves' faithful, as the Redskins at one point hit eight shots in nine tries while Sequim was a fruitless 3-of14 shooting.
Rogers and Joslin spearheaded Sequim's last-gasp comeback in the fourth, reducing a 45-23 disadvantage to just eight points thanks to the two guards' long-range strokes. Sarah Moores' three-point bomb with three minutes left capped the streak, but back-to-back baskets from Ilsa Barrett, Ashley Sly and Alyx Coppenrath sealed P.T.'s victory.
Moores, who torched the Redskins for 25 points in their last meeting, was held to nine points while Briggs, the Wolves' go-to post player, had just four points on 2-of-13 shooting. She did collect a team-high 13 rebounds.
Brittany Gates, charged with the unenviable task of guarding Wilson for much of the night along with Sunma Agostine, collected four points and two steals.
Sequim was slated to challenge North Mason Jan. 8 - results were unavailable at press time. The Wolves take on Bremerton at home Jan. 11.
"I told (my players) we have two tough games next week," Corbit said. "Next week will determine where any team is going to go. They have the weekend to figure out where they want to be."