Sequim sophomore Frank Catelli figures he’s headed back to the bench when his brother’s shoulder heals.
Until then, the 6-foot 3-inch forward is prepared to help the Wolves get wins.
Friday night, after scoring just 20 points through three quarters, Catelli and company erupted for 25 points in the fourth frame and toppled rival Port Angeles, 45-31.
“(Frank) is something else,” Sequim coach Greg Glasser said, after watching the sophomore reserve score Sequim’s first five points and lead the team with 10 points (on 4-of-4 shooting) and six rebounds.
“He’s still a little bit raw but … if there’s a player out on the court I want my son to play like, it’s him.”
Down 26-22 a few moments into the final quarter, Sequim saw Catelli, Nick Camporini and Jeremie Oliver find the basket at crucial moments. When Sequim point guard Corbin Webb found Camporini for his second three-pointer of the night, the Wolves took their first lead of the game at 27-26. After Port Angeles missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw try, Oliver converted a three-point play.
The Roughriders missed another free throw on their next possession, and Catelli, starting in place of brother Clancy while the elder brother nurses a shoulder injury, converted another three-point play for a 33-26 lead.
A few plays later, Camporini took a charge that saw Roughrider big man Steve Rogers pick up his fourth foul, and the Roughriders never recovered.
Sequim finished the game on a 23-5 run.
The Wolves got balanced scoring from its lineup. John Textor scored nine points while each of Oliver’s nine points came in the final frame. Camporini tallied eight points.
“I said at the beginning of the year, we’re going to have four or five guys who can score,” Glasser said. “They can’t really key on anyone.”
But the star of the game was Sequim’s defense, forcing the Roughriders into 28-percent shooting and 20 turnovers.
“Defensively we did an excellent job, to hold a team like Port Angeles to 31 points,” Glasser said.
The Sequim coach knew Port Angeles’ main weapons — Rogers and point guard Antonio Stevenson, plus forward Justin Williams — were P.A.’s biggest threats on the offensive end. But Rogers, who struggled with foul trouble all game, saw just two easy baskets all night and finished with just five points.
With a broad smile following the game, Camporini said taking the charge from Rogers late in the game was key.
“I think it just changed everything at that point; it was a real momentum builder,’ he said.
Stevenson, an athletic leaper who flung shots at will, hit a couple of shots early but couldn’t find the basket late; he led Port Angeles with 12 points. Webb and Textor shared time pressuring the ’Rider guard.
“We challenged our kids to keep an eye on him, keep him out of the middle,” Glasser said. For much of the game, it looked as if this game was a defensive struggle destined to be decided on a possession or two, or free throws.
With both teams struggling from the field, Port Angeles held a 13-7 lead after one quarter. The Wolves clamped down on defense further in the second quarter, holding P.A. to one basket — a Colin Wheeler three-pointer — and closed the gap to 16-15.
Despite hitting less than 30 percent from the field, the Wolves weren’t panicking at all, Glasser said.
“We weren’t hitting shots in the first half,” he said. “We were getting good looks. Offensively we were executing fine.”
In the fourth quarter, Glasser called for a couple of set plays, and Webb, the second-year point, found Oliver for a pair of easy baskets and Camporini for a long-range bomb.
‘I thought (Corbin) did an excellent job,” Glasser said.
Webb finished with four assists, pacing an offense that committed just 10 turnovers, three in the second half.
Textor, who made just four of 18 shots from the field, added four assists and two steals. Oliver grabbed six rebounds and two blocks.
The Wolves showed they could close a lead down the stretch, hitting 13 of 17 free throws.
Now Sequim will have to show what they can do against some bigger teams when they travel to the Mountlake Terrace tournament Dec. 29-30. The Wolves open with the host Hawks with a possible match-up with state powerhouse O’Dea in the second round looming.
“The main thing is we’re trying to get focused for the stretch run in January and February,” Glasser said. “We’ll do some team bonding. We took a step toward that tonight.
Reach Michael Dashiell at email@example.com.