For the Sequim Wolves, the first eight-minute quarter of Friday night's basketball game was like an apple.
The kind that's bitter and spoils the rest of the bunch.
Led by seniors Brett Skogstad and John Fullington, the North Mason Bulldogs torched the nets for a 16-9 lead and held off a strong Sequim comeback to take the Olympic League seeding game 41-33 at Klahowya Secondary School on Feb. 19.
That gave North Mason a home game in the first round of the West Central District tourney, while Sequim was slated to play a pigtail game on Feb. 23 against Eatonville (see box).
Results from Tuesday evening's game were unavailable at press time.
Sequim coach Greg Glasser said Eatonville (12-8) is a lot like North Mason in that the Cruisers shoot well from the outside and have a smart, quick point guard. Eatonville doesn't have the inside presence of North Mason's Fullington, the Sequim coach noted.
"I'm not sure we'll have to change up defensively," Glasser said.
Redemption out of reach
Coming off the heels of a 35-point loss in Belfair on Feb. 9, Sequim was seeking a little payback in Silverdale, site of the Olympic League seeding game.
With a gymnasium packed with vociferous Bulldog fans, Sequim simply got off to a slow start, hitting just two shots from the field and a couple of free throws.
Skogstad, the lights-out sharpshooter, had no such troubles, getting 10 points from the field and finding Fullington inside for some tough baskets.
Sequim settled down after that, outscoring 24-16 over the next 21 minutes.
But with about three minutes to play and down just one point, Sequim's John Textor fouled Skog-stad and was called for a flagrant foul. Skogstad hit the freebies to go up three points and Sequim's shooters went cold. The Bulldogs sealed the win with free throws.
Textor led the Wolves with 12 points, nine rebounds, four steals and a pair of blocks on Fullington, one of the region's top big men. Jeremie Oliver added 10 points.
"The first quarter; that was it," Glasser said.
That, and the invisible lid that seemed to cover
Sequim's basket. The Wolves shot just 10 of 42 from the floor, a 24-percent clip.
"We had plenty of good looks," Glasser said. "(But) I was happy with the defense, second through the fourth quarters."
Sequim was without starter Michael Dunning and top reserve Josh McMinn, both nursing injuries. Both players are likely out about two weeks, Glasser said.
But the season might not last that long. This postseason is a tough one with just two state berths going to West Central District
Glasser said he expected his squad to rebound from the loss well.
"It seems like they bounce back," he said. "They'll get over it."
Dixon dominates, Trojans triumph
Someone forgot to tell Larry Dixon that this was Sequim's Senior Night.
The 12th-grader from Olympic High reminded Olympic League fans he's not just another bruising running back on Feb. 16, nearly single-handedly pushing the Trojans past Sequim 55-49 in the league regular season finale.
Dixon finished with 33 points, including a 12-for-15 performance at the free throw line, as Olympic built a 44-31 lead after three quarters and withstood a big Sequim comeback.
Textor led the Wolves with 11 points while Dunning and Kenny Meier added eight points each.
Sequim held a six-point lead with three minutes left in the first half, but a trio of Trojan triples helped turn that into a six-point Olympic advantage at halftime, 34-28.
Dixon made a killing by driving to the hoop through traffic and either getting shots to fall or converting at the line.
Sequim closed to within five points in the final minute, but Olympic still put the game away with two free throws from guard Jesse Quitagua.
Coaches, parents and teammates honored Sequim seniors Dunning, Oliver, Textor, Jordan Alcafaras and Clancy Catelli at a pre-game ceremony.
Wolves in the district playoffs
With a win on Feb. 23 against Eatonville, Sequim High School's boys basketball squad competes in the first round of the West Central District tournament at either Fife or Steilacoom at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26. The winner of that first-round contest takes on Kingston (13-7), the Olympic League No. 1 seed, at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2, at Foss High School in Tacoma; the loser of Friday night's game is out of the playoffs.
Reach Michael Dashiell at firstname.lastname@example.org.