Hopson, sophs set new standard for girls
by MICHAEL DASHIELL
Lea Hopson scored 18 points, Taylor Balkan had 13 points and Rylleigh Zbaraschuk added nine as Sequim kept a game back of league-leading Port Angeles. “Our legs were extremely dead and they (North Kitsap’s Vikings) came out firing,” Sequim coach Stephanie Lewis said. North built a 34-31 lead after three quarters until Sequim finally solved the puzzle. The key was to get physical and get to the line, and Sequim outscored the Vikings 19-14 in the final eight minutes. “We stepped up and we utilized some plays we haven’t used in a while to pick up some fouls,” Lewis said.
The Wolves finished 15-of-32 from the line, and Lewis noted the game shouldn’t have been that close. That’s a world away from where the Wolves were last season, losing close games, moderately close games and blowouts to the tune of a 0-20 record. Now, they’re nearly unbeatable, losing only a season-opener to Olympic on Dec. 3. “It might be confidence,” Lewis said of her team’s turnaround. “In practice, we do run a lot of game situations. Evan (Still, assistant coach) and I have been explaining why we do things. I tell my girls, ‘You have to be an academic in your sport.’ They now understand the game.
They are growing as athletes and basketball players.” They’ll need that growth when they travel to Longview for the Mark Morris Tournament later this month. They open against host Mark Morris on Dec. 29 and play powerhouse Kelso on Dec. 30. “This next stretch here (is) going to be some tough teams,” Lewis said. “We can’t have so much reason to be cocky. It’ll be a competitive venture for us, for sure.” And after back-to-back winless seasons, the Wolves already have reason to celebrate.
“The smiles are ear to ear,” Lewis said. “It’s great.” Sequim was slated to host Forks on Dec. 21 — results were unavailable at press time. After the Mark Morris Tournament, Sequim is at Kingston on Jan. 4.
Sequim dominated their traveling foes from Australia 53-34 on Dec. 14 in Sequim, getting double-digit scoring efforts from Hopson (16 points), Haleigh Harrison (15) and Zbaraschuk (10).
Sequim led 20-10 after one quarter.
Hopson had 10 steals and Harrison added nine rebounds. Balkan led the team with five assists.
Down a point to the Bremerton Knights heading into the final eight minutes, the Wolves showed they can win in the clutch.
Hopson scored 21 points and Zbaraschuk added 12 as the Wolves outscored Bremerton 18-13 in the fourth quarter to top their hosts, 41-37 on Dec. 13.
Jalen Carpenter led Bremerton with 21 points.
Boys tally victories behind young stars
by MICHAEL DASHIELL
Missing their floor leader, Sequim’s boys hoops squad showed plenty of resiliency in keeping North Kitsap winless.
Jayson Brocklesby scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while fellow sophomore Gabe Carter went for 16 points and nine caroms in a 57-45 win against the rival Vikings on Dec. 17.
The win keeps Sequim a half game behind Kingston for the top spot in the Olympic League.
Sequim guard Kenny Meier added six assists.
The Wolves were without point guard Corbin Webb, who is battling mononucleosis and is likely to be out of action until the end of the calendar year, Sequim assistant coach Larry Hill said.
The Wolves are off until Dec. 28-29 when they travel east to play at Port Townsend’s Crush the Slush tournament.
Sequim takes on Eatonville at 4 p.m. on Dec. 28 and Orting at 10:45 a.m. on Dec. 29.
The Wolves host Kingston on Jan. 4.
Sequim holds on against Klahowya
Despite a fourth-quarter eruption by the host Klahowya Eagles, Sequim found a way to hold on in a 58-54 win in Silverdale on Dec. 15.
Carter had 20 points and Camporini added 12 to lead a balanced attack that kept Sequim in second place in the Olympic League standings.
Klahowya sank six 3-pointers in the final quarter to close a 16-point deficit to four.
Derris Davis led Klahowya with 23 points.
Sequim’s Brocklesby and Meier added nine points each in the Wolves’ first game minus Webb.
SHS hosts, tops Australians
Camporini led a quartet of double-digit Sequim scorers with 24 points as the Wolves topped a travel team from Australia, 65-52 on Dec. 14.
Camporini was 5-of-11 from the three-point stripe while Brocklesby added 18 points and 11 rebounds in the win.
Evan Hill had a team-high six assists.
Wolves dethrone Knights
Long, athletic, aggressive — and out of luck.
The Bremerton Knights ran into the buzz saw that is the Sequim Wolves on Dec. 13, as Sequim outfinessed their 3A foes 77-66.
Webb had 23 points and six assists, Camporini had 20 points and Carter chipped in with 13 points and 16 rebounds to lead Sequim to the Olympic League victory.
“It came on the defensive end first,” Camporini said, a few minutes after seeing his team improve to 3-1 in league play.
“We really got into them (on defense) and got what we wanted on offense.”
Andrew Coleman led Bremerton with 32 points, but the Wolves forced the Knights’ star into several tough shots. No one else on Bremerton had more than 12, however, and just five players scored.
“If that’s happening, you try to get the ball out of his hands,” Sequim coach Greg Glasser said. “You just hope you shut everyone else down and rebound. We did that tonight.”
Sequim worked four- and five-man motion plays until things opened up inside, sank outside shots when they needed and even ran a little with Bremerton when the Knights tried to push the tempo.
“Their youth just doesn’t come out in their play,” Glasser said of his Wolves.
Reach Michael Dashiell at email@example.com.