Less than two weeks from their first playoff appearance in three seasons, Sequim’s Wolves have plenty of momentum.
The wrong kind of momentum, however.
Sequim (7-7 in Olympic League play, 10-9 overall) dropped a pair of key league games last week, falling to Klahowya and North Kitsap in consecutive games, with the league’s top two teams up next on the schedule just before the postseason.
Sequim guard Taylor Balkan, right, pressures North Kitsap’s Indigo Williams. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell
“We’re not satisfied with 10 (wins),” Sequim coach Stephanie Lewis said. “We just have to step up.”
Sequim needed at least one win to keep pace with the Olympic Trojans for the league’s No. 3 seed — the top three teams in the league automatically advance to districts, while the No. 4 and 5 seeds play a loser-out game next week — but fell to lowly Klahowya on Jan. 25 and to No. 5 seed contender North Kitsap two days later.
It didn’t help Sequim to have key injuries to Taylor Balkan and Lea Hopson, their top two guards. Both played last week, but sparingly.
“We play with who we have,” Lewis said.
Balkan led the Wolves with seven points and Hopson added five but the Wolves simply couldn’t keep up with the visiting North Kitsap squad Friday evening, falling 49-27.
Lexi Simmons led the Vikings with 12 points and Indigo Williams added 11 points.
North Kitsap outshot
Sequim (47 percent to Sequim’s 21), turning a three-point advantage after the first quarter into a 21-point lead after three quarters.
“Right now we’re struggling on offense,” Lewis said. “It seems … the other team wants the ball more.”
Looking to the postseason
For Sequim, three playoff scenarios remain:
■ If Sequim can move past Olympic for the No. 3 seed, the Wolves will play either the South Puget Sound League or Seamount League No. 2 team at Clover Park High School on Feb. 11; or
■ Sequim remains the No. 4 seed, putting them in a loser-out, winner-to-districts game on Feb. 10; or
■ North Kitsap catches the Wolves and bumps them to the No. 5 seed, putting Sequim in a loser-out road game on Feb. 10, with the winner securing a district playoff spot.
The Wolves host Kingston on Feb. 4 and round out the regular season Feb. 8 at league-leading Port Angeles. P.A.’s Roughriders are ranked No. 3 in the most recent Associated Press class 2A poll.
Lewis acknowledged the Wolves are in a tough spot in the final two games. She said her hope is that the Wolves can prepare for the playoffs by consistently finishing plays in their offensive sets against Kingston and Port Angeles.
“We’re going to execute every time down the floor,” she said.
Klahowya upsets Sequim
It wasn’t that long ago Sequim was the underdog in this match-up.
On Jan. 25, Klahowya’s Eagles played that role — and quite well.
Jordan Dixon scored 23 points and Kori Holt added 15 points as the Eagles picked up their first league victory in 12 games by topping Sequim 52-39 in Silverdale.
Klahowya held a four-point lead (22-18) at halftime before Sequim closed the gap to just two with eight minutes left.
But a 22-11 fourth quarter sealed Klahowya’s victory.
Hopson led Sequim with 10 points while Demiree Briones added nine points.
Reach Michael Dashiell at firstname.lastname@example.org.