Olympic boys earn first district win in 7 years

"There was only one thing the Olympic High School boys basketball team was hungering for at Auburn High School last Saturday night.I think the kids were looking for a little respect, said Robert Polk, the team's third-year coach. I don't think our league gets much respect over there.Over there, for Polk's purposes, is anywhere West Central District Class 4A playoff games are played. The lack of respect is in direct proportion to the lack of success the Olympic League has had in the annual state tournament qualifier.Until Saturday, the Trojans hadn't won a district game in seven years. Under Polk, they were 0-3 until they shot down South Kitsap 68-54 in the elimination bracket game, ending the Wolves' season at 13-9 and extending their own for at least one more contest.The victory put Oly into a loser-out game last night against Rogers. The winner of that plays either Wilson or Bellarmine tonight, with a 50-50 chance of earning one of the district's berth's in the state 4A championships.The state tournament is a carrot dangling far in front of the Trojans' collective nose. What they were after Saturday, however, was some props from somebody other than their Olympic League fellows.I think we earned our respect by beating a team from out of our league, Polk said. No, they (the Wolves) aren't from the other side of the bridge. They aren't one of those South Puget Sound League teams. But they're from the Narrows League, which is a tough league, and you better believe beating them is a huge boost for our kids.The Trojans, stifled inside by a tall Kentwood club in their district opener, stretched the floor against South by hitting 10 3-point shots - seven by sophomore guard Geoff Kelstrup, accounting for all 21 of his points.We're livin' by it, Polk said of the 3-point shot. Geoff was 7 for 11 in that game, and Austin Hendershot was either 3 for 5 or 3 for 6.They (South) played a 1-3-1 zone, and we took advantage of it.Kelstrup hit five treys in the first half, capping an 11-0 run at the end of the first quarter with his first and leading Oly to a 41-18 lead at the intermission. When the Wolves started the second half with an 11-0 run, pulling themselves within 41-29, there was Kelstrup to slam the door with another trio.When the kid hit that 3-pointer, that was the biggest shot of the game, said SK coach John Callaghan, whose team never got that close to the Trojans again.He's been the biggest surprise on the team this year, Polk said of Kelstrup, a 5-foot-10 sophomore whose 21 points would've been his career high, except for a 33-point eruption against North Kitsap back on Dec. 17. The thing about him is he's more than just a good shooter. He's worked hard on the rest of his game, and he's become one of our best defenders.After leaning on the inside game of 6-5 Ken Waldo most of the season, the Trojans had their guard(s) up against South, as Hendershot added 17 points. Combined, the two underclassmen (Hendershot is a junior) shot 14 for 22 from the field.Waldo contributed 13 points for Olympic, matching the total managed by SK's team scoring leader, Jason Young."

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