Sports

Trojans nearly shoot down SK

"The Olympic High School boys basketball team learned two things from its nonleague game against South Kitsap Thursday night.First, the Trojans learned they're pretty good at playing catchup. Second, they're too apt to make themselves have to.Oly gave the much-taller visitors fits with its outside shooting and ball-hawking defense before falling to an 82-75 decision in front of a sparse crowd in the OHS gym.But the 13 3-point baskets - seven by junior guard Geoff Kelstrup - and numerous takeaways weren't enough to neutralize the Wolves' size advantage.It might've been a closer game, Olympic coach Robert Polk said, but for a few lapses.We made some poor passes, some poor decisions, when there really wasn't a lot of pressure on us, said Polk, whose team dropped to 2-4 on the season, and puts a 2-2 Olympic League record on the line against league-leading Sequim. We got behind and had to claw back.We tied it at 51 (with a run of 11 straight points), and then we make a couple of bad passes, they get a layup and a three and all of a sudden we're down by five again, he said.That 51-all tie was the closest the Trojans could come in the second half, as South punched its way back out to a 14-point advantage (68-54) before Oly rained down the 3-pointers to get within six again in the closing minutes.Despite scoring three at a crack, the Trojans had simply slipped too far behind to make their comeback. Behind Kelstrup - who nailed his last three bombs to finish with 27 points - Casey Manchester and Ernie Parsons, Troy kept up the bombardment and made the Wolves work for their seventh victory in eight starts this season.The early going had looked like a South Kitsap Cakewalk. The tall inside trio of Jake Beitinger (6-foot-6 and just a freshman), Buck Savage (6-4) and Jake Whitford (6-5) had their way inside against an Oly team that doesn't have a player over 6-2.It was 14-2 before the Trojans finally were able to assert their fullcourt pressure and quick hands around the perimeter. They stole and pilfered and larcenized their way back into the game, and the Wolves - who had seen little of that kind of pressure in the early part of their season - temporarily fell apart.The first of Parsons' four treys, followed by a Manchester layup off Parsons' feed, gave Oly its' only lead of the game, 19-18, a minute into the second quarter.But South countered with six straight points to regain control, and every time the Trojans made a move the rest of the way, they were able to find enough of their game to put together another saving spurt.The killer might've been when Tremaine Curry and Whitford each hit two straight baskets and Justin Dudley followed with a pull-up 3-pointer for an 11-0 spurt and a 48-34 SK lead.Might've been. Kelstrup knocked down a pair of threes to switch the momentum, and then contributed five more points to Oly's answering run of 11 points that tied things at 51.Polk's disappointment over the loss seemed tempered by two factors. First, it doesn't count against Oly in the league standings. Second, the Trojans played the way they'll need to play to have success in league, and - the basketball fates willing - in the West Central District tournament, to which Troy will be trying to make its third straight visit.Our shots didn't fall early, but it's the hustle stuff we did that impressed me, Polk said. That's the stuff we've got to do every night. Tonight, the kids came to play.And give the Wolves - despite their very WCD-esque front line of tall timber - all they wanted.Dudley finished with 24 points to lead the Wolves. "

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