Trojans can't finish off Port Angeles

Olympic’s Brendan Campbell was blocked by the rim on his dunk attempt during the third quarter of the Trojans’ 55-54 loss against Port Angeles on Wednesday, Dec. 12. Campbell had a team-high 13 points for the Trojans. - Rogerick Anas
Olympic’s Brendan Campbell was blocked by the rim on his dunk attempt during the third quarter of the Trojans’ 55-54 loss against Port Angeles on Wednesday, Dec. 12. Campbell had a team-high 13 points for the Trojans.
— image credit: Rogerick Anas

Olympic High’s 37-point loss to defending state 4A champion Lincoln last week wasn’t a lot of fun, but at least coach Robert Polk could stomach it.

The Trojans’ 55-54 loss to Port Angeles in their Narrows League Bridge Division opener on Wednesday, Dec. 14 was harder to swallow.

“A lot harder,” said Olympic coach Robert Polk. “This was a winnable game. Against Lincoln it was very evident from the first play of the game that they’re in a different class than we are right now. Port Angeles has a good solid program, but we should have won this game.”

Olympic didn’t score in the final three minutes, 15 seconds and only had two points over the final 5:12 against Port Angeles. The Trojans led from start to finish, except for the final 18 seconds. That’s when Port Angeles sophomore Scott Helpenstall pushed in an uncontested layup, giving the Roughriders the only lead that mattered.

The Trojans got off two open shots in the final seconds. Aldwin David missed a 14-footer and Brendan Campbell got the rebound, but his putback wouldn’t go down.

“It’s frustrating,” Polk said. “We had the lead the whole game, but we made some poor decisions. We put up some quick shots and they converted those misses into points.

“They just played smarter down the stretch. That’s one area we’ve been struggling at the end of quarters. We’re not taking very good care of the basketball or getting good shots.”

That was the pattern against Port Angeles. The Trojans seemed to be on the verge of putting this one away several times, only to suffer a lapse that allowed the Roughriders to hang around.

Olympic led 16-9 with 20 seconds left in the first quarter, but mistakes enabled PA to score a quick five points in that span.

The Trojans were up 28-18 in the second quarter, but couldn’t sustain it as the Roughriders cut the deficit to five by the half.

Once again, Olympic was controlling play, leading 46-36 with 3:18 left in the third quarter and 6-4 sophomore Brendan Campbell was sailing in for an easy basket, or so it seemed. Campbell went for the dunk, but missed it and the momentum changed in a hurry. PA pulled within 48-43 going into the final quarter.

Olympic’s final basket, a jumper by David with 3:15 left, gave the Trojans a 54-49 lead.

While Olympic struggled, PA was suddenly efficient on offense after looking disjointed most of the night. The Riders knocked down three of four shots over a 2:07 stretch to get within 54-53 at the 2:24 mark.

Olympic still had the lead and the ball with 1:13 left. Following a timeout, the Trojans spread out and milked the clock until Joel Ackley’s pass was picked off by PA’s Jordan Tschimperle with 27 seconds left.

PA attacked quickly with Helpenstall getting the easy go-ahead bucket.

Polk, after watching the film, said it looked like Campbell “got slapped across his face pretty good,” on his putback attempt at the buzzer, but he wasn’t complaining. The Trojans shouldn’t have been in that position.

“We played well at times,” Polk said. “Again, they just outexecuted us in the important moments of the game.”

The loss left the Trojans 1-4 going into a Friday, Dec. 14 game at Gig Harbor.

Polk was worried about keeping his team positive.

“Yeah, it’s early and we just started the league season, but it’s easy for the kids to get tired of losing,” he said. “We’ve just got to keep working hard.”

Campbell led the Trojans with 13 points and nine rebounds. Ackley had eight points and eight rebounds.

Olympic’s leading scorer, guard Geoff Kelstrup, was held to five points.

“In spite of not scoring, I think Geoff did a lot of good things. He attacked the basket well and created some stuff,” Polk said.

Port Angeles (3-2) got 13 points from Matt Johnson and 12 from Matt Sinnes.

Port Angeles 55, Olympic 54

Port Angeles 14 14 15 12 — 55

Olympic 16 17 15 6 — 54

Port Angeles — Jordan Rhoads 6, Matt Johnson 13, Jordan Tschimperle 5, Scott Helpenstell 9, Jake Opplet 2, Matt Sinnes 12, James Charles, Danny Clawson, Colin Anderson 8.

Olympic — Geoff Kelstrup 5, Aldwin David 4, Chris Lambert 9, Joel Ackley 8, Brendan Campbell 13, Ferbien Encomienda 8, Chris Soterakopoulos 5, Josh Johnson 2, John Holmes.

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