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SK dims CK's playoff hopes
South Kitsaps boys basketball team clinched the No. 1 seed in the Bridge Division Wednesday, Feb. 12, when they overcame a late Central Kitsap lead to pull out their ninth consecutive win 52-44.
It was nice to clinch at home on senior night, said SK coach John Callaghan, whose team improved to 12-1 in the Narrows League (18-1 overall). Now, no matter what, we get a first district game at home, which is a lot more fun than driving for three hours to play a game. We will be playing tough teams but at least we get home cookin.
CKs loss, combined with a win by Bremerton, meant the Cougars (6-7, 8-11) needed to defeat the Knights (7-6, 11-8) Friday night in Bremerton to keep their playoff hopes alive. Results were unavailable at press time.
On a night that saluted SKs nine seniors, it was those seniors that picked up most of the slack offensively.
With starting junior post Jake Beitinger out for the week after sinus surgery, senior Cody McCulley stepped in as a starter and banged for a team-high nine rebounds to go with his nine points.
Seniors Nate Seitz and Brian Cox led the Wolves with 12 points each, followed by Adam Bennetts eight points.
Through three quarters, CK had a slight edge over SK behind the sharp shooting of Lukas Henne (12 points) and Marcus McKay (11 points).
With the absence of Beitinger on defense, CK post Brice Brooks hooked up for eight points, though SKs defense put the clamps on the inside game in the second half.
The Cougars held a 36-32 lead going into the fourth quarter before SK opened the quarter on a 9-0 run to take a 41-36 lead.
SK sophomore Jamil Moore hit a big 3-pointer in the run that tied the score 36-36 and Cox came down on the next possession and drained a 3-pointer to push SK up three points.
Trailing by just two points, CK came out of its zone defense for the first time all game.
The switch appeared to confuse the CK defense, which forgot to switch on a screen where a wide-open McCulley converted a three-point play to give SK a 44-39 lead.
SK went up six points with 1:28 left until CK cut the lead in half when Henne nailed a 3-pointer with 1:05 remaining.
But SKs defense kept CK scoreless in the final minute while the Wolves continued to hit enough free throws to put the game out of reach.