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South Kitsap outlasts cold-shooting Central Kitsap | Boys Basketball

South Kitsap sophomore guard Nars Martinez scored 9 points to help the Wolves to a 59-47 win Tuesday against Central Kitsap.  - Kenny Gatlin photo
South Kitsap sophomore guard Nars Martinez scored 9 points to help the Wolves to a 59-47 win Tuesday against Central Kitsap.
— image credit: Kenny Gatlin photo

Even a season’s worth of traveling violations couldn’t stop the Wolves.

South Kitsap overcame 25 turnovers to earn a 59-47 win Tuesday against Central Kitsap in Narrows League play.

And, despite the turnovers, South (6-6 overall, 3-4 league) accomplished it through execution. After losing five consecutive games — the program’s worst stretch in more than a decade — the Wolves have won both of their games in the new year and three of the last four.

Senior forward Leon La Deaux said that is not a coincidence.

“It was the most positive our team has been together all year,” he said. “Giant strides have been taken since earlier in the season.”

South coach John Callaghan agreed.

“This is the best we’ve played as a team,” he said. “There’s been a few times where we just worried about ourselves. We finally got it — it’s about the team.”

Central (7-4, 3-3) never was able to overcome its woeful first-quarter shooting. The Cougars, who have not won in Port Orchard since 2004, converted just 1 of 16 field-goal attempts and had six turnovers after eight minutes. They trailed 15-5 entering the second quarter.

“I think our pressure was good,” Callaghan said. “I don’t really recall them getting wide-open looks. We were there contesting every shot.”

The Wolves used a 1-3-1 zone defensive scheme that Central coach Scott McMinds felt contributed to his team’s struggles.

“It’s something we drilled against and I thought we were going to shoot them out of it two minutes into the game,” he said, adding that his team also struggled to rebound. “If you can’t shot them out of a zone, it’s going to be a long night.”

Despite the ongoing shooting struggles — Central missed its first 23 3-pointers and did not convert one until Michael Gunske’s with 28 seconds left in the game — and 24 turnovers, the Cougars were able to stay close for most of the game.

But that is as close as they would get as South matched every run. La Deaux, who had a game-high 17 points, drove for a layup with 2:53 minutes left to extend the Wolves’ lead to 52-42. South never led by less than 10 points for the remainder of the game.

La Deaux, who played with injuries to his right ankle and foot that kept him out of Friday’s 64-60 win at Stadium, believes the Wolves are beginning to play better because of experience. Five players returned from the 2008-09 team, but La Deaux is the only one who started regularly.

He said that resulted in poor team chemistry during the beginning of the season, but now players are becoming more accountable.

“They’re getting used to playing together and this group is coming together,” La Deaux said. “Everyone is starting to figure it out. It’s a good time to do it late in the season.

“It’s time to make a run.”

Tuesday

At South Kitsap 59, Central Kitsap 47

Central Kitsap 5 17 14 11 — 47

South Kitsap 15 18 8 18 — 59

Central Kitsap: Christian Wesley 10, Michael Gurske 12, Chase Ullrich 7, Josh Sontag 0, Steffan Collins 4, Tyler Baumgartner 10, Jacob Sontag 0, Mark Dorsey 0, Drew Vettleson 4, Kericho Cory 0.

South Kitsap: Josh Dubble 0, Greg Pickard 9, Isaiah Davis 3, Kerry Burden 2, Nars Martinez 9, Cedric Brown 1, Chris Blue 2, Joey Osinski 9, Leon La Deaux 17, Riki Blas 7.

Friday

South Kitsap 64, at Stadium 60

South Kitsap 22 13 13 16 — 64

Stadium 12 15 12 24 — 60

South Kitsap: Greg Pickard 10, Isaiah Davis 4, Kerry Burden 19, Nars Martinez 14, Cedric Brown 5, Chris Blue 8, Joey Osinski 4.

Stadium: Falk, Henley 17, Briscoe 8, Williams, Hillis, Fujita 2, Palumbo 17, Anderson 0, Stumph 0, Barnes 3, Walters 11, Nelson 2.

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