By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
Want more top stories? Sign up here for daily or weekly newsletters with our top news.
The girls outcome came down to the final shot, with the Wolves outlasting the Redskins 42-40, while timely fourth-quarter 3-point shooting and clutch free throws helped the Sequim boys to a 51-40 win over Port Townsend on Wednesday night.
With 10 seconds left in the girls game, Sequim (7-2, 7-6) guard Hailey Lester missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free-throw opportunity, leading to a rebound and run-out for the Redskins.
Port Townsend (3-6, 6-7) had just crossed half-court with the ball when referee Scott Ramsey stumbled while running backwards up the court, slamming the back of his head into the court and leading to a short stoppage in play. Ramsey left the court and wouldn't return.
Port Townsend received the ball with 4.6 seconds to play and inbounded the ball to Jayde Richardson on the left baseline.
Richardson pulled up and launched a leaning 10-footer over the outstretched arms of Sequim's Alexas Besand that hit iron as the buzzer sounded.
“It was a wild finish and we are having too many of those right now,” Sequim coach Evan Still said.
“We need to figure out how to put [opposing teams] out of it, as we have a tendency to let teams creep back into games and create exciting finishes, ones that I'm kind of tired of,” Still said with a laugh.
The two squads had battled through a see-saw first quarter that left Sequim leading 13-12.
Richardson, Port Townsend's primary post presence, picked up her second foul with 2:36 remaining in the quarter, sending her to the bench for the rest of the quarter and forcing Redskins coach Randy Maag into a tough decision to start the second: put Richardson back into the game and risk a third foul or sacrifice the scoring, rebounding and defense she offers his team.
Maag chose to send her out for the second quarter and it paid off, as she scored Port Townsend's first bucket of the period and drew the second foul of the game on Besand, Sequim's best scoring and rebounding threat with five minutes to play before intermission.
With Richardson unable to defend the post as aggressively due to foul trouble, the Wolves went on an 8-0 runs sans Besand to close the second quarter, shutting Port Townsend out for the final 4:35 to lead 26-18 at half.
Besand came back in the third quarter, hitting a 3-pointer to close the third and give Sequim a 35-29 lead heading to the fourth.
Sequim played tight defense much of the game on Redskins point guard Jewel Johnson, limiting her to nine points overall, but the nimble Johnson was able to split the Wolves defense with dribble drives for a layup and two fourth-quarter assists as Port Townsend pulled within 40-37 on two Rilke Rutenbeck free throws with two minutes to play.
The teams traded free throws in the last moments before Port Townsend's last-second attempt clanged off of the rim.
Richardson and Besand led all scorers with 15 points apiece.
Kaitlin Stofferahn stepped out for two corner treys and stepped in for three inside buckets, netting 10 for Sequim.
All alone in second place in the Olympic League, Sequim will host Olympic in an important league matchup tonight, while Kingston visits Port Townsend.
Sequim 42, Port Townsend 40
Sequim 13 13 9 7— 42
Port Townsend 12 6 11 11— 40
Sequim (7-2, 7-6)
Besand 15, Stofferahn 10, Lester 8, Cummins 4, Beuke 2, Bentz 2, Miller 1.
Port Townsend (3-6, 6-7)
Richardson 15, Johnson 9, Rutenbeck 6, Reeves 5, Meek 5.
Sequim 51, Port Townsend 40
With a shooting stroke as true as Sequim's Alex Barry, it was only a matter of time.
On a cold night from the floor, Barry heated up at the right moment, hitting a huge 3-pointer to put Sequim up 41-34 with 2:50 to go in the fourth quarter, and knocking down a trey from the same spot just left of the top of the arc on the Wolves' next possession to staunch a Redskins rally and give Sequim a 44-36 edge with 2:15 remaining.
“I knew he was going to make one,” Sequim coach Greg Glasser said.
“On that first one he creeped right over in front of me there, and I just told him to knock it down.
“He needs to know that we believe in him as coaches and the team believes in him, [and] that no matter how many he's missed, that he can keep shooting.”
Barry shot just 5 of 16 from the floor, tied with Port Townsend's Jacob King for high-scoring honors with 14 points.
“It's good to get a win like that, I credit our kids for running the floor, their effort on defense and just working real hard and digging down to get that win,” Glasser said.
Wolves point guard Anthony Pinza had a big night with 13 points, including two acrobatic layups that spun around the iron before dropping in, and six assists.
“His strength is getting to the hole and we told him to make them stop him there, and they had a tough time doing that,” Glasser said.
After a back-and-forth start in the first six minutes, Sequim took the lead for good on a Vance Willis 3-pointer with 1:50 to play in the first quarter.
Sequim went on a 15-0 spurt spanning the final 1:50 of the first quarter and the first 4:37 of the second to go up 22-8.
King helped Port Townsend rally before half, hitting three straight buckets and Sean Dwyer knocked down a trey to get the Redskins within 24-17 at halftime.
Sequim's lead grew to 34-25 heading to the final quarter.
The Redskins were able to trim the lead to five points at 36-31 on the strength of two Paul Spaltenstein triples in the first minute of the fourth, and four at 38-34 after the senior's two free throws with 3:16 to play.
Spaltenstein had 13 points for Port Townsend.
Then Barry arrived in style, hitting his only two 3s of the game to end the Redskins' shot at the upset.
The Wolves visit Olympic on Friday, while Port Townsend is on the road at Kingston.
Sequim 51, Port Townsend 40
Sequim 14 10 10 17— 51
Port Townsend 8 9 8 15— 40
Sequim (7-2, 9-5)
Barry 14, Pinza 13, Christensen 8, Kallappa 8, Willis 6, McConnaughey 2.
Port Townsend (2-7, 4-8)
King 14, Spaltenstein 13, Dwyer 5, Charlton 4, Coppenrath 4.