By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
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The difference between halves was Sequim's concerted effort to enter the ball into the low block on offense after halftime.
“We didn't do a very good job [taking advantage of our height advantage on offense] and as coaches we have to figure out how to get the ball to our bigs in a position where they can be effective, and I think in the second half we were able to do that,” Sequim coach Greg Glasser said.
“We had them outsized at almost every position and should have been able to go in there all night long.”
Friday night's win provided a measure of revenge for the Wolves (9-2, 11-4), who suffered their first loss of the season on the road to the Buccaneers (6-6, 6-10) in December.
Both teams started slow, seeming to feel each other out as the first quarter progressed.
The Wolves were attempting to introduce some new plays on offense and were running a 2-3 zone on defense, focused on limiting Kingston's ability to make dribble drives into the paint and dish for inside baskets.
Sequim led 7-6 after one quarter and the lead swung back and forth in the second as each squad thawed a bit on offense.
Kingston was more effective in countering the 2-3 zone in the second period, entering the ball into the middle of the zone and swinging it down to the post or out for perimeter looks in the second quarter.
Wolves leading scorer Alex Barry warmed up, hitting for sevens second-quarter points, including a 3-pointer for a 19-15 lead with 1:58 to go before halftime.
Kingston answered back, scoring the final seven points of the period for a 22-19 halftime edge and pushing the lead to 24-19 with 7:25 left in the third.
Sequim's George Johnson sparked a 14-4 Wolves run, netting his team's first basket of the second half by canning a 3-pointer with 5:05 left in the third.
The run included a solid stretch by Wolves point guard Anthony Pinza, who nailed a trey with 2:15 in the third to put Sequim ahead 29-28, then stole the ball at midcourt on the next Kingston possession and drove for a layup.
Pinza followed that up with another steal, finally cooling off by missing an open look at another 3-pointer — but 6 foot 6 senior post Erik Christensen was there for the rebound and basket as Sequim went up 33-28 with 1:10 to go.
Christensen added another bucket inside with four seconds left in the third, for a 35-30 Sequim lead entering the fourth quarter.
Pinza and Christensen tied for game-high scoring honors with 14 points, with Pinza leading the team with seven assists and Christensen adding six rebounds.
Kingston point guard Cole Rabadeaux rolled his ankle while landing after sticking a jumper to cut the lead to 38-32 with 3:38 to play. He was helped to the bench by teammates but returned, limping noticeably.
In the interim, Kingston turnovers led to Sequim points, as a Pinza bucket and a Barry 3-ball pushed Sequim over the top, giving the Wolves what would become an insurmountable 11-point advantage, 43-32 with 2:10 left.
Barry had 13 points, a team-high 12 rebounds and three steals.
The Wolves hit 4 of 6 free throws down the stretch to account for the final margin.
Sophomore forward Colin Veilleux led Kingston with 10 points and Miles Sustad added eight.
Sequim's win helped rival Port Angeles in the standings, as the Roughriders (8-4 Olympic League) are competing with Olympic (7-4), North Kitsap (6-5) and Kingston (6-6) for the third and fourth spots to the Class 2A West Central District playoffs.
The Wolves visit North Mason on Tuesday.