By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News
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The Wolves scored the first six points of the game and never looked back in the 63-46 win over their rivals Friday night.
The win, combined with Bremerton's loss to Olympic, sets up a battle for the league championship between Sequim and Bremerton on Tuesday night at Sequim High School at 7 p.m.
The Knights (14-1, 16-3) hold a one-game lead over the Wolves (13-2, 15-4), but Sequim would win the tiebreaker because it swept the season series with the league's next best team, third-place Olympic, while Bremerton's split with the Trojans.
The Wolves have won six straight over the Roughriders, dating back to Feb. 8, 2011, but beating their rivals doesn't get old.
“Rivalry games, they can go either way, so every time we win, it's really nice,” Sequim senior point guard Anthony Pinza said.
“It was a lot of fun. The crowd was just off the charts. You know, our team just brought a ton of energy, we fed of the crowd. We just went out there and played our game.
“It's one of our better games of the year.”
Sequim coach Greg Glasser agreed.
“This was probably their best performance all year, from tip off all the way to end,” he said.
Pinza led the Wolves with 14 points and junior Vance Willis scored 13 points.
“Vance and I, we scored quite a bit,” Pinza said.
“They were locking down Alex [Barry] pretty good, so we've got to step up when they do that because he's our main scorer.”
After scoring 23 points in Sequim's 63-55 win at Port Angeles last month, Barry was held to five on Friday, though he still pulled down five rebounds, blocked two shots and had two steals.
“Alex does a nice job playing all facets of the game,” Glasser said.
Pinza did most of his scoring damage in the first half, which he ended with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
He also dished out four assists and pulled down five rebounds, including one that caused Glasser to halt the game and meet Pinza at midcourt.
“The timeout that I called when he got knocked down and then he jumped right up and grabbed that rebound, I was just so impressed that I had to come over and just tell him,” Glasser said after the game.
“What a great play that is, and what does that say about him to get knocked down, not worry about it, get up and snatch that rebound? That's not only a great player, but just a great kid, too.”
Sequim also enjoyed the return of Rory Kallappa, who has missed the last few weeks with an injury.
Kallappa came off the bench Friday. Seconds after entering the game for the first time, he rebounded a missed free throw by Pinza and scored a bucket.
Kallappa finished with eight points and eight boards.
“It's so nice,” Pinza said of Kallappa's return.
“He's a rare player because he's 6-foot-3, 6-4, but he can shoot the lights out. He can jump out of the gym, really good defender.
“He's just nice to have around.”
Sequim had 17 offensive rebounds in the game, including four by Willis and three apiece from Kallappa and Josh McConnaughey.
Willis led the Wolves with nine total rebounds.
Port Angeles never seemed to find a rhythm in the game.
The Riders trailed 19-8 after one quarter, and had been lapped by halftime, 38-19.
“It was rough from the start, to say the least. It was ugly,” Port Angeles coach Brent Stephens said.
“I don't know what it is. We just didn't have a lot of focus, we were kind of squirrely today.
“Sequim's doing a heck of a job. Greg [Glasser] does a good job with them. They play their roles really well. He works a system that fits pieces into the places they need to go to, and he does a heck of job with them.
“And he's done that this year, and he's done it with a bunch of nice, good kids.”
Along with those glowing words about, Stephens had harsh words for the game's officials, just as he did after last month's loss to the Wolves.
“I know I sound like a broken record when we play Sequim, but I get tired of playing eight-on-five the whole time,” Stephens said.
“I think our reffing association's a joke, or at least quite a few referees in the association are a joke.”
Senior Derek Schumacher led Port Angeles with 11 points and sophomore Lambros Rogers scored 10.
“He has strong desire to beat Sequim,” Stephens said of Rogers.
“And as a sophomore, sometimes his emotions can carry him through to create good games. So the games he gets up for, he tends to really do well.”
Rogers' emotions appeared to get the best of him late in the game. After the ball had bounced out of bounds, he threw it off Pinza's midsection, causing Pinza to collapse and stay on the ground for about 30 seconds.
Rogers was given a technical foul, and Stephens earned another for arguing it.
With Olympic's win, Port Angeles (9-6, 11-8) is guaranteed the Olympic League's fourth spot at the district tournament.
The Riders close out their regular season with a road game against Port Townsend (4-11, 6-12).
Both teams will be looking to head into the postseason with a victory.
“We need to do what we need to do and be real good at it,” Stephens said.
Sequim 63, Port Angeles 46
Port Angeles 8 11 10 17— 46
Sequim 19 19 16 9— 63
Port Angeles (46)
Gunderson 7, Isett 2, Hathaway 9, Polly 3, Rogers 10, Burns 4, Schumacher 11.
Barry 5, Pinza 14, Christensen 8, Kallappa 8, Johnson 7, Willis 13, Francis 2, McConnaughey 2, Rutherford 2, Cibene 2.