SEQUIM — Sequim attacked inside offensively and shut down a short-handed Neah Bay boys basketball team to triumph 67-36 in a nonleague matchup.
Wolves coach Greg Glasser was able to play all his varsity players in the contest against an already young Red Devils team that played without three starters in Tuesday’s game.
The Red Devils’ Cameron Moore and Keith Johnson missed the contest due to ankle injuries, and Sean Bitegeko, a Running Start student at Peninsula College, was waiting for word on his final quarter grades.
“Keith might be back in about a week,” Neah Bay coach Gerrad Brooks said.
“Cameron will be a little longer, maybe two weeks. [With Sean] we are waiting for the final verdict on that.”
Payton Glasser scored 21 points in little more than three quarters for the Wolves in a tune-up for a rivalry game with Port Angeles (late Wednesday).
Sequim jumped out to a 10-0 lead to start the game as the Wolves exploited their height and size advantage in close to the basket from the opening tip.
Glasser was effective distributing the ball in the high post against Neah Bay’s 2-3 zone. He also caught the Red Devils looking on a couple of smooth backdoor pass connections from Kyler Rollness to score on an alley-oop layup and a reverse layup with a high degree of difficulty.
Sequim led 18-9 after one quarter thanks to eight points from Glasser and six from Nate Despain, but Neah Bay used the great equalizer, the 3-point basket, to stay in the game.
Freshman Jaxson Halttunen sent in three first-quarter treys and hit four on the game to lead the Red Devils with 14 points.
Fellow freshman Captain Claplanhoo knocked down the first of his three 3s and sophomore Michael Shaw hit another as Neah Bay went on a 10-2 run to pull within four, 23-19.
Brooks said he’s excited about the growth of Halttunen and Claplanhoo going forward.
“They are really coming along, they are doing well,” he said. “I push them really hard in practice because I can see their potential.”
But Glasser, a senior who came into the contest averaging 28 points per game, was too much for the Red Devils. He answered Neah Bay’s run with six straight points and Sequim closed the first half with back-to-back steal and layups by Glasser and Rollness to go up 34-22 at halftime.
The Wolves opened the second half by scoring the first three baskets and any shot at a Neah Bay comeback was essentially over when the Red Devils managed to hit just two 3s in the second half.
“In the first half we were a little sluggish, but we started to pick it up in the second half,” Payton Glasser said.
Despain scored seven of his 13 points after halftime on a variety of dribble drives through Neah Bay’s 2-3 zone. He added six rebounds on the night. Kyler Rollness also did well at guard for Sequim, scoring nine points with four steals.
“To be able to attack and get to the rim against that zone was pretty impressive,” Greg Glasser said.
“We made some really good connections in the second half when we were able to breathe and show some poise. I thought our emotions were pretty controlled, whether it was a mistake or a big play, we stayed real calm tonight.”
Rigo Langston scored three points for the Wolves but grabbed six steals in a solid performance.
Brooks was happy to have had the opportunity to play the game and besides the final score, liked much of what he saw from his underclassmen.
“Sequim played a great game, they got the better of us today. I loved the effort and the not-quit they showed. They came to play, they didn’t get shell-shocked by the moment. They took care of the ball better than they have previously and they were all under fire. I was pleased with how hard they played.
“This was good for us. It will help us down the line.”
Undefeated Sequim (1-0, 4-0) , ranked No. 8 at the 2A level in the state’s initial RPI rankings, played at Port Angeles Wednesday night after press deadline. The Wolves next play at home at 7 p.m. Friday against Olympic.
Neah Bay (0-3) next plays at LaConner at 7 p.m. Friday.
Sequim 67, Neah Bay 36
Neah Bay 9 13 11 3— 36
Sequim 18 16 20 13— 67
Neah Bay (36) — Halttunen 14, Claplanhoo 9, Martinez 6, Shaw 5, Kallappa 2, Croy, Brunk.
Sequim (67) — Glasser 21, Despain 13, Rollness 9, Christiansen 6, Young 5, Williams 4, Whitney 4, Langston 3, Cowan 2, Bell.
Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or at [email protected]