PORT TOWNSEND — Two prolonged possessions can’t convey the entirety of a 32-minute boys basketball game — but they can assist in answering why a team struggled.
For Sequim, which fell 59-47 to Olympic in a playoff tiebreaker at Port Townsend High School on Saturday for the Olympic League’s fourth and final Class 2A West Central District Tournament berth, the opening possession of each half was telling.
The Trojans (9-12) managed a slew of offensive rebounds off of missed shots on their initial turn with the basketball and eventually scored inside on a basket by Malcolm DeWalt.
DeWalt did it again to open the third, grabbing the board after a teammate’s miss in the paint and with no Sequim player anywhere near him for the board, gently laid the ball up and in.
Trouble corralling those missed shots, an area of the contest in which the Wolves needed to shine, hurt them on numerous occasions throughout the game — giving Olympic extra opportunities and making Sequim more vulnerable to foul trouble while defending.
“Their length and physicality really hurt us,” Wolves coach Greg Glasser said. “We can’t get our guys to grow, but we can get them stronger. And hopefully that lights a fire under our guys because you can’t win many games rebounding like we did tonight.”
Sequim (11-10) also was hurt by an unknown quantity, long-distance shooting by Olympic’s 6-foot-6 senior post Caleb Erickson. Erickson hit two first-quarter 3s and had 12 of his 14 points by halftime.
“We’ve seen these guys, we’ve got a lot of film on them and he’s got a good-looking shot, but we never picked that up on any film — stepping out and making 3s,” Glasser said.
Erickson got help from another Trojans senior in the second quarter.
Olympic guard Tyler Lindal scored eight of his 11 points in the second to put the Trojans up 31-22 at the break.
“You focus too much on one guy and somebody else steps up and kills ya. That was the case,” Glasser said.
“We have to play better D and not take any breaks at all.”
And DeWalt, a standout athlete for the Olympic football and track programs who will play football at a Utah junior college well-known for sending players on to NCAA Division I programs, went off in the second half.
DeWalt scored 14 of his game-high 20 after halftime, including a 5-0 mini-run that stretched the Trojans’ advantage from 40-31 to 45-31 late in the third quarter.
Sequim clawed back in the fourth, pulling within 51-44 with 4:30 to play, but couldn’t execute well enough offensively or make the defensive stops needed to get any closer.
“Similar to last time we played them, we would make a run at them and something would happen,” Glasser said. “An offensive rebound, an and-1.
“Malcom is just such a great athlete and honestly, it’s maybe a little scary to have him coming at you 40 miles per hour. I mean who wants to take that charge? But that’s what we had to do, get in front of him.”
The Wolves say goodbye to senior Stew Duncan, who started numerous games and hit a number of big shots for the squad this season as well as senior reserve Zach Ballantyne.
The core of the team’s roster should remain intact with Erik Christiansen, Dallin Despain, Michael Young, Isaiah Moore, Hayden Eaton and others set to return.
But Glasser said his squad will need to put in some work during the offseason to improve their playoff position next season.
“It does feel really good [to have those guys likely to return], but nothing will come of this for these guys if they don’t put the time in,” Glasser said. “Because they are varsity guys this year does not necessarily mean they will be varsity guys next year. There are even some guys at the middle school who are coming up. So if our guys don’t put the court time in, the game time in, there are other guys who are going to develop.”
Olympic 59, Sequim 47
Olympic 16 15 17 11— 59
Sequim 10 12 13 12— 47
Olympic (59) — DeWalt 20, Erickson 14, Lindal 11, McInnis 9, Quinene 3, Bailey 2.
Sequim (47) — Christiansen 12, Chen 9, Despain 7, Moore 6, Young 6, Duncan 5, Smithson 2, Allen, Eaton.