PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles’ built enough of an advantage after a big first quarter to hold back strong-willed Sequim in a 59-50 Rainshadow Rumble rivalry victory that also doubled as a showdown for first place in the Olympic League 2A Division.
Madison Cooke hit her first five shots from the floor Tuesday night, including three 3-point baskets to score 13 of the Roughriders’ first 15 points as Port Angeles ran out to an early 15-2 lead on the Wolves.
“Madi came out shooting so well and playing so relaxed,” Riders coach Michael Poindexter said.
Cooke finished with a game-high 22 points as Port Angeles (6-0, 12-1) won its 11th straight game
Port Angeles led 22-8 after one quarter and held a 31-17 halftime advantage, but Sequim wasn’t going anywhere.
“In the first quarter we were a little shellshocked for some reason,” coach Linsay Rapelje said. “I think the girls neeeded to calm down and at halftime we made some adjustments. And in the second half we came out like the team that we are and played well.”
The Wolves came out of the locker room and put up an 8-0 spurt in the first 2:13 of the third quarter buoyed by buckets by Jayla Julmist, Hope Glasser and a 3-pointer by Kalli Wiker.
Wiker scored 11 of her team-high 21 points in the third quarter, connecting on two of her five 3-point baskets in the third.
“She’s played against a couple of teams that know she is a shooter and she’s been able to adjust and get herself open,” Rapelje said.
Port Angeles adjusted its defense to stop Wiker but it didn’t have the desired effect.
“We were in our 2-3 zone and that wasn’t effective,” Poindexter said.
“We didn’t move well in it. We allowed dribble penetration, Hope Glasser is good at what she does [driving to the rim] and we allowed that. So we went to man-man to get somebody on Kalli Wiker more consistently. She hit four 3s in the second half, so it wasn’t like our man took that away.”
Glasser finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Julmist added eight points and 14 boards.
A Wiker trey with 1:08 left in the third quarter again cut Sequim’s deficit to six, this time trailing Port Angeles 41-35. But the Riders, who lived a little too much by the 3-point shot in their halfcourt sets, connected on two straight 3s to close the quarter.
Freshman Bailee Larson sank a left-corner triple, followed by another 3 from sophomore Jaida Wood as Port Angeles regained a double-digit lead entering the final quarter.
After being whistled for a foul early in the fourth quarter Millie Long made it her mission to drain the drama from the contest, scoring on three straight dribble drive layups to push Port Angeles back out to a 53-37 lead with 4:27 to play.
“We really tried to push for more dribble action on the perimeter and in transition,” Poindexter said. “We were really pushing for that, that was a request from the bench. She attacked and what Millie was doing was what we want to see.”
Poindexter said he enjoyed what he saw from his team when the Wolves cut into Port Angeles’ lead.
“I liked our resilience when Sequim started to make a run,” he said.
Reserves Eve Burke (six points) and Myra Walker did well defensively and on the glass for the Riders.
“Eve Burke was the most effective at guarding Hope Glasser,” Poindexter said. “Talk about coachability, she played Hope exactly how we wanted her to be guarded.
“Myra had a lot of effort on the boards and did a nice job while at a pretty significant height disadvantage on Jayla.”
Poindexter said his team would work on its transition defense, perimeter dribbling and dribble penetration before its next game Saturday against West Seattle (9-1), the seventh-ranked team in the Class 3A RPI.
Rapelje was encouraged by what her squad displayed in the final three quarters against Port Angeles.
“If we can put together four quarters against them I do believe we can win, but the girls have to believe that too,” she said.
Port Angeles and Sequim will meet again in the team’s regular season finale in Sequim on Jan. 31.
Sequim (4-2, 7-4) will visit Kingston (3-3, 6-7) on Friday. The Wolves beat the Buccaneers 79-36 on Dec. 5.
Port Angeles 59, Sequim 50
Sequim 8 9 18 15 — 50
Port Angeles 22 9 16 12— 59
Sequim (50) — Wiker 21, Glasser 13, Julmist 8, Porter 6, Sparks 2, Dietzman, Pyeatt, Wagner.
Port Angeles (59) — Cooke 22, Long 14, Wood 11, Burke 6, Larson 3, Walker 3, Brady, Politika, Olsen.
Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or at [email protected]