Sequim’s Jelissa Julmist keeps her eyes on the basket as she drives for a score against East Jefferson’s Alyssa Vandenberg, left, Shelby Theibelt (30) and Gina Brown during a Saturday game played in Chimacum. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)

Sequim’s Jelissa Julmist keeps her eyes on the basket as she drives for a score against East Jefferson’s Alyssa Vandenberg, left, Shelby Theibelt (30) and Gina Brown during a Saturday game played in Chimacum. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Sequim opens strong against East Jefferson

Forks takes down defending league champ Ilwaco

CHIMACUM — A pushed-back beginning to an already delayed season was cause for concern for the Sequim girls basketball team. But the Wolves were ready when the chance finally came, holding down East Jefferson 61-21.

“Just for the way this year has gone in general with the crossover with spring sports, and we’ve had some quarantining that has affected some players and it’s been pretty chaotic, so I thought we came out and played pretty well,” Sequim coach Linsay Rapelje said of Saturday’s game.

East Jefferson had some game experience already, a pair of defeats against Class 3A teams, including a willful effort in a physically played home loss to Central Kitsap.

“This was our third game in five days and I think we were tired,” East Jefferson coach Lorraine Rimson said. “They expended a lot of energy and effort against Central Kitsap, and that could be a reason we were flat today.”

With Sequim having graduated longtime starters Hope Glasser (who now plays for Peninsula College) and Jessica Dietzman, the Wolves started a mix of returning senior starters Kalli Wiker and Jayla Julmist plus senior Amanda Weller, sophomore point guard Hannah Bates and sophomore Jelissa Julmist.

Jelissa Julmist led all scorers with 19, most coming inside the paint. The Wolves had the decided advantage on offensive rebounds and had plenty of second-chance scoring opportunities.

“Jelissa is not afraid to shoot the ball,” Rapelje said. “If you get her the ball, she’s going to take it to the hole.”

Freshman forward Jolene Vaara offered a spark for Sequim off the bench scoring eight points with two blocked shots and two steals.

“Jolene was my player of the game,” Rapelje said. “She was a total burst of fire when she went in. I felt like her energy kind of got us going. She was great defensively and at cutting to the hoop. She’s super athletic.”

Bates was sure-handed with the ball, limiting Sequim’s turnovers, and she looked for the Julmist sisters in the post with entry passes and hit some early runners in the lane to lift the Wolves.

“Hannah sees the court well. She has good court sense and knows what to do in any situation like a true point guard,” Rapelje said.

Jayla Julmist led Sequim with 13 rebounds and also scored nine points.

“Overall, the girls worked hard and played well and kept our turnovers low,” Rapelje said.

Sequim (1-0) hosts rival Port Angeles (1-0) on Wednesday.

“They already are playing at another level, so I’m glad we were able to get a game in before we face them,” Rapelje said.

East Jefferson (0-3) has another tough contest at home against Neah Bay on Wednesday before visiting Klahowya on Friday.

The Eagles have already lost their floor leader, point guard Ella Koebelin, to a torn ACL.

“That’s a game where we should have an advantage,” Rimson said. “But we need to get back to playing with the high level of effort we had against the 3A teams.”

Sequim 61, East Jefferson 21

Sequim 19 16 18 8 — 61

EJ 7 4 6 4— 21

Sequim (61) — Je. Julmist 19, Weller 10, Ja. Julmist 9, Vaara 8, Wiker 8, Bates 7, Morey, Johnson, Stipe.

East Jefferson (21) — Brown 8, Theibalt 4, Clark 3, J. Nordberg 2, Au. Asbell 2, Harris, Ad. Asbell, N. Nordberg, Johnston.

Forks 57, Ilwaco 40

FORKS — Defense earned the Spartans a big win over the Fishermen, a Class 2B state tournament qualifier last season.

“They went undefeated in league last year, so we knew it would be quite a challenge,” Forks coach David Hurn said. “We haven’t had a win like that against a quality opponent in a long time.”

The Spartans held Western Oregon University signee Erika Glenn to 14 points. Glenn opened with a 36-point performance against Raymond.

“We played our 1-3-1 zone defense led by Kadie Wood up top and Kesia Rowley and Keira Johnson on the wings. We had lots of deflections, lots of good traps, and it all came down to defense tonight.”

The defense led to transition offense for Forks.

“Lots of transition points, it’s so fun to see us score some easy buckets,” Hurn said. “They work hard for them but getting out and running. Keira is setting the tone and everybody else is feeding off of it. A great, great win for us, and couldn’t be happier with how they played.”

Chloe Leverington led the Spartans with 22 points. Johnson posted 15 for Forks (3-0).

The Spartans host Raymond (1-1) on Tuesday.

Forks 57, Ilwaco 40

Ilwaco 13 7 4 16 — 40

Forks 18 16 8 15 — 57

Forks (57) — Leverington 22, Johnson 15, Rowley 9, Wood 8, Bouchard 3, Sandoval, Wharton, Horton, Neel, Ramos.

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Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or at [email protected]

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