By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
SEQUIM — All those in the crowd and on the team bench donning Sequim’s version of purple and gold were living and dying with every 3-point attempt put up by Wolves’ sharpshooter Kalli Wiker on Friday night.
Wiker tied the Sequim school record for made 3-point baskets for the second time this season, draining eight treys and scoring 27 points as Sequim throttled North Kitsap 78-49 in a senior night girls basketball victory.
Wiker first tied the 3-point mark in a December win over North Mason. This time around, the Wolves were well aware of the school mark, first set by current Sequim boys assistant Art Green back in the early 1990s.
Wiker had a couple of good looks at breaking the mark — and also put up a few prayers against double and triple coverage. Once North Kitsap coach Penny Gienger realized what was on the line she sent waves of Vikings heading Wiker’s way.
Gienger also noticed the game clock not starting with 19.7 seconds left — either a simple mistake or a way to squeeze another shot attempt into the games’ final moments.
Either way, Wiker was in rhythm for much of the night.
Wiker knocked down the early 3s to get Sequim going up 20-14 after a foul-filled first quarter that slowed the pace of the game to a near crawl.
“Kalli got into her flow and we were trying to get her the ball to break the school record [late],” Wolves coach Linsay Rapleje said.
Sequim broke out in the second quarter, turning defensive stops into transition baskets and outscoring the Vikings 21-10 to take firm control up 41-24 at halftime.
“I just think we buckled down and pushed the ball,” Rapelje said. “We are in pretty good shape and I think [North Kitsap] wore down a little bit. Maybe a little of that was mental, mentally they were getting frustrated and we just kind of capitalized on that.
“Once we got the momentum going, we pushed the ball.”
Rapelje said the game showed Sequim has learned when to go fast and when to slow it up, offensively.
“One of the things we have improved on tremendously this year is recognizing when to fast break and when to slow it up and have patience and run through an offense because we were not necessarily doing that at the beginning of the season or even in the middle of the season,” Rapelje said. “And I think we’ve learned that and the girls are starting to do that much better this season and this game was representative of that.”
Freshman Hanna Bates was a vital contributor to the Wolves’ efforts, scoring a career-best 16, including four 3-point baskets.
“Hannah Bates was looking for her shot,” Rapleje said. “Hannah [played well] defensively, too. [She] is such a spark at both ends.
“She had a great game tonight offensively and defensively.”
Bates saw some early action because of first-quarter foul trouble, but her ability to hit shots and some suffocating defense on the perimeter earned her more floor time.
“She definitely got in earlier because of that [foul] situation but she was playing so well she definitely stayed in longer,” Rapleje said of Bates.
“All of our players really played well tonight, it didn’t matter the rotation and who I had in, I felt everybody did a good job.”
Sequim recognized seniors Hope Glasser and Jessica Dietzman after the game.
A left-hander, Glasser had some impressive dribble drive layups throughout the game on her way to 13 points, eight rebounds, two steals and a block.
Dietzman hit for five points and rebounded well from her guard position with seven rebounds, three assists and a steal.
“Both seniors were great leaders on the court and very unselfish as they tried to get Kalli to break the 3-point record,” Rapelje said.
“Hannah Wagner and Melissa Porter added tough defense as they guarded NK’s best player. Riley Pyeatt and LeeAnn Raney both came off the bench and stepped up their game as well. This was a total team win.”
Sequim (9-1, 14-4) has sealed up at least a second-place finish in the Olympic League and a home game in the district playoffs.
The Wolves sit 11th in the state’s RPI rankings. Sequim can still clinch a share of the Olympic League title and force a deciding one-game playoff tiebreaker if the Wolves top Olympic at home on Tuesday and knock off rival No. 10 Port Angeles on the Roughriders’ home court on Thursday.
Sequim 78, North Kitsap 49
North Kitsap 14 10 11 14— 49
Sequim 20 21 21 16— 78
North Kitsap (49) — McMillian 14, McNair 13, Barrieth 11, Baugh 7, Kimmel 2.