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Olympic falls to 1-4 in league but loss to Wolves might light a fire in the Trojans

EAST BREMERTON — If ever a loss could start a fire, Friday’s 70-28 throttling by the Sequim Wolves might have done it for the Olympic Trojans girls basketball team.

“It definitely pushes me to go way harder,” said Oly junior guard Jakiyah Willis. “My mind is racing.”

“We’re ready to play right now,” added senior guard Kaylani Riley.

They’ll get that chance on Tuesday as they head to Kingston to take on the Buccaneers in another OL tilt. Sequim (9-3 overall) remained unbeaten at 5-0 along with Port Angeles, an 81-17 winner over Bremerton Friday. Sequim and Port Angeles are the front-runners for the league championship race, which then leaves two spots to district for North Mason (6-5, 3-2), North Kitsap (5-6, 2-3), Kingston (5-8, 2-3) and Olympic to battle it out.

Willis said one aspect of Sequim’s game that the Trojans struggled with was their length (long arms). The Wolves consistently broke up passes and created turnovers, a match-up problem for Oly’s defense in the post and at the perimeter.

Olympic’s Jakiyah Willis dribbles past the defense of Sequim’s Hannah Wagner during a girls basketball game against Sequim Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, at Olympic High School in Bremerton. Sequim won 70-28. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

“We knew some of the players were going to be tough guards,” Riley said. “We just had to try our best. We had two people moving back on transition and they’re moving the ball fast and their speed, they’re a little faster than us. But when we had the exact personnel on the floor we were able to keep up with them.”

That showed up early in the first half as Amiya Jameson’s 3-pointer tied the game at 5-5 and Willis’ driving layup off a quick transition pass cut Sequim’s lead to 10-7 moments later.

But the Wolves went on an 11-5 scoring run to end the first period up 21-12. Sequim’s solid shooting from Hope Glasser, Kalli Wiker, Jayla Julmist, Jessica Dietzman, et. al, outdistanced the Trojans to take a 36-20 lead at halftime. 

“In my experience every time we played them they’ve shot well and in order to match them we have to do the same,” said Oly coach Bryan Hanley, adding going 2-for-26 in the second half wasn’t going to cut it. “Obviously we didn’t do that. Size, speed, etc., we got caught watching the ball instead of watching people.”

The third quarter was the difference maker as Olympic managed just two free throws, from Kayla Brehmer, as the Trojans were outscored 20-2.

“Our press is designed to slow a team down and when you have a team that just running right through it and we don’t have people back on transition that can be a tough thing,” Willis said. “We just have to be dedicated. That’s just a communication thing.”

Hanley said they’ll get back to work quickly.

“Sometimes nights aren’t just your night and this was one of those,” he said. “As an optimist you look forward to tomorrow and a chance to get better. We’ve got another chance coming.”

Olympic’s Kaylani Riley looks to pass to a teammate during a girls basketball game against Sequim Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, at Olympic High School in Bremerton. Sequim won 70-28. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)
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