Gig Harbor clawed their way back into the game against the South Kitsap Wolves on Wednesday night, but there weren't able to close the gap quite enough, as the Wolves went on to win 48-42.
“We had it down to five, and then they did a trap and we turned it over twice in a row,” said Tides' head coach Bob Boback. “The defense we were running, the girls didn't quite understand it. We left them open too many, they hit shots. All in all, I thought it worked pretty good.”
Boback said the Tides' shot selection was an issue, as many of the girls forced shots they aren't typicall used to taking.
“I think we must've shot like six air balls,” Boback said. “One of the things we talked about before the game was, 'Shoot your shot.' If you have a shot you like, go ahead and take it, but if it's not your shot, don't shoot it. Obviously some people thought shots they shot were their shots.”
The Wolves had a big height advantage over the Tides, something Boback hoped to counter by fronting the bigs down low. It didn't work out the way he had hoped.
“We were playing a little gimmick zone, trying to get help behind the people and the girls knew, I told them that if those two post girls get the ball, they make shots really well down low, so we were trying to front them,” Boback said. “We didn't do a great job of fronting them.”
Sophomore captain McKenzie Alton led the Tides with 16 points. Junior KJ Keim added 10. Keim said she focused on being aggressive.
“Throughout the season and every game, I've been working on my driving,” Keim said. “Tonight, I just tried to keep my eyes on the rim and use my quickness to get there.”
Keim said the Tides could have played better on both ends of the floor.
“We could have worked the ball on offense, and had a little crisper, cleaner passes,” Keim said. “And our defense, we were trying to shut down a couple of the players and staying on them tighter would've helped.”
Regardless of the outcome, Boback was pleased with the effort from his team, as he has been all season long.
“I love the attitude of this team,” he said. “I always like our heart. They're girls that love to play and they play hard. Maybe I confused them with the defenses we were running. But they played hard and they never gave up and they're good. We're going to be good. This is a great stepping stone for next year.”
Keim added that everyone on the team loves to play together.
“We work hard,” she said. “Everyone on this team has a passion for the sport, and that shows every time we get out there. I think today, we came together and gave 110 percent.”
Sports reporter Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.