TACOMA — When the Washington Patriots scored 10 of the first 13 points in last Wednesday’s boys basketball game, Peninsula Seahawks coach Jake Jackson called a timeout to slow their momentum.
After 11 days off, the Seahawks looked rusty and weren’t playing well enough to end their nine-game losing streak.
Jackson’s message was simple: Refocus mentally.
“Usually, the first four-minute war of the game, we lose, and the first four-minute war out of halftime, we lose,” Peninsula senior guard Cody Olson said.
“We came out a little slow, but then we kind of picked it up and said, ‘We have to get it going.’ The guys did well.”
Olson scored 13 points, freshman guard JaQuori McLaughlin added 11, and Peninsula’s reserves did much of the dirty work as the Seahawks claimed a 62-38 victory in nonleague action at Washington High.
Peninsula (2-10) won for the first time since the Nov. 28 season opener against North Mason, a big boost before it returned to Class 3A South Puget Sound League action this week.
The Seahawks used their entire bench, and 11 of the 13 players scored. James Silberman drilled a 3-pointer to cap an 11-2 run to end the first period.
Marque Kriebel had some solid minutes at point guard after McLaughlin picked up two early fouls.
And senior Austin Filkins returned from an ankle injury to give his team a little muscle under the rim.
“I just like bringing energy to the team,” said Filkins, who scored six points. “I feel like I can add stuff with my energy — getting boards, getting charges, all that stuff. Not really scoring the points or anything, but just doing the little things I need to do.”
“It’s really easy to throw the ball into him in the middle, which is what we need,” Olson said of Filkins. “He’s been a huge help.”
Olson scored nine points in the second period, and his 3-pointer stretched Peninsula’s lead to 26-15. Washington (3-9) didn’t get within single digits again.
McLaughlin was hampered by the early foul trouble, but he scored six straight points to open the third quarter, including an ankle-breaking crossover dribble to free himself for an 18-foot jumper.
“He’s just such a playmaker,” Filkins said. “You saw his dribbling he can do, so he just opens it up for everyone else.”
Peninsula’s lead grew to 20 points after three periods, and there was no letup late in the game. The Patriots struggled to solve the Hawks’ zone defense, and Jackson tossed in some full-court pressure that led to a few transition baskets.
However, half-court execution was the biggest reason Peninsula had its top offensive output since it scored 64 against North Mason. Olson chalked it up to outstanding ball movement.
“We call it zip — we move the ball around as fast as we can, and (there were) a lot of backdoors, because they were overplaying us on the perimeter,” he said.
Injuries to key veterans, and an overall lack of experience, have contributed to Jackson playing several freshmen and sophomores during the course of the season.
Filkins and Olson said the players are getting more comfortable with their roles, the result of the varsity and JV teams practicing together.
“Whoever is doing best in practice will play varsity, so it makes our practices really important,” Filkins said. “We just put the best players on the floor, and we have a lot of depth, and it’s going to help for our future, getting all the young guys in there.”Sports Editor Neil Pierson can be reached at 253-358-4155 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_neil.