The big young guy his teammates and coaches affectionately call “The Cub” at league-leading Anacortes could be a real bear in district play and perhaps the state basketball tournament.
Third-year varsity player Jacob South, a 6-foot-6 junior, had a double-double – by halftime – in the Seahawks’ 65-41 Northwest Conference win over district contender Bellingham on Tuesday.
The much-improved Red Raiders (12-4, 6-3) impressed in the first half and trailed 24-23 at halftime.
“Bellingham out-scrapped us and outworked us,” Anacortes coach Brett Senff said. “They played hard all the way and never had their heads down. And they‘re young.”
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South, a Division I football prospect, finished with 22 points on 10-for-14 shooting and 17 rebounds. Junior guard Tyler Blouin had 12 points on 5-for-9 accuracy with two 3-pointers for the Seahawks (13-2, 9-0).
“No question, it was his best game,” Senff said of South. “Jacob has good hands and good footwork. He really has good moves.”
Bellingham misses concussed Nolan
Junior guard Rits Voeut led the Red Raiders with 16 points, shooting 6 for 13 with two 3-pointers, and senior leader Jonny Larson scored 10. But Bellingham, 4-17 last season, misses athletic 6-4 Zach Nolan, who is out because of a concussion suffered against Mount Baker on Jan. 3.
“Time will tell,” Bellingham coach Brad McKay said of when the invaluable Nolan might return.
“We had to pick our poison tonight,” McKay said, referring to the solid job by his quick, feisty, smallish defenders on the perimeter while South was dominating inside.
Every starter scored and contributed enthusiastic defense as the quick Red Raiders seemed poised for an upset. In the second half, however, Anacortes outscored Bellingham 41-10 as the Seahawks shot 19 for 32 and limited the Red Raiders to 6 for 28.
Anacortes finished 30 for 58 and Bellingham 15 for 57.
Anacortes takes advantage of depth
Two Anacortes regulars, 6-6 Jesse Keltner and fellow senior Eli Moore, were sharp in the second half to help the Seahawks pull away. Keltner had six points and six rebounds, and Moore shot 4 for 5 for eight points.
Senff used nine players for at least eight minutes and played all 12, with nine scoring.
If Anacortes plays this well in the 12-team Northwest District Tournament – from which only three teams advance to state – a raft of other good teams, including Lynden, Bellingham and possibly Sehome, likely will be left playing for only two spots.
Bellingham faces rugged schedule
Bellingham faces a challenging schedule to end the regular season, playing at potential-laden rival Sehome on Friday, followed by 1A power Lynden Christian, 2A district contender Lynden and Blaine.