BREMERTON — It would have been a highlight-reel play, courtesy of a highlight-reel player.
As a lob pass was kissed off the backboard for 6-foot-8 Marvin Williams late in the fourth quarter against North Kitsap, Williams went up to flush it, and the crowd goosed forward in anticipation.
The dunk didn’t materialize, the ball went awry, and Williams — the highly-recruited forward whose legend has grown with every game in the West Sound — was left with two handfuls of rim.
Other than that, the home crowd and the home team got what they wanted: the first league win for the Bremerton Knights, who downed North Kitsap 70-45.
“We needed this,” Williams said after the game. “We needed it to get back on track.”
The Knights (1-2 in league) ended up with a 25-point win, but the first half had not been an easy one.
The Vikings (0-3) used outside shooting to stay with the Knights in the first half, taking advantage deft passing and accuracy from beyond the arc to bury six first-half 3-pointers.
Reid Ammann had three of those 3-pointers, with Anders Ejde adding two and Garrett McKinstry adding one of his own.
A Noah Garguile jumper gave the Knights an 11-point lead late in the first quarter; North Kitsap shooting soon carved it away, with a 3-pointer from Ammann cutting the lead to three with 5:46 left in the second.
Bremerton extended the lead to 34-26 lead at halftime. The lead had widened to eight when Williams had buried two free throws from a North Kitsap intentional foul.
The fouls on Williams resulted in a brief exchange of words between the two teams.
In the third quarter, the Knights pulled away, outscoring the Vikings 16-8 behind a Williams 3-pointer, a Noah Garguile scoop during a layup, and a full-court snap pass from Williams that resulted in an easy layup for guard Phil Houston.
The Vikings’ offense was less effective than it was in the first half.
“We started falling apart. We stopped running plays,” said guard David Brillhart, who had two of the Vikings’ eight points in the quarter.
The Knights widened their lead in the fourth quarter and the crowd got the Williams dunk it wanted — a wheeling flush off a bounce pass that gave the Knights a 20-point lead with 4:12 left in the game.
Williams led his squad with 34 points.
Reid Ammann was the top scorer for North Kitsap with 15 points, 13 of them in the first half.
“I think they had intensity tonight,” Bremerton head coach Casey Lindberg said of his team. “Everything stems from defensive intensity… you have to have that, and tonight we did.”
Notes: The Vikings were without center Ryan Young, who fractured an upper tibia before the game against South Kitsap Jan. 4… Bremerton’s Garguile bloodied a lip while surrounded by several North Kitsap defenders during a baseline drive. He returned, wearing a borrowed unbloodied jersey, and scored 17 in the game… North Kitsap’s junior varsity earned a 70-50 to elevate the team’s record to 6-3… Williams was the game’s leading rebounder with 10 .
North Kitsap 45 at Bremerton 70
Bremerton — Marvin Williams 34, Noah Garguile 17, Phil Houston 8, Jeff Frankenberger 6, Zack Otis 5, Jacquan McWhorter, Anthony Ragsdale, Charlie Marza, Josh Johnson.
North Kitsap — Reid Ammann 15, Anders Ejde 10, Garrett McKinstry 9, David Brillhart 5, Devin Reed 4, Chad Foster 2, Reuben Scuffy, Colton Bangs, Paul Harney, Jared Prince.