Basketball is back in full swing across Kitsap County as area schools return to their league schedules. Over the next month, teams will fall into place in the standings and league champions will be crowned. Let’s check out the first round of action this week and take a look ahead at Friday night’s matchups.
Sequim 53, Kingston 38
The Bucs were in foul trouble early in the second half and the Wolves took full advantage, pulling away for the win. Kobee Hunt led Kingston with 16 points, 13 of which came in the first half.
Olympic 64, North Mason 52
The Trojans fended off the Bulldogs to pick up their fourth league win of the season and improve to 10-3. Jaiden Mosley led Olympic with 21 points and Brandon Barron chipped in 14.
Rogers 61, South Kitsap 50
South Kitsap was one quarter away from a huge victory over the Rams, who currently sit in second place in the 4A South Puget Sound league, but Rogers struck for 26 in the final frame. The Wolves will look to rebound Friday against a 6-5 Puyallup team.
Port Townsend 46, Klahowya 37
The Redhawks took command with a 17-8 lead in the first quarter and the Eagles never could quite catch up, ending up with a 9-point loss. John Hartford scored 13 for Klahowya and Lucas Becker added 10.
The rest of the games from Jan. 3:
- Port Angeles 66, Bremerton 47
- Capital 63, Central Kitsap 43z
Kingston 49, Sequim 44
The Buccaneers offense was unstoppable in the fourth quarter, scoring 20 points to escape with a victory in a hard-fought game against Sequim. Avy Hiner led Kingston with 16 points, and Lily Beaulieu and Sierra Denning each chipped in 13.
Port Angeles 73, Bremerton 24
The Roughriders had little trouble with the Knights, building a 30-point lead by halftime. Sophomore guard Brookelynn Tarbox scored 11 points for Bremerton and Brianna Lamma finished with 9. The Knights have another tough test ahead with a Friday night game against Kingston.
Port Townsend 56, Klahowya 30
An 18-0 first quarter for Port Townsend spelled disaster for the Eagles and they never climbed from out of the hole. With the victory, the Redhawks took firm control of the top spot in the 1A Olympic League.
The rest of the games from this week:
- Olympic 56, North Mason 34
- Capital 49, Central Kitsap 41
- Rogers 64, South Kitsap 38
- Cascade Christian 49, Klahowya 19 (Jan. 4)
Games scheduled for Friday, Jan. 5.
Sequim (2-2, 5-6) at North Kitsap (4-0, 8-3), 7 p.m.
The Vikings return to the floor after participating in the UVIC Vikes tournament in Victoria, British Columbia. There, North Kitsap lost games to Vancouver College and Brentwood College and defeated Vashon Island. The Vikings should not have a big problem with a smaller, albeit aggressive and relentless, Sequim team.
South Kitsap (2-5, 4-7) at Puyallup (3-4, 6-5), 7 p.m.
A fascinating game for South Kitsap here. How do they rebound from the loss on Wednesday against Rogers? The Wolves are both tough and resilient, and those two qualities will be put to the ultimate test on the road against the Vikings.
Olympic (4-1, 10-3) at Port Angeles (3-1, 7-5), 7:15 p.m.
This is a big game for both teams — the Roughriders are very much in the mix for a top spot in the Olympic League, meanwhile the Trojans could take some control of their destiny with a win, dropping Port Angeles to two league losses. The defense should be as tough as ever, and Olympic’s offense has turned things up a notch over the past couple of weeks after a relatively slow start to the season. It’s a big opportunity for the Trojans.
Central Kitsap (2-3, 6-5) at Peninsula (3-2, 7-4), 7 p.m.
There is plenty on the line in this one as two teams smack dab in the middle of the South Sound Conference standings need to make a move to ensure a playoff spot. The Cougars have been a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde act at times, but when they are on, they are a dangerous offensive team with weapons such as Zion Archer, Dylan McConnell, Ja’Quirious Conley and Colby White.
Kingston (1-3, 2-9) at Bremerton (0-4, 0-11), 7 p.m.
These are two teams still dealing with the affects of roster turnover. Bremerton lost its entire varsity roster from last season and Kingston lost nine players. There is no doubt both teams have improved since day one and it should be a good test of their respective progress.
Port Angeles (3-1, 7-3) at Olympic (2-2, 3-7), 7 p.m.
Olympic head coach Bryan Hanley said his team typically start slower and build to a crescendo come playoff time. Here is a big test for the Trojans, whose 3-7 record is reflective of their tough non-league schedule. A win could help insert the Trojans into the conversation as a top team in the Olympic League currently dominated by Kingston, Port Angeles and North Kitsap.
North Kitsap (4-0, 8-3) at Sequim (1-2, 3-5), 7:15 p.m.
At the Anacortes Winter Holiday Jam, North Kitsap took on Anacortes and Garfield, both ranked in the top 25 in the state by the WIAA RPI. Garfield, in fact, is the second-ranked 3A team in the state. The Vikings certainly did not take it easy over the holidays and the pressure won’t let up here. Sequim pushed Kingston to the limit on Wednesday night, and we will see if they have enough left in the tank to do the same against a talented North Kitsap squad.
Bremerton (0-4, 0-9) at Kingston (3-1, 8-3), 7 p.m.
The Bucs have been hot and should continue its roll against the winless Knights. Avy Hiner, Lily Beaulieu and their merry band of scorers should have little trouble racking up the points in this one.
Puyallup (0-6, 2-8) at South Kitsap (1-6, 2-9), 7 p.m.
While seventh place is certainly not what the Wolves had in mind, this game represents a chance to create a little separation between themselves and the bottom of the South Puget Sound League as they fight for a playoff spot.
Peninsula (4-1, 9-1) at Central Kitsap (0-5, 3-8), 7 p.m.
If there is an award for the most-improved team between the beginning of the season and now, it probably goes to the Central Kitsap girls; but this is a tough matchup for the Cougars as the Seahawks are among the ten best 3A teams in the state.
The WIAA uses its RPI standings to seed teams that qualify for regionals via their district tournaments. The North Kitsap boys team currently has the highest ranking of any team in the Kitsap Daily News coverage area, sitting in 10th in 2A. The Olympic boys are currently ranked 20th.
On the girls side, Kingston is ranked 13th in 2A and North Kitsap sits in 24th. The rankings will, of course, be updated throughout the season and subject to change as the teams play through their league schedules.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter at Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at email@example.com.