Central Kitsap’s Zion Archer and Colby White battle Gig Harbor’s Malik Livingston for a loose ball in a Dec. 8 league contest. The Tides won 58-54. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Central Kitsap’s Zion Archer and Colby White battle Gig Harbor’s Malik Livingston for a loose ball in a Dec. 8 league contest. The Tides won 58-54. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Central Kitsap overcomes early deficit, falls to Gig Harbor | Boys basketball

SILVERDALE — Early on in a Dec. 8 matchup with Gig Harbor, it looked as though Central Kitsap would be on the receiving end of a blowout.

The Tides (2-2) opened the game on a 15-2 run, seeming as if they could not miss a shot. Meanwhile, the Cougars (2-3) struggled in moving the ball around and getting good looks at the basket.

Slowly but surely, Central Kitsap chipped away at the lead, sparked in part by sophomores Ja’Quirious Conley and Colby White coming off the bench to play big offensive roles. But the Tides would ultimately take command down the stretch, narrowly defeating their South Sound Conference opponent, 58-54.

Kaden Garnaas scored a game-high 18 points and led the charge early for Gig Harbor. The junior guard scored on consecutive 3-point attempts and a third basket on a layup as part of his team’s early run.

“We came out flat,” said Central Kitsap head coach Scott McMinds. “Their zone disrupted what we wanted to do, we didn’t shoot the ball well, and we didn’t move the ball well. They capitalized and did a lot of good things. I give a lot of credit to Gig Harbor and their game plan.”

But after the game settled down, Central Kitsap would have a response. Seniors Zion Archer and Austin McMinds began the comeback, combining to score all 13 of the Cougars’ points in the first quarter.

The duo was aided by White, who hit a pull-up jumper to open the second quarter and Conley who drilled a three from the left wing to pull Central Kitsap within four. Archer then scored two easy layups in a row on passes from White and Dominic Telemaque. Just like that, the game was tied at 22.

“Two games in a row, we’ve given up quite a few points from the beginning and had to play from behind,” said McMinds. “It’s not what we want to do, for sure.”

By halftime, Gig Harbor had reopened a seven-point lead and did its best to keep the Cougars at bay. But Central Kitsap was game for another comeback, and the breakthrough came midway through the fourth quarter.

After Archer hit a pair of free throws, McMinds came up with a steal on Gig Harbor’s next possession and cruised down the court for a layup. Telemaque follows suit with another steal and layup and for the first time all evening, Central Kitsap had a lead with 2:17 to play.

“I think they played well in spurts,” said McMinds. “I think they showed a lot of grit coming back.”

But Drew Parrish, who also scored 18 points for Gig Harbor, scored key baskets down the stretch that ultimately put his team over the top. As an inside presence, Central Kitsap had difficulty in keeping him away from the basket. His field goal from the low post gave back the lead to the Tides in the final two minutes. Parrish then scored a similar basket with a minute remaining to give his team a four-point lead with under a minute to go.

The loss puts the Cougars back under .500 for the season, but early returns have been encouraging. Central Kitsap opened with a terrific effort in a seven-point loss to North Kitsap, a team that is likely headed back to the 2A state tournament. Its other loss came by just three points to Stadium. The Cougars won its South Sound Conference opener on Dec. 6 against Yelm, 61-42.

“That’s the beauty of the game,” McMinds said. “Every night is a new night, every night is a different opportunity. I’m proud of the kids, we’re competing, we’ve got a long way to go and we’ll get better.”

Gig Harbor 58, Central Kitsap 54

GH 19 15 11 13 — 58

CK 13 14 15 12 — 54

Gig Harbor (58) — Garnaas 18, Parrish 18, Gibson 5, Davis 4, McCauley 4, Porter 3, Dempewolf 2, Talent 2, Livingston 2.

Central Kitsap (54) — Archer 12, Conley 12, White 12, McMinds 11, Telemaque 4, Humm 3.

— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at mkrulish@soundpublishing.com.

More in Sports

Nick Zeller-Singh
Why Seattle is a perfect spot for 2026 World Cup

Seattle is one of 16 locations in North America to host the… Continue reading

David Musselman worked as a security guard and in customer service for the Seattle Seahawks for nearly seven seasons. Courtesy Photos
Poulsbo firefighter’s path to Seahawks security

First in a series on locals involved with professional sports Dave Musselman… Continue reading

Drake Jones looks to find the weakness of his opponent when he returns the serve. Nicholas Zeller-Singh/North Kitsap Herald Photos
Smith and Jones win state title for NK

At the end of their freshman season, Drake Jones and Josh Smith… Continue reading

.
South Kitsap wins in 4×200 relay at West Sound meet

Elise and Ella Hopper are twin threats for the Wolves

State champs Josh Smith and Drake Jones with coach Jay DeVries in the middle. Courtesy Photo
NK wins state 2A boys title in doubles

Viking places 7th in singles for girls

Salix Wartes-Kahl of NK placed second to lead the Vikings at state. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
NK gets 6 Top 5 finishes at 2A state

Salix Wartes-Kahl had the best finish for North Kitsap at the state… Continue reading

Senior catcher Colton Bower was a big reason for NK’s success this season. He will be on scholarship to play for Washington State University next year.
NK baseball stunned in 1st round at state

North Kitsap’s baseball team won over 20 games and only lost a… Continue reading

Makayla Stockman winds up to pitch for the Vikings. Steve Powell/File Photos
NK girls make it to state the hard way

Competitions took place last weekend to see who would advance to the… Continue reading

Pitcher Noah Sorensen moved the ball around and struck out a number of Pirates.
NK wins district title, on to state

Kingston wins 1 before being eliminated

NK's Angel Chavez (8), a junior forward, and Jackson Reeves (12) rush back to defend to keep Clover Park from scoring a breakaway goal. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
NK wins in soccer, softball

North Kitsap is still alive in the District 2/3 2A boys soccer… Continue reading

Laine Miller of NK tossed the discus over 142 feet to win the discus. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
NK boys, girls win home track meet

Whether it’s for first place, or last, or somewhere in between, high… Continue reading

Kingston sophomore Peau Tameilau (33) slides safety into home plate as catcher Colton Bower of North Kitsap awaits the throw. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
NK comes back to beat Kingston

For a little while, it looked like Kingston might upset rival North… Continue reading