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

Hank Aaron, photo courtesy of Flickr
Remembering the Sports Icons who passed away in 2021

Hank Aaron, John Madden among those who died

Former North Kitsap High School three-sport standout Shawn Deeds (1989-91) will be inducted into the Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame in February. Courtesy photos
Kitsap Sports HOF inductees announced

Includes NK 3-sport standout Shawn Deeds; 2001 Bainbridge LLWS team

North Kitsap reacts after Evelyn Beers hit the game-winning shot at the final buzzer. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
NK girls beat BI on final shot

At the end of the game, there were plenty of cheers for… Continue reading

Cade Orness (10) drives to the hoop and puts up a short runner against James Carey (23) of Bainbridge. Breno Oguri (11) and Everett Moore (21) also defend. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
NK demolishes rival Bainbridge

It was supposed to be the battle of the Titans. It was… Continue reading

Kingston’s Dakota Standley (12) drives the baseline against a Crosspoint double team. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photographs
Kingston gets by Crosspoint again

Twice last week the Kingston boys basketball team beat Crosspoint of Bremerton.… Continue reading

Baugh
Vikings makeVB all league

Bainbridge High School volleyball player Allie Wildsmith has been named the Most… Continue reading

Jonas La Tour of North Kitsap was the league MVP last spring. File Photo
Winter prep sports previews

North Kitsap boys basketball; Kingston wrestling

BI, NK face off Friday night

North Kitsap and Bainbridge Island’s boys basketball team face off in an… Continue reading

With the strong winds, Viking quarterback Colton Bower (2) was more effective running the ball in the first half. Here Quinn Knivila- Ruchie (52) and Jesus Mares (53) block for him. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photographs
Wind, rain, Lions knock NK out of playoffs

It’s hard enough to beat the second-ranked team in the state playoffs… Continue reading

Viking quarterback Colton Bower was named MVP, again, of the Olympic League. File Photo
Bower MVP, again; 11 others also honored

Gee, wonder who the Most Valuable Player is in the Olympic League… Continue reading

Logan Sloman catches a touchdown pass. Nancy Treder/File Photos
NK gridders advance to 2A state semifinals

North Kitsap High School is on its way to the state Class… Continue reading

Maddie Pryde is one of the standouts on the Viking team. File Photo
Anacortes knocks N. Kitsap girls out at state

North Kitsap’s girls volleyball team stunned Washington in three sets Friday in… Continue reading