SILVERDALE — A 27-point fourth quarter was nearly enough to erase a double-digit deficit, but Central Kitsap’s comeback effort against Mountain View in the first round of the West Central/Southwest 3A bi-district tournament fell just short with a missed shot on its last possession of the game.
The Cougars were hoping for some magic in the final game in the old Central Kitsap gym — which will be demolished as athletic activities move to the newly-built facility next season — and nearly got some.
Senior guard Owen Davies hit a pair of free throws to draw the Cougars within three points with 16.1 seconds to go. Mountain View went to the free throw line after an intentional foul and conceded the rebound as the rest of the team, aside from the shooter, withdrew to its defensive half.
Devin Velott missed both free throws and Central Kitsap rushed down the court to attempt a game-tying 3-pointer. The Mighty Thunder swarmed the perimeter and didn’t allow a clean opportunity. A desperation attempt landed shy of the rim and Central Kitsap fell, 80-77.
“If there were two more minutes on the clock, we would have beat them,” Davies said after the game. “The momentum was changing.”
The 173-mile, three hour bus ride from Vancouver to Silverdale certainly didn’t have any affect on the Mountain View shooters in the first half. The Mighty Thunder shot a staggering 20 for 27 (74 percent) from the field in the first two quarters and 64.9 percent for the game, which included nine 3-pointers. An 18-1 first quarter Mountain View run nearly proved insurmountable.
“They had open shots, but even when we were contesting, they were hitting,” head coach Scott McMinds said. “For a team that drove up from Vancouver, that’s where you have to tip your hat. They were lights out.”
But the Cougars stayed relatively close in the hopes that Mountain View would come back to earth. Trailing 64-50 entering the fourth quarter, they finally managed to make up some ground.
Colby White brought Central Kitsap within eight with three free throws after getting fouled beyond the arc. Elijah McGee scored a pretty layup off a feed from Davies to close the gap to 80-75, which was followed by the two Davies free throws.
White scored a game-high 26 while Davies added 21. McGee chipped in 12 points and Austin McMinds also hit double digits with 11.
“The guys showed a lot of guts,” McMinds said. “I’m super proud of all of them.”
Fortunately, Central Kitsap may end up no worse for wear. A daunting matchup in the next round with a 17-3 Lincoln team, which won the Pierce County League, may have very well resulted in the Cougars heading to the left side of the bracket. While McMinds said they certainly would have welcomed a chance to take down the Abes, the team can now rest up and prepare for the loser of Friday’s game between Spanaway Lake and Capital.
Central Kitsap will have to win three consecutive games to make it to the regional round.
Mountain View 80, Central Kitsap 77
MV 27 18 19 16 — 80
CK 16 18 16 27 — 77
Mountain View (80) — Velott 15, Anderson 14, Cook 12, Horn 12, Binder 10, Lee 8, Frosh 7, Wulf 2.
Central Kitsap (77) — White 26, Davies 21, McGee 12, McMinds 11, Green 5, Madden 2.