KINGSTON — The Bucs have rescued their postseason hopes for now.
Kingston came into Tuesday’s game against Olympic needing to come away with three points and for North Mason to tie or beat Bremerton outright in order to remain alive for a district playoff spot.
North Mason defeated Bremerton 3-1 and the Bucs held up their end of the bargain. Ben Hewett’s three goal, two assist performance lifted his team to a 7-0 victory over the Trojans.
Kingston trails Bremerton by one point in the standings heading into their respective final matches. The Knights play Port Angeles on Friday and Kingston hosts undefeated Sequim on Monday.
If there is a tie, the two teams would then play a 40-minute tiebreaker match on a neutral field followed by golden goal overtime and penalty kicks until the tie is broken.
Either way, it was a victory the Bucs needed badly after the injury-depleted team suffered a devastating 2-1 loss to Olympic earlier in the year.
“We gave them a little better game this time,” head coach Craig Smith said.
The match was close for much of the first half. Hewett scored his first goal of the game in the 18th minute, taking a long pass and dribbling around a defender to get a one-on-one chance with the keeper. He cut to the middle and scored to give Kingston a 1-0 lead.
The Bucs struck again in the 38th minute when Hewett slipped the ball to Ryuzo Kumei, who cut across the face of the 18-yard box and shot back against the grain, placing the ball in the far corner of the net.
The long ball ended up being the key to the game. After getting whistled several times for being in an offside position, the Bucs got their timing down and ended up scoring five goals in which the shooter had a clear look at the goal from close range.
Hewett scored on a pass from Jaden Jorgensen in the 48th minute for his second of the game and got his hat trick on a breakaway just six minutes later.
Kaden Schaefer scored twice in the second half and Rickey Ramirez scored his first goal in the 68th minute when Hewett teed up a clean shot for him in the penalty area.
The Bucs will know what they need to do to make the playoffs when they take the field on Monday as the result from the Bremerton-Port Angeles match will be in. The Knights can clinch a playoff spot outright with a regulation win over the Roughriders. Anything less, and the Bucs will have a chance, albeit against the top team in the Olympic League.
“It’s always nice to have something to play for,” Smith said. “I’m really hoping they give us a shot.”