KINGSTON — It hasn’t been the ideal start for a Kingston girls basketball team that had high expectations after coming within one game of regionals last season.
Having to start the Olympic League season with Sequim and Port Angeles — two teams likely headed back to the 2A state tournament this season — certainly didn’t help, but there was a little cause for concern a four-point loss to North Mason on Dec. 17
Fortunately, the Bucs bounced back in a home game on Friday night against Bremerton, scoring 34 points in the second quarter alone in a 70-14 blowout.
“This is a good game to build on,” said head coach Charles Deam. “This is who I thought we were to start the season.”
A team chock-full of good shooters won’t stay cold for long and Kingston sizzled in the first half, knocking down nine 3-pointers as a team.
Junior point guard Kylee Walker hit three of them en route to a 15-point effort. The team was finally able to replicate in a game how well they shoot and play in practice.
“That’s what we focused on this game — coming out and repping what we do in practice,” Walker said.
Ellee Brockman had a game-high 20 points for the Bucs, gobbling up attention from the defense in the paint in order to allow the guards room to shoot. Fellow forward Suzanne Skinner chipped in 10.
“Tonight we played together like a team,” Deam said. “We’ve been doing well individually, but we haven’t been able to put it together as a team and play together.”
The Bucs are hoping to continue that momentum over the holidays when the team leaves behind the rain and grey skies of Kingston for sunny San Diego and the Surf ‘N Slam Tournament at Mission Bay High School.
Kingston has not gone away for a holiday tournament since Deam took over as head coach in 2017. But getting in was as simple as sending an email of interest to the tournament director.
“That’s something, since I’ve been here, I’ve always wanted to do,” Deam said.
The plane trip down the west coast figures to be a good bonding experience for a team that needs to play games and get sharp against good opponents rather than be bogged down with the routine of practice.
They will have three games in a four day span from Dec. 27-30 with one day off on Sunday. On the short list of activities is the beach and a trip to the famous San Diego Zoo where they can check out some elephants and polar bears.
“It’s going to be a great experience,” Walker said.
Kingston 70, Bremerton 14
BM 6 4 3 1 — 14
KN 17 34 12 7 — 70
Bremerton (14) — Howell 5, Malaga 3, Carter 2, Irvine 2, Stodden 1, Tarbox 1.