Kingston girls look strong heading into league tournament

The final week of the winter sports regular season gets started Tuesday night, and with a successful first few weeks behind them, the Kingston girls hoops team hopes to be peaking at the right time as they get ready for the Olympic League tournament.

The Bucs are 6-3 this season heading into their final stretch, their only losses coming against Port Angeles and Sequim — generally considered the two best girls basketball teams in the West Sound — and Central Kitsap, which is having a strong season in its own right.

With a recent string of wins over divisional foes such as North Mason and East Jefferson, as well as earlier victories over North Kitsap, Bremerton and Bainbridge, and Saturday’s non-league triumph over 3A Peninsula, the team looks prepared for its last big test Wednesday against Olympic — which sports a 5-1 record.

“Our goal all along was to, with the shortened season, was to be ready by the time the league tournament happens,” coach Charles Deam said. “Just try to get proficient at our sets and continue to improve, and be peaking when that tournament starts.”

Against East Jefferson, the Bucs dominated from the outset as Ellee Brockman converted her first two field goal opportunities on her way to a 19-point game. Brianna Jorgenson chipped in seven points as well in that opening quarter as the Bucs held a 15-3 lead after eight minutes. The offensive roll continued in the second as Brockman hit three more field goals and Kylee Walker scored on both of her shot attempts. Jayla Moon added a pair of layups, and Kingston led 31-14 at halftime.

Deam said, despite the lead, he felt his team had been a little flat, but a few adjustments led to a 27-point explosion in the third quarter.

Walker came out firing, knocking down her first five shots, including one 3-pointer. Brockman and Sierra Denning also hit 3-pointers, and Suzanne Skinner finished a nice layup to give Kingston a 58-21 lead by the end of the third. Walker finished tied with Brockman on the score sheet with 19, and Jorgenson finished with 13.

That lead allowed Deam to empty his bench. Kingston’s entire program only has 10 players, so without enough players to field a junior varsity squad, his bench doesn’t get as much time on the floor as he would like.“Without those guys, we can’t practice, literally,” Deam said. “It was good to reward them with some playing time.”

But the five-player unit of Moon, Amie Venneman, Kian Mills, Jackie Coleman and Olive Wood got to play nearly the entire fourth quarter. And the entire bench jumped to its feet when Venneman knocked down a 3-pointer from the left wing. That was Kingston’s final field goal in a 63-36 win.

The Olympic League tournament for both boys and girls begins Saturday. Dates and times are to be determined.

Kingston 63, East Jefferson 36

EJ 3 11 7 15 — 36

KI 15 16 27 5 — 63

East Jefferson (36) — J. Nordberg 10, Brown 8, Clark 8, Vandenburg 5, N. Nordberg 3, Asbell 2.

Kingston (63) — Brockman 19, Walker 19, Jorgenson 13, Moon 4, Denning 3, Venneman 3, Skinner 2.

Amie Venneman looks for an open teammate in the fourth quarter against East Jefferson. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Amie Venneman looks for an open teammate in the fourth quarter against East Jefferson. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)