NK boys place 3rd at state

Now that’s more like the Vikings North Kitsap fans know and love.

The boys basketball team took third place in 2A at state in Yakima with a 72-46 thrashing of RA Long Saturday at the SunDome in Yakima.

After running out of gas in the second half the night before, NK had its running game in high gear, which seemed to energize its defense also. They did a better job of making their 3’s and free throws. And when Johny Olmsted and Aiden Olmstead are “offensive,” along with Jonas La Tour, the Vikings are tough to beat.

After falling behind 4-0 the Vikings went ahead 11-9 on a deep 3 by La Tour and led the rest of the way.

The Vikings didn’t hit their first bucket until halfway through that first period, but then got their running game going to lead 15-9 after one period after La Tour scored inside and off the fastbreak, along with Olmsted.

NK dominated the second period 21-10 to go ahead at the break 36-19.

Colton Bower doesn’t score much, but he’s a tough defender and rebounder. But he and Olmstead both hit 3’s. In the play of the first half Olmsted hit Harry Davies with a long pass for a fastbreak bucket to put the Vikings up 26-14.

Olmstead hit another 3 from the corner, Bower faked a 3 and went in for an uncontested layup, Davies scored on a backdoor pass from Olmstead and when Cade Orness scored at the buzzer NK had a 17-point halftime lead.

Olmstead and La Tour each had 9 to lead NK. Jamond Harris had 9 and 6-foot-8 lefty Aaron Ofstun 8 for the Lumberjacks.

Harris hit two 3’s to start the second half, but then Olmstead and La Tour hit 3’s, Davies stole the ball and scored on a layup, and La Tour assisted to Davies on the fastbreak to put NK up 48-27. Olmstead hit La Tour on the fastbreak and Orness passed to Olmsted for another fastbreak bucket to put the Vikings ahead 56-37 after three quarters.

NK ran away with it in the fourth as Olmstead banked a shot in then hit a turnaround jumper. Davies stole the ball and went in for a layup. After La Tour scored inside, he hit a fastbreak layup, and Orness added two others to make it 70-43 with 2:41 left. Substitutes came in to finish the game.

La Tour led the victors with 22 points on 9 of 13 shooting. Olmstead added 16 and Olmsted 14. Davies had 8, Orness 7 and Bower 5. La Tour and Orness both had 7 rebounds and Orness 7 assists.

Ofstun led the Lumberjacks with 16, and Harris added 11.

NK finished the game shooting 55% making 28 of 51 shots, compared to 19 of 63 for 30% for RA Long. The Vikings were 7 of 15 from beyond the stripe for 47% while the Lumberjacks were just 8 of 36 for 22%.

Pullman 69, NK 53

Leading 38-28 early in the second half, North Kitsap let down offensively and defensively, allowing Pullman to get back into the game.

The Greyhounds took that momentous turnaround and ran with it in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Vikings 26-9 on the way to a 69-53 win in a semifinal game.

NK actually led most of the game.

Sophomore guard Orness led NK scoring 10 points early in the game, driving to the basket despite the big inside presence of Pullman’s 6-foot-8 center Grayson Hunt. A 3-pointer by Orness and a fastbreak layup by sophomore Davies put the Vikings ahead 14-11 after the first quarter.

Orness hit a 3 and a couple more free throws before La Tour came back in after sitting out quite a few minutes due to two fouls. Pullman tied the game 20-20 with a 3 by Champ Powaukee and an inside shot by Hunt.

But La Tour scored after grabbing an offensive rebound then passed the ball as it was going out of bounds to Davies, who sank a 3. La Tour scored on a backdoor lob pass from Orness then hit a 3 from the corner to give NK a 33-26 halftime advantage.

Orness had 12 at the half, La Tour 10 and Davies 9. Jaedyn Brown was only 3 of 12 shooting for 9 points, and Hunt had 8 points with 10 boards at the break for Pullman.

The second half was much different as Pullman picked up its defense, and NK settled for outside shots that weren’t falling as the Vikings made just 7 of 32 3-point tries for the contest. Pullman was 25-59 from the field for 42%, while NK was just 16 of 61 for 26%.

La Tour hit a 3 and sank two free throws to give NK its biggest lead of the game at 38-28.

But Pullman went on a 15-5 run to pull within 44-43 after three quarters. Seven players scored for Pullman that quarter, each getting open looks.

Hunt’s two free throws gave Pullman its first lead since early in the game to start the fourth. His two-straight buckets after grabbing offensive rebounds expanded the lead. Brown’s 3-point play and Tanner Barbour’s steal and layup put the game out of reach.

La Tour led NK with 23 points but was only 8 pof 24 shooting, 3 of 13 from beyond the stripe. Orness tallied 12 but he was only 3 of 17 shooting. Davies had 11. Olmstead led the team with 11 rebounds.

Hunt had 22 points with 22 rebounds, Brown added 18 and Payton Rogers 13. The Greyhounds outscored the Vikings 38-16 in the paint.

NK 75, PA 58

La Tour was having a sub-par shooting night in North Kitsap’s statequarterfinal game against Port Angeles Thursday.

But a rare 4-point play energized him and his team as the Vikings went on to beat the seventh-seeded Roughriders 75-58.

North Kitsap had four players in double figures. La Tour led NK with 25 points, while Orness tallied 19. Davies added 12, and Olmstead 11 and a game-high 12 boards. Johny Olmsted had 8 points.

NK was leading just 40-36 midway through the third period when La Tour hit a 3 from just right of the top of the key and was fouled. He converted the free throw.

After blocking a shot Olmstead drove the baseline under the basket and made a mini hook shot. Orness stole the ball off the press and dunked it, followed by a 3 by La Tour. Orness made an old-style 3-point play then, after turning the ball over, stole the ball again off the press then flushed the ball with two hands.

On an inbounds play Davies lobbed the ball inside to La Tour for an easy bucket then sank a 3 before Olmstead ended the Vikings 26-point period with another 3. Orness had 11 of his points that period as NK went in front with a commanding lead 58-47.

In the final quarter Davies had two 3’s and scored inside on an assist from Orness. Olmstead had a 3, and, after missing a 3, grabbed his own offensive rebound and scored on an easy layup.

Up until that third-quarter burst by NK the game had been close.

NK led just 17-14 after the first period, which must have made the Roughriders feel pretty good since they had seven turnovers that quarter. Turnovers were key to the game as PA had 21 and NK 10. Shots the Vikings usually make just weren’t going in. NK shot just 8 of 22 from 3-point land. Other keys were NK outscored the Riders 18-6 off fastbreaks and 21-9 off turnovers.

The Vikings took a 7-0 lead after La Tour hit from left of the top of the key and scored on a layup after a steal. Left-handed PA guard Xander Maestas scored on two easy drives to the bucket, before Davis hit a 3 from the corner to make it 10-4.

La Tour drove the baseline on a fastbreak for two then again did a baseline move for a dunk. But a layup and free throw by Maestas ended the quarter.

In the second quarter Davies assisted to La Tour on the fastbreak, Olmstead scored after grabbing an offensive rebound, then La Tour stole the ball and went for a slam dunk.

NK was helped by a technical foul on PA’s Wyatt Dunning, scoring two free throws, getting the ball out of bounds and then Orness scoring a bucket inside to make it 31-25 at the half.

The Roughriders were led by Maestas with 19 points. A key to the win was holding PA’s almost 7-foot center John Vaara to 13 points and 11 rebounds. He was often double or even triple teamed once he got the ball inside, which led to a couple of traveling calls. Dunning added 10, mostly from long range.

The teams played twice during the regular Olympic League season, both winning their games at home, NK by two points and PA by double digits.

Jonas La Tour, right, led North Kitsap in its win over Port Angeles to advance to the semifinals at state. Steve Powell/File Photo

Jonas La Tour, right, led North Kitsap in its win over Port Angeles to advance to the semifinals at state. Steve Powell/File Photo

Harry Davies, with ball, provided a spark for NK with some key outside and inside shots.

Harry Davies, with ball, provided a spark for NK with some key outside and inside shots.

NK coach Scott Orness directs the Viking defense.

NK coach Scott Orness directs the Viking defense.

Aiden Olmstead was more “offensive” in the game for third place against RA Long.

Aiden Olmstead was more “offensive” in the game for third place against RA Long.

Cade Orness was one of the keys to NK’s explosive third quarter.

Cade Orness was one of the keys to NK’s explosive third quarter.