NK returns to winning ways against Kingston

The North Kitsap girls basketball team captured its first win in more than two weeks, defeating Kingston 47-39 at home Jan. 25.

“Their hard work finally paid off,” coach Karla DeVries said. “They have been working hard every game, and it is just hard to watch them come up short after working that hard. We showed some grit hanging onto our lead.”

The first quarter was the highest scoring as both teams were able to find ways to get easy baskets underneath the hoop. Kingston’s Khi Tall Bull scored six of the Buccaneers 14 points in the first period. On the other hand, Avery Kline made nine of the Vikings 18 points.

“Avery played outstanding,” DeVries said. “She was bringing the ball down because they are not very big, and I knew they were going to press the whole game. Having Avery up there, they didn’t bother to pick her up, and she is capable of that.”

The Vikings held strong in the second quarter as Jasmine Sunnenberg led with six points. However, Bull kept Kingston close, trailing 31-24 at halftime.

Although the third quarter only had a total of nine points, Kingston was able to narrow the lead. Jayla Moon hit back-to-back shots from the perimeter to make it 34-33 at the end of the third.

In the fourth quarter, Bull gave the Bucs the lead that did not last long. Coriana McMillian and Kline made a pair of baskets before North Kitsap began earning points at the free-throw line to put the game out of reach.

“We could have easily lost it because Kingston went on a run there,” DeVries said. But, we made our free throws.”

Kline ended with 18 points, while Bull had 15.

Since North Kitsap won, the Vikings are back in the playoff hunt. The top four teams, excluding still 3A Bainbridge, earn allocations to the District 3 tournament. Currently, Kingston ranks third, while Olympic holds a half game lead over the Vikings.

“We know we got to take care of those in the middle of the pack,” DeVries said.

Buc Kylie Sandstrom makes the outlet pass to her teammate.

Buc Kylie Sandstrom makes the outlet pass to her teammate.