Central Kitsap senior Colby White finally got his chance to play at the Tacoma Dome and led his team with 17 points against Marysville-Pilchuck. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Central Kitsap senior Colby White finally got his chance to play at the Tacoma Dome and led his team with 17 points against Marysville-Pilchuck. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

No. 3 Marysville-Pilchuck ends Central Kitsap’s playoff run at state

TACOMA — Back in November, looking over the Central Kitsap roster and considering the high number of talented players that had graduated the previous spring, no one would have blamed the Cougars for taking a step back this year.

With one returning starter and two seniors overall, even just getting out of the South Sound Conference and into districts likely would have been considered a successful season and a good foundation for the ten underclassmen returning the next year.

But then the Cougars closed the regular season with ten wins in 11 games to finish second in the league. They stumbled early in the District 3 playoffs against Lincoln and Peninsula, but rebounded to beat Prairie and Capital and qualify for the state tournament for the first time since 2004. Next, they stunned Shorecrest, 75-65, in the regional round.

The Cinderella run ended Wednesday at the Tacoma Dome with a first round 63-48 loss to No. 3 Marysville-Pilchuck, but it was still a ride to remember for the players and coaches.

“I’m so glad to be a part of this team, it was fun,” said senior Colby White. “I’m sad about the outcome, but people didn’t think we were even going to make it. They didn’t expect us to make the playoffs.”

Central Kitsap (18-9) struggled early on against a long, athletic and quick Tomahawks squad that had the ability to score from anywhere on the court. They took their game inside early and the Cougars had trouble stopping 6-3 Aaron Kalab, who scored eight points in the first quarter. Marysville-Pilchuck led 16-4 after one.

“When you have a team that defends as well as they do, and then on the offensive end is as efficient as they are, we’re lucky they weren’t hitting the threes early,” said head coach Scott McMinds.

But the team was able to hang around for a while. Maurice Green and Rhylan Ferguson hit back-to-back threes in the second quarter to pull the Cougars back within six points and trailed by eight at halftime. Their free throw shooting also kept them in contention as well. Central Kitsap went a perfect 14-for-14 in the game.

Despite some missed opportunities and a few costly turnovers, they weren’t out of it yet as they exited the court for a break.

“We didn’t get inside where we needed, when we did we weren’t efficient,” McMinds said. “I felt like we needed to get in there, maybe get a couple of guys in foul trouble.”

Marysville-Pilchuck came out firing in the third quarter and hit five of their six 3-point attempts to put the game out of reach. Cameron Stordhal hit all three of his attempts on his way to a game-high 25 points.

“I just really give a lot of credit to Marysville,” McMinds said. “They took us out of our game and took our strengths away.”

White led Central Kitsap one final time with a team-high 17 points. The senior captain also stayed on the court as McMinds emptied his bench and assisted on baskets by sophomores Darnell Green and Jack Strickland. White also set up freshman Zavion Stringer for a field goal attempt. He was fouled, but converted on both of his attempts to get on the score sheet.

“I told coach I wanted to finish this game out,” White said. “Last game, I didn’t want to come out. I’m glad some of those young guys got buckets there at the end.”

Marysville-Pilchuck 63, Central Kitsap 48

CK 4 12 12 20 — 48

MP 16 8 19 20 — 63

Central Kitsap (48) — White 17, Johnson 8, Massey 5, Tolentino-Balagtas 4, M. Green 3, Ferguson 3, D. Green 2, Searer 2, Stringer 2, Strickland 2.

Marysville-Pilchuck (63) — Stordahl 25, Kalab 13, Dobler 11, Jackson 7, Severn 4, Battle 2, Southard 1.

More in Sports

Makayla Stockman winds up to pitch for the Vikings. Steve Powell/File Photos
NK girls make it to state the hard way

Competitions took place last weekend to see who would advance to the… Continue reading

Senior catcher Colton Bower was a big reason for NK’s success this season. He will be on scholarship to play for Washington State University next year.
NK baseball stunned in 1st round at state

North Kitsap’s baseball team won over 20 games and only lost a… Continue reading

Pitcher Noah Sorensen moved the ball around and struck out a number of Pirates.
NK wins district title, on to state

Kingston wins 1 before being eliminated

The free fishing derby put on by the Lions Club is Saturday in Poulsbo. Courtesy Photo
Free fishing derby Saturday in Poulsbo

The Poulsbo Noon Lions Club is hosting a “Hooked on Fish Derby”… Continue reading

Colton Bower of NK dives safely back to first base after hitting a single in the first inning. Zach Duffy of BHS applies the tag. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald
NK falls to league-leading Bainbridge

You can bet the North Kitsap Viking outfielders are going to be… Continue reading

NK baseball team keeps winning

North Kitsap The Vikings beat Columbia River in baseball 10-7 and Ridegefield… Continue reading

Kingston goalie Carter Krantz jumps up to make a save under crowded conditions against Olympic. Krantz and the Bucs shut out the visitors 1-0. Krantz’s booming kicks also were a powerful offensive weapon for the Bucs, keeping Olympic on the defensive side of the field. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
Kingston’s defense blanks Olympic in soccer

Kingston has a strong defense, and it needed every bit of it… Continue reading

Kaden Schaefer of Kingston signs a letter of intent to play college soccer, while brother Zander, 5, looks on with admiration. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
Buc scores college soccer scholarship

Once Kaden Schaefer got to high school, he started to think maybe… Continue reading

Ian ‘J.R.’ Ritche
Outdoor prep sports spring into action

The Bainbridge Spartan baseball team returns one of the top pitchers in… Continue reading

Owen Scheer tees off for Bainbridge in a match at Kingston. Steve Powell/Bainbridge Island Review Photos
BI, Kingston split golf matches

Bainbridge In girls golf last week, Bainbridge beat Kingston 230 to 264.… Continue reading

Viet Tran of Kingston follows through on his second shot after missing the numerous sand trips off the tee on Hole 1 at White Horse Golf Club. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photos
Kingston splits golf matches against Bainbridge

Kingston In girls golf last week, Bainbridge beat Kingston 230 to 264.… Continue reading

Junior captain Elise Walters was the medalist for Bainbridge in the match against Sequim. Lucy Rector/Courtesy Photos
Defending champs start year with win over Sequim

The Olympic League defending champion Spartans started off the season last week… Continue reading