POULSBO — Two very different teams, and two very different scorers, were on display in North Kitsap Wednesday night.
The Vikings, who had won their first three games in league before dropping two straight, were looking to halt the slide.
The Trojans still hadn’t won a game in the Narrows League, and were looking to pop the Vikings’ bubble. And they had a weapon to pop it with: starting guard Geoff Kelstrup, a 5’11” sweet-shooting guard who came into the game leading the league in scoring.
The Vikings boasted another of the league’s top scorers, 6’8” center Bryan Haupt. Haupt usually gets his points on the paint, depending on a series of post moves and short jumpers.
Both scorers came through Wednesday night, as the quick-shooting Kelstrup poured in 31 points, 15 of them from beyond the arc; Haupt scored 34, many of them on putbacks.
But it was another stat that led to North Kitsap’s 70-63 win: 17, the number of rebounds Haupt grabbed.
Olympic head coach Robert Polk said, “Our kids executed well, but Bryant Haupt had 17 rebounds in the game. We didn’t have an answer to that.”
Haupt’s rebounds were aided by Devin Reed’s 8, and overall the Vikings outrebounded the Trojans 47-28.
Kelstrup fueled the effort with 15 first-half points. Backcourt mate Chris Soterakopoulas aided Olympic with three three-pointers of his own, and when half time arrived, Olympic held a four-point lead — despite 20 points and 12 rebounds by Haupt and 10 points by forward Jerrod Gonzales, who started the crowd buzzing with a driving scoop shot.
The Trojans stretched that lead as wide as nine points in the second half, with Kelstrup scoring 11 points and showing off his blink-and-you-missed-it release.
But the Vikings closed the gap. Point guard Josh Mathews found Thomas Jordan downcourt, and Jordan bounced the ball past a surprised defender to a charging Bryan Haupt. Haupt’s shot bounced off, but appropriately enough, he grabbed the rebound and shoveled it in to bring the Vikings within two.
The Trojans held a five-point lead, though, going into the fourth; a Kelstrup three-pointer widened the gap for the Trojans.
But the Vikings took over the fourth quarter. Haupt’s offensive rebound and bucket dragged North Kitsap within one, and Thomas Jordan’s jumper with five minutes left to go gave the Vikings the lead.
The Vikings poured on the scoring, with Mathews flipping the ball ahead to Gonzales on a fast break for a score, and Mathews snagging a steal and a layup to give North a five-point lead.
Like North had, Olympic closed the gap, coming within two points before a pair of Haupt free throws put the game away for good. The Vikings had outscored Olympic 22-10 in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
“I was pleased with the fourth quarter tonight,” Fronk said, noting that North was outscored 41-18 in both fourth quarters before the Olympic game. “We’ve got to control the fourth quarter.”
The Vikings, who also want to grab control of the league, took a step on that road Wednesday night, improving their record to 4-2 in league (9-5 overall).
(North Kitsap (70) Haupt 34, Jerrod Gonzales 17, Thomas Jordan 8, Josh Mthews 7, Devin Reed 2, Chad Foster 2. Olympic (63) Geoff Kelstrup 31, Chris Soterakopoulos 6, Brendan Campbell 6, Jeff Shaw 5, Joel Ackley 5, Chris Lambert 4, Reid Kessler 4, Josh Johnson 2).