POULSBO — It was a tale of two halves for the North Kitsap girls in their home matchup with a top-ranked Port Angeles team.
The first half saw the Roughriders start cold from the floor while the Vikings were able to get some nice open looks from both the paint and beyond the arc. But Port Angeles caught fire in the second half and used a tenacious full-court press to cause havoc.
The Vikings managed just 12 points in the second quarter as Port Angeles ended up cruising to a 67-39 victory.
North Kitsap led 27-24 at halftime, but the Roughriders hit eight 3-pointers in the second half while the Vikings struggled to get through the press and into their half-court offense.
“We couldn’t break a press, then we fell apart,” said North Kitsap head coach Penny Gienger.
Noelani Barreith led the Vikings with 12 points, but the team was without guards Kamora McMillian and Sophia Baugh, which forced Gienger to reshuffle her lineup and put her players in different positions.
For a time, it worked. Grace Johnson picked up several nice baskets in the paint early on, and Georgia Tucker and Elizabeth Kimmel both had an impact on the game as well. Barreith, taking over point guard duties, did a nice job of keeping the ball moving.
But once Port Angeles moved to the press, the North Kitsap players were in different places on the court than they typically are, which led to some miscommunication and turnovers.
“It changed our lineup, but that’s the way it goes,” Gienger said.
Johnson finished with nine points for North Kitsap and Mia McNair chipped in eight. The defense held Port Angeles to 11-for-35 shooting from the floor — including 2-for-16 from the 3-point line — in the first half.
Port Angeles 67, North Kitsap 39
PA 15 9 25 18 — 67
NK 17 10 8 4 — 39
Port Angeles (67) — Wood 16, Brady 15, Larson 15, Long 9, Burke 6, Walker 6.
North Kitsap (39) — Barreith 12, Johnson 9, McNair 8, Tucker 4, Ingalsbe 2, Kimmel 2, Reed 2.
Port Angeles boys complete comeback on North Kitsap on the peninsula
PORT ANGELES — Everything was going North Kitsap’s way in the first half against Port Angeles. The Vikings took off on a 24-0 run in the second quarter to jump out to a 43-23 by halftime.
But the Roughriders were able to erase that entire deficit and hit the game-winning free throws with seven seconds to play. Port Angeles prevailed, 65-64.
The Vikings held their opponent scoreless over the final 5:17 of the second quarter while the offense got hot. Kobe McMillian scored a game-high 21 points.
“Our defense got rolling and we were able to transition, which we were able to do a lot,” said North Kitsap head coach Scott Orness. “But you can’t count on transition basketball to win against good teams… when it comes down to it, good teams are going to make adjustments, they’re going to take that away.”
Port Angeles countered after halftime with an aggressive man defense and were able to force North Kitsap into some turnovers. The Roughriders were also tougher on the glass, out-rebounding the Vikings and getting critical second chances.
“They got more offensive rebounds despite being smaller than us,” Orness said. “They hit some big shots and we didn’t, and we turned the ball over at critical moments.”
Gary Johnson hit two free throws to put Port Angeles ahead by a point. North Kitsap drew up a play for a game-winning shot, and it worked to perfection. But the pass was overthrown and Port Angeles took possession.
“We had a really good look with 3.2 seconds,” Orness said. “We were down by one, we set up the play, it was perfect, [our shooter] was wide open. It would have been a game-winner.”
The Vikings were held scoreless for the last 4:30 of the game. They had entered the fourth quarter ahead 56-47, but only managed eight points. Jonas La Tour chipped in 13 for North Kitsap and Johny Olmsted added 10.
North Kitsap returns to the court Friday against Olympic and also has a showcase game against 4A Union on Saturday at Highline College, which has averaged 86 points per game this season. There won’t be much time to dwell on Wednesday’s loss.
“It was rough,” Orness said. “The hope is, somewhere down the road we’ll be glad this game happened and we’ll have learned from it.”
Port Angeles 65, North Kitsap 64
NK 19 24 13 8 — 64
PA 17 6 24 18 — 65
North Kitsap (64) — McMillian 21, La Tour 13, Olmsted 10, Humphrey 9, Chmielewski 6, Olmstead 5.