BREMERTON — A long 15-0 run springboarded the Vikings to yet another league victory, picking up a 62-34 triumph on the road Friday night against Bremerton.
North Kitsap (7-0, 12-2) led by just two points early in the second quarter, but then the offense caught fire. Freshman guard Bobby Siebers came off the bench to hit a pair of 3-pointers and junior Shaa Humphrey picked up a pair of baskets on strong drives to the rim. By halftime, North Kitsap led 34-23 and it was smooth sailing from there.
Humphrey finished with a game-high 16 points, while Siebers and Kobe McMillian each chipped in 13.
“We just kind of turned them loose,” said North Kitsap head coach Scott Orness. “Just make plays and take what they give us.”
Bremerton (3-4, 6-8) was in the game early. Keoni Laguana and Keith Jackmon each hit some big shots in the first quarter and trailed by just five after the first eight minutes. Eventually, the turnover bug bit one too many times and the game got away from them.
Laguana led Bremerton with 14 points and Jackmon had 11.
“We struggle against the good teams because we have to be able to sustain that brand of basketball for four quarters,” said Bremerton head coach Miah Davis. “Those teams like PA and North Kitsap, they sustain that. I said before the game started that one of the key points is they are consistent.
“We’re raw, rough around the edges and can compete, but we’ll go in waves,” Davis added.
The Knights only managed 11 points in the second half as North Kitsap continued to pour it on offensively. Jamo Moore led the way, scoring all 7 of his points in the fourth quarter, while the defense continued to force Bremerton into turnovers, especially near mid-court.
“As soon as I see the team is getting comfortable, I’ll usually switch,” Orness said of his team’s defense. “If they go on a four-point run, we switch.”
Both of these teams have important games coming up next week.
Next Friday, Jan. 18, North Kitsap makes the long trip up to Port Angeles for a second league showdown with the Roughriders. A Vikings win would give them a two-game advantage over the Riders and put them on a solid path toward a league championship and a No. 1 seed in the district playoffs.
“If we beat them, we still have a few games left, but it puts us in a good spot to get that one seed,” Orness said. “If not, there’s a high possibility of that mini-playoff.”
Meanwhile, Bremerton takes on Olympic on Jan. 15 and then Sequim on Jan. 18, both on the road. The Knights have the opportunity to sweep the Trojans and get their revenge on the Wolves for an 8-point loss in mid-December. These three teams are in a dogfight for the last two playoff spot.
Davis said his team has the talent to not only make the playoffs but also win some games — if his young squad can stay dialed in mentally.
“If we have that type of approach, if we can get that way by three-quarters through the season, I think we can do some things in the playoffs,” Davis said.
North Kitsap 62, Bremerton 34
NK 17 17 14 14 — 62
Brem 12 11 9 2 — 34
North Kitsap (62) — Humphrey 16, McMillian 13, Siebers 13, Moore 7, Chmielewski 6, Baker 3, Miller 2, Olmsted 2.
Bremerton (34) — Laguana 14, Jackmon 11, Peterson 5, Moore 2, K. Retome 2.