YAKIMA — The North Kitsap girls basketball team gave it everything they had, but its state tournament run ended on March 2 at the Yakima SunDome after a loss to Lynden, the defending 2A champions.
It was the program’s first trip to the big dance since 1988, and the Vikings made a splash on day one with a big win over Burlington-Edison while playing most of the game without the services of Raelee Moore, one of their top scorers.
But after a tough loss to a much bigger and more physical Archbishop Murphy squad, North Kitsap understandably was a little gassed and banged up after a long season in which injuries constantly tested its depth. The 38-34 loss to Lynden ended its season with a 21-8 record.
Against Archbishop Murphy on March 1, the Vikings fell behind little-by-little, losing each quarter by exactly three points. While neither team shot well, North Kitsap’s 27.9 shooting percentage from the field certainly left a lot to be desired, and the offensive opportunities seemed to dry up the longer the game went on. A bit of bad luck also played a role early in the contest as the Vikings were able to create some clean looks, but the shots simply rimmed out.
The Wildcats also were able to limit the number of shooting opportunities for Olivia Selembo, who converted every shot she took, but which only added up to nine points. That figure was a team-high.
“I’m still really proud of my girls, they played really hard in the first half,” head coach Penny Gienger said. “Maybe if we were fresh, we might have been able to stay with them longer.”
But at the same time, North Kitsap did well to keep the bigger, taller Wildcats from dominating the post, despite a size disadvantage. The Vikings held Emily Rodabaugh, a 6-0 guard, to 12 points and 5-11 forward Megan Dorney to 10. The Wildcats shot 1-for-14 from beyond the arc.
“We got some nice looks and our defense was pretty good,” Gienger said. We hung with them in the first half, they’re big and we had a hard time getting anything inside, and when we did, we missed some of those shots.”
Archbishop Murphy 41, North Kitsap 29
NK 9 8 8 4 — 29
AM 12 11 11 7 — 41
North Kitsap (29) — Selembo 9, Pearson 6, Barreith 4, Hughes 4, Johnson 2, Moore 2, Weins 2.
Archbishop Murphy (41) — Rodabaugh 12, Dorney 10, Lucas 9, Riojas 5, Hill 3, Hayward 2.
Lynden 38, North Kitsap 34
The next morning, March 2, North Kitsap played its third consecutive 9 a.m. game and nearly pulled off a dramatic comeback in the dying moments of the game, but its season ended one win short of placing at the state tournament.
Selembo turned in one final double-digit scoring performance with a game-high 15 and Moore led the team with eight rebounds in the low-scoring, defensive contest.
The Vikings were behind 26-20 heading into the fourth quarter but eventually tied the game at 30 with just three minutes left. Lynden scored the next six, but North Kitsap cut the deficit back to two points in the late stages of the game. The comeback bid, however, fell just short and the Lions were able to secure the win.
North 10 14 6 14 — 34
Lynden 7 10 9 12 — 38
North Kitsap (34) — Selembo 15, Weins 5, Johnson 4, Moore 4, Pearson 4, Barreith 2.
Lynden (38) — Hershey 11, Tjoelker 8, Smith 7, VanderHaak 6, Amos 3, Bonsen 3.