POULSBO — The North Kitsap boys basketball team rebounded in a big way after losing to Port Angeles and falling into a tie for first place.
The Vikings knocked off Olympic on Tuesday, Jan. 22, and then dropped 81 points on Sequim during a Friday night doubleheader in a 16-point victory over the third place Wolves.
Kobe McMillian was in top form, shooting 7 for 10 from the outside and scoring a team-high 28 points in the win while teammate Shaa Humphrey was unstoppable in the paint, chipping in 25 points and nine rebounds.
It was Humphrey who got the train rolling early as Sequim had no answer for the length and athleticism of the Vikings 6-6 forward. He found great success driving the lane and using his long arms to reach up and over the defense for easy baskets.
“Shaa got around that, took those 10 to 12 footers and that’s a nice shot for him,” said head coach Scott Orness.
With Humphrey dominating the middle, McMillian found his stroke from the outside, hitting a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter and three more in the third as the Vikings pulled away. Grant Baker also hit a pair of big 3-pointers in the second quarter and the Vikings were out to a 38-25 lead at halftime.
Sequim’s senior guard Nate Despain was a source of trouble for the Vikings, scoring a game-high 29 points, but the team did a good job of limiting his supporting cast. No other Wolves player tallied more than six points.
“The big factor was defense in the second half,” Orness said. “It’s something we’re working on and we still have to get a lot better to go where we want.”
Meanwhile the offense continued to hum. Humphrey added ten more points in the fourth quarter and Logan Chmielewski hit some big buckets down the stretch and finished with a double-double — 14 points and 13 rebounds. Fan favorite Roman Caizza, who earned the start in his final home game on Senior Night, also added a fourth quarter basket much to the delight of the big crowd in attendance. Caizza and Baker are the only two seniors on the team this year.
North Kitsap closes its season with the bottom two teams in the Olympic League, Kingston and North Mason. But the team can’t let up if it hopes to force a mini-playoff game with Port Angeles at the end of the regular season.
“I think part of it is we’re a little tired right now,” Orness said. “Getting that mental toughness is going to be key for us to make a run.”
North Kitsap 81, Sequim 65
SQ 11 14 17 23 — 65
NK 15 23 19 24 — 81
Sequim (65) — N. Despain 29, Cowan 6, D. Despain 6, Oliver 6, Young 5, Christiansen 4, Rollness 3, Wiker 3, Eaton 2, Langston 1.
North Kitsap (81) — McMillian 28, Humphrey 25, Chmielewski 14, Baker 8, Caizza 2, Moore 2, Siebers 2.
Offensive struggles doom North Kitsap girls against Sequim
The Vikings were riding high with nine wins in their past 10 games, but the offense never got going in game one of the varsity doubleheader against Sequim.
North Kitsap managed just eight points in the second half as the Wolves pulled away to a 41-27 win.
Maddie Pruden paced the offense early with three field goals in the first quarter, but the rest of the attack never coalesced. Julia Twieten came off the bench in the second quarter to hit a pair of shots and briefly give the team some life.
Despite their struggles, the Vikings entered the halftime break down just one point.
“It’s the first time I’ve really seen my team not play together,” said head coach Penny Gienger. “We just had everyone doing individual things.”
Grace Johnson’s early third quarter basket tied the game at 21, but the scoring woes only worsened as the game wore on. Kalli Wiker’s 3-pointer from the left baseline early in the fourth gave Sequim a 34-23 lead, putting the game out of reach.
Jessica Dietzman scored a game-high 14 for the Wolves; Pruden led North Kitsap with eight.
“We tried a bunch of different things, but we just couldn’t get it together,” Gienger said.
Sequim 41, North Kitsap 27
SQ 10 11 10 10 — 41
NK 9 10 4 4 — 27
Sequim (41) — Dietzman 14, Julmist 9, Wiker 6, Glasser 4, Porter 4, Schroeder 2, Sparks 2.
North Kitsap (27) — Pruden 8, Twieten 5, Johnson 4, Moore 4, Goetz 3, Barreith 3.