North Kitsap stuns No. 1 White River to secure a spot at regionals

BUCKLEY — The North Kitsap girls stunned White River on Friday evening and have secured a 2A regional berth and a top four finish at districts.

The Hornets were the No. 1 seed in the tournament, but North Kitsap has a good recent history against them and a number of players were on the team that took them to overtime in the district semifinals last year.

However, it was one of this year’s newcomers who made the biggest impact. Freshman guard Sophia Baugh hit a huge 3-pointer with 1:15 to go to put North Kitsap ahead by seven. Baugh finished the game with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Her team prevailed 50-43.

“We had nothing to lose,” said North Kitsap head coach Penny Gienger. “When we play them, it’s usually for something and we didn’t have anything to lose. The girls really believed and played really hard.”

North Kitsap absolutely dominated White River on the boards, out-rebounding them 53-28. Noelani Barreith had 11 points and 13 rebounds and Grace Johnson had seven points and 12 rebounds. Mia McNair also chipped in seven points.

The Vikings also turned in another stellar defensive performance against a team that usually gets 3-pointers by the bucketful.

“We wanted to take any three away from them, we wouldn’t allow it,” Gienger said.

North Kitsap will face Fife in the district semifinals at 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at Rogers High School.