North Kitsap wins West Central District 3 title

Olmsted’s 17 points leads the way in 50-37 win over Fife

TACOMA – The Vikings are back on top in West Central District 3.

Led once again by senior point guard Zac Olmsted and a solid supporting cast, North Kitsap captured its second district championship in three years with a 50-37 win over Fife at Wilson High School on Feb. 17. Next: regionals, which begin on Feb. 23.

“Gutsy all the way around,” is how head coach Scott Orness described his team’s performance.

“They had to make basketball plays tonight. When teams run doubles at you, there’s nothing I can draw up. They have to go on their instincts.”

The Vikings didn’t shoot the lights out as they did two nights prior against Renton. The championship game was a slower, more physical affair that featured two teams playing tenacious defense.

But Olmsted catalyzed the offense early. The Carleton College commit hit a big 3-pointer from the top of the key just before the end of the first quarter to give North Kitsap a 10-9 lead, a bucket that proved to be the turning point in the game and firmly swung the momentum in North Kitsap’s favor.

Olmsted then hit a pair of pull-up jumpers early in the second as part of a 6-0 run that pushed the Vikings out to a seven-point lead. He finished with a game-high 17.

“We have big game players,” Orness said. “You have a guy like Zac who’s been here three years in a row, has played in big environments and he just doesn’t back down.”

But as Fife started throwing out double-teams and the full court press, the burden to step up and make plays would shift to the supporting cast.

After having a difficult night against Renton, Kai Warren showed a return to form with 13 points and a pair of blocks that energized the bench. He, along with Derek Zinn, also did a good job of pulling down defensive rebounds and limiting Fife’s second chances.

Sophomore Logan Chmielewski had another strong postseason game, adding an exclamation point to a 16-5 second quarter run with a tough drive to the basket, scoring the layup and drawing a foul. Chmielewski finished with eight points.

“Logan and Derek have come around so well,” Orness said. “Derek has become a man in this tournament, owning the boards and doing a fantastic job. Logan works so hard off the ball, he’s going to be fun to watch the next couple of years.”

That run gave the Vikings a 13-point lead at halftime, and they remained in control the rest of the way. In stark contrast to the Renton game, which featured both teams playing at breakneck speed, North Kitsap slowed the pace of the game to a crawl, bleeding the clock and keeping the ball out of Fife’s hands with solid ball movement and rebounding.

With both teams playing their reserves by the end of the game, it was only a matter of time before North Kitsap would cut down the nets and be crowned the district champions.

“We’ve worked really hard all year, and we lost a lot of guys from last year and a lot of people didn’t think we could get back to where we are,” Olmsted said. “But we knew we had great guys coming in, obviously we still had our coach and it was a great year.

“We’ve been working our butts off all year and we never doubted ourselves, this is where we wanted to get to and it’s not over.”

North Kitsap 50, Fife 37

Fife 9 7 10 11 – 37

NK 10 13 16 11 – 50

Fife (37) – Graham 9, Mitchell 6, Williams 6, Alexander 4, Schelbert 4, Ginnis 3, Hernandez 3, Afework 2.

North Kitsap (50) – Olmsted 17, Warren 13, Chmielewski 8, McMillian 4, Zinn 4, Hecker 2, Caizza 2.

– Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at