EAST BREMERTON — When his team needed him most, Jaiden Mosley was ready to deliver.
Olympic trailed North Kitsap 28-24 at halftime, and by just two points entering the fourth quarter, when the senior guard provided the necessary spark to help his team overtake its league rival.
Mosley scored eight of his team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter as the Trojans rallied to defeat the Vikings 55-50 on Jan. 12.
“That’s one of the better high school basketball games I’ve seen Jaiden Mosley play,” Olympic head coach Devin Huff said. “And he’s played in a lot of high school basketball games. He was efficient; he stayed within himself. For the most part everything he got, everything was within the flow of our offense. Nothing was forced. He played a whale of a game.”
Mosley opened the fourth quarter with a jump shot to tie the game, and continued to score key baskets as the two teams went back and forth before the Trojans took control late.
“That was a phenomenal high school basketball game by both teams tonight,” Huff said.
But Mosley was far from a one-man show. The Trojans needed and received contributions from several different players, especially with starting guard Evan Turnquist out with an ankle injury.
Senior Keaton Dean scored 11 points in the game, including an enormous 3-pointer from the wing with 1:45 to play to put Olympic ahead 47-45. Junior post Greg Brehmer also stepped up to score 10 points and pull down several key rebounds.
“Keaton Dean was a warrior tonight,” Huff said, adding that both he and Brehmer were significant factors in the game.
After Dean’s 3-pointer, Mosley added a layup to extend the lead to four; but the Vikings would not go away quietly.
Cool and calm as ever, point guard Zac Olmstead confidently buried a 3-pointer to bring North Kitsap back within 1. But Olympic answered quickly with back-to-back baskets by Mosley and Brandon Barron.
Barron’s basket in particular was noted by North Kitsap head coach Scott Orness as an uncharacteristic mental mistake by his team.
After Caleb Morgan pulled down a rebound, he threw the ball up the court to Mosley, who was guarded but saw Barron running free down the other side of the court. The Vikings other guard had crashed the boards instead of dropping back. Barron scored an uncontested layup to put the Trojans ahead by five with just 25 seconds left.
“We had a lot of breakdowns and Olympic capitalized tonight,” Orness said.
North Kitsap played well in the first half and had its scoring shoes on early. Kai Warren had a game-high 21 points and Olmstead dropped in 16, and North Kitsap, at one point late in the second quarter, led by nine. But Orness noted the Vikings did not execute well at times throughout the game. They also lacked the depth scoring and all-around contributions from their bench and secondary players that has been the hallmark of many of their games this season.
“We struggled from the field. I think we shot about 35 percent,” Orness said. “A lot of that had to do with the physical defense that Olympic was playing, and credit goes to them for stopping us.”
As was the case in the first game on Dec. 12, it was a physical affair with plenty of fouls and trips to the free-throw line.
“It’s crazy. We’re all super close, actually,” Mosley said. “It’s like a brother thing.”
Unfortunately, that intensity spilled over into some moments of which neither team will be proud.
Following the game, a short altercation occurred on the court in which one North Kitsap player fell down. It was quickly broken up by coaches from both teams. During the game, numerous complaints were directed at the referees by the players and one Olympic player gave the finger to an official that was annoucing a foul call to the scorer’s table — it was not seen by any of the officials. Both teams should end up learning a valuable lesson as they have the talent to reach and place well at the state tournament, but an inability to stay composed during those grueling games is a surefire path to a quick exit from the postseason.
Olympic’s triumph keeps alive the possibility for a three-way tie atop the Olympic League. North Kitsap and Port Angeles now both have one loss, while the Trojans have two. A win by Port Angeles over North Kitsap on Jan. 31, followed by an Olympic victory over Port Angeles the next night, Feb. 1, could force such a scenario. However, all three teams still have several league games left to play.
NK 12 16 10 12 — 50
OLY 11 13 12 19 — 55
North Kitsap (50) — Warren 21, Olmstead 16, Humphrey 5, Chmielewski 4, McMillian 2, Zinn 2.
Olympic (55) — Mosley 18, Dean 11, Brehmer 10, Barron 8, Dower 4, White 4.
— Mark Krulish is sports reporter for Kitsap News Group. Contact him at email@example.com.