Vikings ‘flawless’ play leads to 4-1 record


POULSBO — Taylor Hoffer may as well have the game ball from Wednesday night’s game against Mount Tahoma monogrammed and put in a trophy case. After four solid quarters of play, Hoffer owns that ball.

Hoffer, who’s quick to point out that it takes an entire team playing well to win, earned his fourth double-double of the season with 23 points and 20 rebounds.

“All my points come from the team. I help them out and they help me out,” Hoffer said.

The Vikes’ 4-1, 3-0 record is a far cry from last year’s humbling record of 2-18, which fuels them to play hard, play well, and play together.

“It’s a good feeling this year. We’re a good team, and this year things are really working for us. Everyone is happy in the locker room and we’re high-fiving each other on the court,” Hoffer said.

Even as the wins pile up, the players remember that basketball is a team sport played best when big egos aren’t involved. If one player does start to feel more important than the rest, the others would be happy to give him a little reminder.

“The team would let them know,” Hoffer said.

After the win, Kyle McCowan couldn’t hide his glee over the outcome of the season this far or his love of the game.

“We’re playing as a team this year. We pass the ball a lot more this year and we work the ball around to all the players,” said McCowan, who scored 4 points.

He’s not one to take the wins or the game for granted.

“Every year I play is a just a chance to do what I love,” he said.

Coach Tony Chisholm summed up the beginning of the season with an understatement to end all understatements.

“We’re getting better,” Chisholm said, his voice hoarse from dispensing advice, praise and gentle reminders from court side.

While there are three whose statistics always standout — Hoffer, Jordan Coover (19 points) and Kyle Erickson (15 points), NK basketball isn’t about who can bring in the most points this year. It’s about teamwork, every man doing his job and treating the fans to a season they won’t forget.

“They (the players and the fans) endured a lot of close games last year. To me, that’s school spirit,” he said of the fan’s support. “North Kitsap basketball has changed. We’ve put a team on the floor that has grown together since last year and they’re working their tails off. This is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”

Two bits of advice that keep coming up in conversation with his team: practice patience, and pass the ball. And the advice, when heeded, is doing the trick. He also pays homage to the fans, who are playing a huge role in keeping the team motivated on the court.

When the team fires on all cylinders the way it did against Mount Tahoma, the result is priceless.

“The first half was the most flawless first half of basketball I’ve ever been a part of,” Chisholm said.

The Vikings play at home against Klahowya Secondary School today at noon.