The North Kitsap boys basketball team is battling the sick bug right now. Despite battling off the court, the Vikings handled Kingston on the court by beating them 81-56 on the road Dec. 15.
The Vikings suited up 10 varsity players, and a handful of JV players were called up for the game. On the flip side, guard Jalen East returned from battling an illness, and Ethan Gillespie was sidelined with an illness.
So, other players had to step up for the Vikings.
“Mason Chmielewski is our glue guy,” coach Scott Orness said. “He is probably my first kid under six foot to grab 20 rebounds in a game in my whole coaching career. He’s been our MVP this season so far.”
Chmielewski scored four points and earned a handful of assists and steals, too. Besides Chmielewski, Orness mentioned Jay Ashford-Downing stepped up against the Buccaneers.
“Jay had a bit of a struggle to start the year,” Orness said. “He came out and got his hand on a bunch of rebounds and did a great job on defense as well.”
Although the Vikings won by 25 points, they struggled to break away from Kingston until the second half.
“In the first quarter when our transition is not there, we tend to look for a quick pass and quick shot,” Orness said. “It’s not efficient basketball. Teams with good coaches will be glued in on Cade [Orness] and Harry [Davies]. We got to learn to move the ball a little more and break down defenses.”
Kingston only trailed by three points after the first quarter and 12 at halftime. Kah-Ty Natrall led the Bucs in the first half scoring with five points while Seth Fortenbacher, Dakota Standley and Cash Hubbard each had four.
In the second half, Davies and Orness took over the game. Orness scored 10 out of his 29 points in the second half, including an alley-oop dunk from Davies with three minutes left in the game. Davies scored 24 points.
The Vikings were able to bring the reserves in with a couple of minutes left to get them some varsity experience.