Seniors put on a show

It was all about fun and games Saturday as the region’s best senior basketball players got together for the West Sound All-Star Games.

With a running clock, 10-minute quarters and one last chance to shine in the preps spotlight, the boys and girls dished it out hard and fast for what turned out to be some of the best hoops play of the season at the Olympic College gym.

“That’s what the All-Star game is about is having fun,” Bremerton stand-out Noah Garguile said. “It was like being at the NBA All-Star game — all run-and-gun.”

All of the players said they were honored to take part in the inaugural event.

“This is a tribute to our parents and the coaches in the crowd to show them thanks for the three years they’ve given us,” Olympic’s Josh Johnson said.

“And it’s a tribute to the seniors as well for our three hard years,” Garguile added.

Organized by Rick Walker and his Sports Beyond organization, the games had plenty of scoring as well as an emphasis on teamwork.

“This was a very successful day,” said Walker, who also coaches the boys’ basketball team at King’s West. “I was pleased with the turnout and the kids played hard and together. These guys are the cream of the crop and the coaches have done a good job working with them.

“It was fun watching them tease each other even after playing against each other and now finding themselves playing together. And when they come together to play they know each other.”

“You have to give Rick credit — this was awesome, a great idea,” South Kitsap coach John Callaghan said. “You see the caliber of basketball out here and it was excellent. It was fun for the players, fun for the fans to see them play one more time and it was all positive. This is a neat thing and will only grow and be even better.”

Callaghan, who led the Wolves to fifth-place at the state Class 4A tournament this year, said he’s been to other All-Star performances that were anything but stellar.

“I went over to TCC for the summer league All-Star game over there and it was a joke,” Callaghan said. “It wasn’t even a game. To the kids’ credit here this was entertaining and they were playing hard which is all a matter of pride. Some of these guys never get to play against each other and for some them it’s one last time. They’re playing to win and that’s entertaining.”

And by playing to win, that meant some players had to step out of their tradional roles and try something a little different.

Johnson and SK’s Jamae Feddock decided it was a good time to show off their 3-point ranges and SK’s Nate Seitz put on a show in the pregame warmups with theatrical dunks.

“I just wanted to come out, have fun and do everything I could do that I couldn’t do during the regular season because the coach wouldn’t let me,” said Seitz, who won the boys’ 3-point contest.

Johnson, who played post for the Trojans, said he started taking the deep shots because “it was open and I’m here to have fun.”

Feddock, who is thinking about attending OC next season to stay close to home, added it was uncharacteristic for her to take a lot of shots from outside the arc.

“I’d have one 3-point shot every five games,” Feddock said. “I don’t know why I was even taking them.”

For some players it was their first view of seeing what to expect at the college level as coaches from Olympic and Peninsula community colleges donated their time to guide the Puget Sound and Cascade teams.

“The coaches (Reece Gliko, Peter Stewart, Julie Stewart and Rick Peters) came out and showed the kids what it takes at the next level,” Walker said.

“For a group of girls that haven’t played together, it was a good game,” said Peters, who hopes to add Feddock, CK’s Adria Layne, PA’s Alisha Crumb and North’s Jennifer Harris to his roster at OC.

Puget Sound 64, Cascade 52 (Girls)

The outmanned Puget Sound team came out fast against their Cascade counterparts as Harris turned into an assists machine for Layne and Nicole Zygmontowicz in the first half.

The CK girls combined for 23 of the team’s 40 first-half points and an eight point advantage at halftime. Layne finished with 15 points, Zygmontowicz with 13.

“Assists are my specialty and it was nice throwing it to Adria or Nicole knowing they can handle the ball,” Harris said.

Cascade countered with the deep threat combination of Feddock and Ashley Payne and Crumb from Port Angeles. Feddock tied for game-high points with inside specialist Tiffany Millet of Sequim with 22 points. The Roughrider duo of Payne and Crumb combined for 21 points. Payne, winner of the pre-game 3-point contest, scored 11. Crumb had 10 against the taller Puget Sound girls.

“Just after the whole thing at state, coming out here was just fun,” said Zygmontowicz in reference to CK’s brief 0-2 appearance at the Class 4A state tournament. “I enjoyed myself a lot.”

Olympic’s Dianne Mangio won the hot shot contest.

Cascade 105, Puget Sound 75 (Boys)

Judging by the pregame warmups, the Cascade team was ready to power their way inside and go for the big jams and slams while the Puget Sound team was going to rely on its smooth shooters to work more on the perimeter.

It turned out that the Cascade squad wasn’t afraid to take its shots from the outside either as Garguile and Johnson made deep shots to give their team an early lead.

Down — but not out — Chimacum MVP Robbie Andrus and Gig Harbor floor leader Morgan Axton and a 3-pointer from CK’s Marcus McKay got the Puget Sound back in the game and only trailed 26-25 at the end of the first quarter.

North Kitsap’s Reid Ammann, CK’s Lukas Henne and Olympic’s Ferbien Encomienda came out hot in the second quarter, taking a 38-32 lead four minutes in. Shelton’s Aaron Sawyer, South’s Trivone Curry and PA’s Matt Sinnes then got the Cascades right back in it, taking a 49-46 halftime lead.

“It was a good time,” Ammann said. “There wasn’t any pressure or anything. It was fun just talking to the guys from Gig Harbor and CK and playing some basketball.”

“Normally you look at these guys like they’re the enemy, but when they’re on your team they’re really cool people to play with,” Henne said.

Garguile scored nine of his game-high 24 points in the third quarter to give the Cascades a solid 75-61 lead with 10 minutes left to play. CK’s Marcus McKay quietly scored 16 points to lead the Puget Sound team. In the final period, Johnson hit his second 3-pointer of the night and SK’s Brian Cox scored seven of his nine points and Bremerton’s Zack Otis scored five of his seven points to seal the victory.

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