South Kitsap rallies past Vikings

If Wednesday night's North Kitsap vs. South Kitsap girls basketball game was to come down to a free-throw shooting contest, NK coach Dan Weedin liked his team's chances while South coach Mike Allen concurred that the Vikings would have the upper hand.

So much for coaches pregame predictions.

In a game that was very much decided by free throws, South Kitsap hit 8 of 12 freebies down the stretch while the Vikings managed just 5 of 12 to pull off a come-from-behind 50-45 Narrows league Bridge Division win.

“We normally shoot free throws better than we did tonight,” Weedin said after his team fell to 3-8 overall and 1-4 in league. “We generally are a pretty good free-throw shooting team. But tonight, for whatever reason, we didn't shoot the ball well.”

In fact the Vikings hit just 13 of 30 tries in the game while South (7-4, 3-2) made 15 of 23, a stat they helped the Wolves break a three-game losing streak.

“That's for sure what happened,” Allen said. “That's not usual for us, we haven't been very good from the line. So that's great for us to be able to come up and do that.”

North held the advantage most of the way jumping out to leads of three to five points often but could never put the game away. In a game full of momentum shifts, the final one went South's way.

“Obviously in what really was a three or four point game in the end, seven missed free throws in the quarter is a killer,” Weedin said. “You can look right there - we both shot 12 in the fourth quarter, they made eight, we made five and in the end that was really the difference in the game. Give them credit, they made their shots.”

After trailing most of the way, South got its act together in the fourth period and outscored the Vikings 15-7. Both Megan Gilbert and Schelsey Zimmerman scored five points in the final frame while sophomore Caty Lieseke nailed a pair of free throws late to ice the game.

“During the fourth quarter, we talked as a team for the first time in a couple games,” Gilbert said. “We just picked it up. We asked everyone on that bench if they wanted it and I didn't hear one person say no so we came out and wanted it and we got it.”

Gilbert scored 15 points to lead the Wolves while Zimmerman added 13.

“We had a talk before the game, talking about how we were going to come out with intensity and fire,” Zimmerman said. “That's kind of what we wanted to do.”

North got 13 points from senior guard Molly McCluskey while senior post Katie Swanlund added 10 and Jenna Reed scored nine.

The win was a huge on for the Wolves, who had started the year hot, winning six of their first seven games, but three losses in a row had the team questioning themselves.

“We talked a lot about, in practice, kind of getting back to where we were,” Allen said. “Finding out what that was and kind of getting back to the basics ... that's what is going to win us games.

“We don't have any superstars but we've got kids that can do the job,” Allen said. “They need to know their role and they need to fundamentally do it. That's what we need to get back too.”

South played Olympic late Friday night at travels to Silverdale Wednesday to face Central Kitsap.

In a game earlier Monday, Bainbridge won a defensive battle 34-29. Morgan Wiggin paced the Wolves with 10 points.

In junior varsity action, North topped South 35-34. Hannah Lewis scored 10 points for the Wolves while Erin Carpenter added 11. Erin Hegland pulled down eight rebounds for South.

South Kitsap 50, North Kitsap 45

Score by quarters

North Kitsap 11 9 18 7_45

South Kitsap 9 11 15 15_50

North Kitsap – Katie West 3, 0-0_3; Rachael Kramer 3, 2-4_5; Molly McCluskey 10, 3-4_13; Jenna Reed 4, 5-8_9; Katie Swanlund 10, 0-4_10; Kristen Sprague 2, 1-2_3; Jennifer Buckner 0, 1-4_1; Ali Lydick 0, 1-2_1. Team totals 32, 13-30_45.

South Kitsap – Schelsey Zimmerman 9, 4-6_13; Sierra Vinson 2, 0-0_2; Sharrisa Pauley 2, 3-6_5; Morgan Wiggin 6, 2-2_8; Megan Gilbert 14, 1-2_15; Caty Lieseke 2, 2-3_4; Gabby Aromin 0, 3-4_3; Erin Hegland 0, 0-2_0. Team totals 35, 15-23_50.

Three-point field goals: West, Kramer, Zimmerman 3. Rebounds: McCluskey 5, Zimmerman 4.

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