Sports

Furious comeback keeps SK unbeaten

The lead changes in the hardwood battle between the North Kitsap and South Kitsap boys basketball teams was reminiscent of Washington’s tightly contested and often-disputed governors race.

The lead changed often, with the winner pulling out a razor-thin margin of

victory. But when time ran out, one team still stood undefeated and atop the

Narrows’ Bridge league standings as number one.

Lead by junior Conner Gehring’s 23 points, The Wolves (10-0, 5-0 in league) scored 47 points in the second half, including a 12-2 run in the final three

minutes of play, to best the Vikings 79-69 before a packed crowd in the North Kitsap gym.

South also added clout to its recent ranking of No. 3 in the state by knocking off the Vikings (7-3, 4-1 in league), who had their own seven-game win streak snapped.

But Wolves coach John Callaghan said he knows that with the wins comes pressure.

“The bulls-eye’s getting bigger, but I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Callaghan said of his players.

Following a three-pointer by North sophomore Mychal Harris, the teams were knotted up at 67 in 3:30 remaining. SK, however, was able to keep North from running the floor and kept from giving the Vikings second chances on the glass.

But the ultimate factor in the final minutes was that North’s shots didn’t fall — and South’s did.

“Offensively, we just stayed aggressive, and defensively we were just solid,” Callaghan said. “In the last four minutes, they missed some shots and we blocked out.”

“We struggled fundamentally down the stretch,” said NK head coach Aaron Nations. “We had them on the ropes a few times but (South) knows how to hang

around.”

South Kitsap held a 20-13 lead early on until North’s transition and inside games got going, taking a one-point advantage of a Ryan Young lay-in, 25-24.

“They were killing us on the putbacks and in transition,” Callaghan said.

NK held a 54-46 lead in the third but in about a minute and a half South had stormed back taking a lead of its own, 56-55.

Though South eked out the win, Callaghan was quick to complement the Vikings, as well as coach Nations, who has in only his second season as NK coach has already surpassed the win total of his first season.

“They’re well-coached and their guys are tough,” Callaghan said.

NK’s Jared Prince scored a season-high 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds

while Young had 18 points and 12 rebounds in the game.

Sophomore Derek Burk and senior Derrick Webb scored 14 each for the Wolves while junior Josh Monagle added 11.

North will have an opportunity for revenge on Feb. 4 when the Vikings travel to Port Orchard.

South Kitsap 79, North Kitsap 69

Score by quarters

South Kitsap 22 10 24 23_79

North Kitsap 17 18 20 14_69

South Kitsap - Conner Gehring 23; Derek Burk 14; Derrick Webb 14; Josh Monagle 11; Jamil Moore 8; Ryan Sweet 5; Evan Atwater 2; Joe Pisa 2.

North Kitsap - Jared Prince 18; Ryan Young 18; Jordan Henry 15; Jacob Gonzales 9; Mychal Harris 7; Travis Tobin 1; Dan Yee 1.

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