Sports

Lady hoopsters make for a full house

The All-Kitsap County Girls Basketball Team had a little bit of everything, from Bainbridge’s Brittany Gray’s scoring ability to Olympic’s Nicole Buhl’s tenacity on the boards. The team is made up of the finest girls hoopsters Kitsap County has to offer. - Photo by Jesse Beals
The All-Kitsap County Girls Basketball Team had a little bit of everything, from Bainbridge’s Brittany Gray’s scoring ability to Olympic’s Nicole Buhl’s tenacity on the boards. The team is made up of the finest girls hoopsters Kitsap County has to offer.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

By KITSAP NEWS GROUP

Sports editors

It was a transition year for girls basketball in central Kitsap County, with Olympic, Central Kitsap and Klahowya all trying to find new identities after graduations during the past two seasons that left both with new team cores.

The results were positive, with Olympic showing the most gains from their core of players like Nicole Buhl, Pepper Fanua and Shawntell Bradford. While those three had a hand in Oly’s success the year before, they were now front-and-center of the team, leading Oly within a game of state for the second-straight year.

For Central Kitsap, the Lady Cougars proved doubters wrong again, continuing their playoff streak despite lacking a standout individual. Instead, an all-around team effort from players like Katie Lintz, Nolan Winger and Lauren Forney helped the Lady Cougs make the postseason again, something they’ve done in every season since joining the Narrows League in 2001-02.

And while Klahowya couldn’t find a win on the court this season, the Lady Eagles, led by freshman Jordan Dixon, showed relief is on the way as the young team continued to build a foundation on which to grow.

The All-Kitsap County teams are compiled by the sports writers for the Bainbridge Island Review, the Bremerton Patriot, the Central Kitsap Reporter, the North Kitsap Herald and the Port Orchard Independent. Candidates for the team are nominated by the writers for their respective areas. The nominees are then voted on by the writers, with the top vote-getters making the teams. Two honorable mentions are selected from each school for each sport. The teams include the best players from area schools that not only performed well individually, but played a role in the success of their team as well.

2007-08 All-Kitsap County Girls Basketball Team

Starters

G — Emily Farrar, Bainbridge, junior — The 5-foot-5-inch Farrar absolutely hates to lose at anything, doing her best to make Bainbridge a contender in the always-tough Metro league. Farrar averaged 13.7 points and 1.7 steals a game and converted 73.7 percent of her free throws. Also a threat from behind the arc, Farrar hit 33.8 percent of her three-pointers. The three-sport threat will continue to compete for the cross-country and track teams at Washington State University next year.

G — Sophia Baetz, Kingston, freshman — As a freshman, this 5-foot-7-inch young lady demonstrated she’s got the goods to play with the best of the best. Baetz scored 12.7 points per game and averaged two steals and two rebounds per game in addition to shooting 80 percent from the free throw line. She led her team to a state berth, nailing 25 points, which was more than the rest of the team combined, to defeat Foster in a state qualifying loser-out game.

F — Brittany Gray, Bainbridge, junior — The 5-foot-11-inch Gray continued to amaze, as she averaged 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Spartans this season, shooting 55.6 percent from the field. She also averaged a block per game and converted 80.2 percent of her free throws. A future Division I player, she’ll be one of the top players in the state again next season.

F — Megan Spence, King’s West, senior — Spence dominated the SeaTac League all season, averaging 20.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 4.4 steals per game. She shot 54 percent from the field, including 37 percent from three-point range. She finishes her career having lost only one league home game in four years, having helped the Warriors finally claim a state trophy.

F — Nicole Buhl, Olympic, senior — Buhl was easily the most complete player not only for the Trojans, but in the Olympic League. She put up 11.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, but also averaged three steals and 2.6 assists for the Trojans in helping Olympic come within a game of the state tournament.

Bench

Kaileigh Westermann, South Kitsap, senior, G — Westermann returned from knee surgery in 2007 to become South’s top scorer at 4.9 points per game and also paced the Wolves with 6.1 rebounds per game during the regular season. A first-team Narrows League Bridge Division pick, she also averaged 1.2 steals per contest. Scored 13 points in the regular-season finale against Foss to secure second place in the Bridge Division.

Anna Wood, Bainbridge, junior, F — The 5-foot-9-inch Wood was big for the Spartans as she averaged 10.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, complementing Gray in the paint. She also shot 44 percent from the field and converted 67.7 of her free throws.

Megan Morris, King’s West, senior, G — Morris gave the Lady Warriors exactly what they needed to make a postseason run: consistency. She averaged 7.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, four assists and 2.9 steals per game. Morris often received the defensive assignment against opposing teams’ top scorers, shutting them down.

Katie Lintz, Central Kitsap, senior, F — Lintz left her mark on the Lady Cougars’ program, helping a team many thought would flounder to a .500 record while continuing CK’s streak of postseason berths. Lintz scored 12 points and hauled in nine rebounds in helping the Cougars to an 8-7 league record.

Pepper Fanua, Olympic, senior, G — Fanua was a spark plug for the Trojans, often providing the emotional lift Oly needed through her tough, scrappy play on the floor. Also the top goal keeper in the Oly League on the soccer pitch, Fanua was solid all around, scoring 6.5 points while grabbing 7.2 rebounds per contest. She also averaged 2.7 steals while dishing out five assists a game.

Naomi Abad, Bremerton, senior, G — Abad lit up the score sheet every night, averaging 10.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.4 steals per game. She bailed out the Lady Knights every time they needed a big play.

Riley Watts, Kingston, senior, F — A 6-foot-1-inch senior, Watts tallied 9.5 points and grappled for 5.1 rebounds per game. This senior star shot 67 percent from the free throw line. In a loser-out district tournament game, Watts contributed 12 points and eight rebounds to ensure her team advanced. A solid team player, Watts had an excellent year.

Coaches of the Year

Kevin Strozier, Kingston — Not only did Strozier help his team to a state berth in its first year of competition, his spark and coaching style earned him the respect of his athletes as well as the Kingston community. Just talk to his team or Kingston fans and they can’t praise him enough. He led his team to a 15-10 overall season record in his first year working with a brand new school and program. Strozier is a coach whose heart is for his athletes and the game of basketball.

Bryan Hanley, King’s West — King’s West has advanced to state in all but two years since 1996, compiling a 4-20 record during that span. Hanley finally helped the Warriors get over the hump this year however as the Warriors won the first trophy in school history: a fourth-place finish at the state 2B tournament. The Lady Warriors finished the season 21-6 overall, running the table in SeaTac League play (10-0), and won every league game by more than 23 points. Hanley’s led KW to four regular-season league titles and four league-tournament championships in five seasons as varsity head coach.

Honorable mentions

Kirsten Michael, Bainbridge, junior, G — Michael was a steady presence at the point for Bainbridge this season, averaging five points, four rebounds, 3.61 assists and 1.74 steals per game.

Arissan Ugles, Kingston, junior, G/F — Ugles is a player who easily could be an AKC Team starter. She played an instrumental role in the Buccaneers’ wildly successful first season. Ugles contributed eight points and averaged 6.7 boards per game.

Darcey Hughes, North Kitsap, junior, F — Hughes is a basketball star who’s got all the tools. She can shoot, pass, run, block and rebound. Her team depended on her a lot and Hughes’ numbers show why. She posted 15.4 points and averaged 9.8 boards, four blocks and 2.3 assists per game.

Nolan Winger, Central Kitsap, senior, F — Winger, a lanky 5-foot-11-inch post, grew as a hoops player in 2007-08, scoring eight points per game down low for CK while grabbing nine boards to help CK maintain its postseason streak.

Shawntell Bradford, Olympic, senior, F — A rebound magnet, Bradford was among Oly’s best down low, grabbing 6.3 rebounds to go with two steals per game defensively. Offensively, Bradford contributed 9.7 points per contest.

Jordan Dixon, Klahowya, freshman, G — Dixon showed Eagles’ fans that relief is on the way. The freshman firecracker led the young Klahowya girls team with 10 points and 3.2 steals per game in trying to help right the program.

Irene Moore, King’s West, junior, G — The 5-foot-1-inch “Flash” ran the point guard position, creating opportunities for an outstanding supporting cast in averaging 6.9 points, 4.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 4.1 steals per game.

Gina Ogazi, Bremerton, senior, F — Ogazi led the team in rebounds, averaging 9.9 per game. She chipped in six points a night, providing height and length down low for the Lady Knights.

Stephanie Osterdahl, South Kitsap, junior, F — Osterdahl averaged 4.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game during the regular season. SK coach Mike Allen called her the team’s most underrated player.

Jesse Vincent, Bainbridge, junior, F — The 6-foot-1-inch Vincent rounded out a stellar frontcourt for the Spartans this season, averaging 6.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

Lauren Forney, Central Kitsap, senior, F — Forney provided another big body down low for CK, snagging six boards a game while putting in six points as a consistent post presence.

Samantha Viray, Olympic, sophomore, G — Viray was a nice addition to Olympic’s hoops team this year as the speedy guard provided a scoring spark with 10.6 points per game. Her 51 steals (2.5 per game) were third on the team.

Carly McElwee, Klahowya, sophomore, G — McElwee is another piece of Klahowya’s youth movement, as the sophomore post averaged a team-best four rebounds per game.

Jacki Hill, Bremerton, senior, G/F — Hill scored a team-high 10.8 points per game, adding another dimension to the Bremerton offense. When Abad wasn’t on, Hill took the reigns and scored points for her team.

Brielle Foley, King’s West, junior, F — Foley provided a third option for the potent KW offense, stepping up when seniors Spence and Morris were ineffective. The 5-foot-8-inch Foley crashed the glass, ending as the team’s third-leading rebounder.

Tori Fairweather, South Kitsap, junior, G — Fairweather averaged 4.7 points per game during the regular season but was perhaps the Wolves’ top defensive player. She averaged a team-best 2.11 steals per game. She scored 14 points in a Narrows League Tournament loss against Bellarmine Prep.

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