Sports

CK keeps edge against Olympic

By AARON MANAGHAN

Sports editor

For a while there, it looked like the streak was about to end.

While Central Kitsap and Olympic’s sports rivalries have gone both ways in recent years, the Cougars continued their domination on the girls basketball court with a 46-43 win against the Trojans on Wednesday in the season opener for both schools.

“First game, first tip-off,” CK coach Denise Baxter said. “We were still a little shaky.”

For the past nine seasons, the Trojans have been unable to answer CK. Oly’s last win in the series came when the Trojans beat CK 75-69 on Feb. 20, 1998.

But the Trojans certainly had their chances in this one.

Olympic actually opened the game on an 11-2 run, capped by a jumper from sophomore Sammy Viray. While CK picked it up at the end of the first quarter, Oly still led 13-8. That lead would be narrowed to 23-19 Oly at the half, as the Trojans appeared to be on their way to a win.

CK adjusted, however, tying the contest at 23-23. Oly jumped back in front before CK knotted things once more at 32-32. In fact, the Cougars didn’t take their first lead until just under 6 minutes left in the final quarter, as Amanda Evans hit a three-pointer to put CK up 35-34. The lead would change hands again twice before the teams knotted things back up at 39-39. CK pulled ahead on a jumper from Katie Lintz, one of several key shots for the senior, that gave CK a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

“It was a good opener for us,” Baxter said. “They have some good kids. And that first time out, sometimes you never know.”

Foul trouble hindered Olympic in the second half, as both Nicole Buhl, who co-led Oly with 12 points on the night, fouled out early. Several other Trojans were in foul trouble, as the two teams combined for 43 fouls (23 for Oly).

“I think it was the foul trouble we were in the whole game,” Oly coach Rick Peters said. “We played constantly with three or four players off the bench. We lost some key minutes from some key players. But we’re capable of doing that.”

Peters, in his first year at the helm for Olympic, is a former Olympic College coach as well. He said sometimes when his girls get going, they can be hard to settle, leading to some of the fouls.

“It’s hard to turn them down sometimes,” he said. “They have that aggressive mentality. They go after it.”

With his squad leading most the way, Peters said the loss left a sour taste in Oly’s mouths. He said CK simply adjusted to Oly at the half, helping the Cougars come back.

“They did a good job,” Peters said. “They adjusted at halftime. It feels like we won. The score doesn’t show it, but it feels like we won.”

But even with the loss, Peters said there was much to be pleased with in the loss.

“To lose by three in this environment, in our first real game of the season, I thought we played a great game,” he said. “Win or lose, we’ve grown as a team. We’re a better team coming out of it.”

Lintz led all scorers with 14 points in the game, followed closely by fellow senior Lauren Forney, who chipped in 13 to go with 11 rebounds. Sam Sudy had a nice game inside as well, scoring six points to go with 10 boards, also completing some great inside passes.

But it was Lintz’s clutch shots down the stretch that kept CK in the driver’s seat.

“She hit some big-time jumpers for us,” Baxter said. “I thought Lauren did a great job too. Lauren and Katie I thought were most consistent.”

Baxter was pleased with multiple aspects of CK’s game.

“I thought our transition game was pretty good at times,” she said. “Once they started getting in foul trouble, we just kept it close. And I think boxing out. (New assistant) coach (Adria) Lane has been hammering them on boxing out and I think they did that really, really well.”

Lane herself is a former Cougar, having graduated in 2003.

For the Trojans, Buhl added six boards and three steals before her early exit. Shawntell Bradford had six points and six boards as well.

But it was Viray’s play that most impressed Peters.

“Sammy has a lot of pressure on her,” he said. “She’s a sophomore point. It’s hard to stop her though really. That’s incredible for a 10th-grader.”

And while the loss was tough to swallow, Peters said his girls’ effort was not the problem.

“I’m very proud of our girls,” Peters said. “We’d have loved to come in and win, but there’s that mystique of CK always beating them.”

The Trojans took on Bainbridge in a non-league road game last night. CK also was on the road, taking on Kentlake. Results from both games were unavailable at press time.

The Trojans host Klahowya at 7 p.m. Tuesday while CK hosts Olympia at the same time Wednesday.

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