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Down 18-4? No problem
Mike Simpkins got a great 18th birthday present Wednesday night.
Simpkins, a senior on the Central Kitsap boys hoops team, celebrated his birthday by putting up nine points, six in the fourth quarter, to help CK come back from a 14-point deficit to beat the Kentridge Chargers, 52-44, at home.
The birthday boy gave us a present, CK coach Tim Fryer joked after the game.
I wanted to win this game so bad, Simpkins said. We were down by six (at the half). Someones gotta step up. I just did what I could do and we did it.
After falling behind early in the first quarter, (the Chargers got out to an 18-4 lead to start), CK climbed back with the three-pointer.
Jordan Deck, usually a post for CK, hit a three in the first quarter to close the frame out down 18-7. Deck nailed another out of the gates in teh second quarter. Less than 30 seconds later, Deck launched and hit another trey. That was followed by a JD Rastovski three ball. Four three-pointers, 2:20 off the clock, 18-16 Kentridge lead.
The quick burst gave CK a wave of momentum it would never quite come off of, even through a Kentridge stall that killed the first halfs final minute-and-a-half. At the half, the Chargers clung to a 26-20 lead.
The Cougars took over in the second half, riding momentum to a 32-18 second-half run.
They decided they werent going to let those guys (keep scoring), Fryer said. The boys thought they got manhandled a little bit. (The comeback)s got to make them feel good.
Overall, CK got a balanced offensive effort, led by Gordons 15. Deck put up 13 for the game.
Renado Parker, a Kentridge sophomore, had 22 points to lead the game, two of which came on a vivacious one-handed slam during the Chargers 18-4 opening run.
Simpkins late burst combined with JR Gordon scoring the Cougs final six points, iced a comeback win that should give CK some momentum heading into a tough second-round battle with Curtis, the No. 1-ranked 4A team in the state.
That is a huge game, especially when youre the higher seed, Fryer said. You get into that loser bracket right away and youre in for a long haul.
Curtis led by guard Isaiah Thomas, a junior who has averaged 26.2 points per game this season, including a 52-point effort over Puyallup in December.