Trojan girls keep Bremerton at bay

"Talk about a time out that backfired.Jim Portune was thinking that if he had to do it over again, he would’ve stayed in his seat with 56 seconds left in Tuesday’s basketball game between his Bremerton girls and Olympic.Janel Gillies had just hit the first of two free throws to put the Trojans into a 58-57 lead, and Portune called time to set the Knights’ plan of attack. Instead of taking the lead after the pause, though, Bremerton gave up the ball and three quick free throws by Oly, which held on for a 63-57 victory at Bremerton.“If I could take something back from that game, it’d be that time out,” said Portune, whose team had been locked in a 57-57 tie with 88 seconds left to play after Gillies and the Knights’ Marcia Abrams traded clutch 3-point baskets. “Things just went wrong after that.”What happened was that Deadra Smith, who had poured in 28 points up to that point for the Knights, was whistled for her fourth foul battling Oly’s Elizabeth Revis for a loose ball. For disputing the call, Smith was nailed with a technical foul, which also represented her fifth and disqualifying personal.Revis made both ends of her 1-and-1, Sarah White converted one of the two technical freebies, and the Trojans were possessed of a four-point lead and the ball with 48 seconds left.After fighting back from deficits as large as 12 points to make a dogfight of the entire second half, that late turn of events was more than the Knights could overcome.Up until that point, though, the game had been theirs for the taking.“It got intense,” grinned Olympic coach Jerry Hurd, whose team improved to 2-3 in league play (2-7 overall) with the victory. “Whenever you get Bremerton and Oly, there’s some serious pride on the line.”Both teams needed to win to maintain shouting distance behind the teams vying for the second of the league’s two district playoff spots. Hurd, whose team hosted Class 2A Port Townsend last night, said he didn’t think the No. 2 playoff berth was out of reach.“If we were to go into the weekend 3-3, we could make the second half interesting,” said Hurd, whose Trojans are back in action Tuesday, Jan. 18 against one of the teams between them and the playoffs, Central Kitsap.Olympic broke out of a serious offensive funk against Bremerton. After averaging only about 40 points in its first eight games, Troy piled up 26 in the first quarter alone Tuesday.That fact wasn’t lost on either coach.“We did a better job, particularly down the stretch, of holding onto the ball on offense and making sure we got something,” said Hurd, who raised his eyebrows and added, “We had more scoring at the half (tonight) than we had against Sequim in the whole game (a 32-30 Trojan loss).“We tend to get into too much of a hurry on offense, and get out of sync.”A surge of 10 straight points pushed Oly into a 28-16 lead as the second quarter began. But Bremerton, with Smith striking from inside and out (she had two of the Knights’ three treys), fought its way back. Dominique Watson had three baskets in an eight-point run that pushed the Knights ahead 37-36 at the start of the third quarter. Oly’s biggest lead from that point until the closing seconds was five.“If we played the whole game the way we played the third and fourth quarters,” Portune said, “We would’ve walked away with the game.”Bremerton won the rebounding battle 49-32, according to Portune — a factor Hurd said nearly cost Olympic the game.“They did a nice job on the boards,” Hurd said. “They kept giving themselves two or three cracks at the basket every time. That’s been our one huge Achilles’ heel.”Smith had 11 rebounds and Watson nine to go with her nine points before leaving with a rolled ankle in the final minute of the third quarter."

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