Tale of two halves

"For one half of Friday's Olympic League basketball game against Olympic, the Bremerton High School girls team foundered.In the second half, the Knights found themselves.It wasn't enough for Bremerton to erase a 26-point deficit. But the Knights' second-half revival certainly was enough to wake up the lulled-into-complacency crowd in Olympic's gym, and throw a king-sized scare into Trojans coach Jerry Hurd.In the second half we were like a freight train going downhill, full-speed, with gravity pulling on us, said Hurd. But we hung on.The Trojans went scoreless over the final 6 minutes, 30 seconds of the third quarter, allowing Bremerton to get as close as seven points. Just in time, though, they found the brake, stopped the free-fall and regrouped for a 63-52 Olympic League victory.They found their energy there in the second half, and it was kind of zapping our energy, Hurd said of the Knights' rebirth. It was like the less energy we had, the more they got.That energy had to come from some deep, dark place. After all, Bremerton had fallen behind 45-19 after a burst of six straight Oly points to start the second half. It looked more like time for the Knights to make their exit, not their move.But Bremerton, playing its second game with Daniel McInnis in the head coach's seat - following the school's banishment of Jim Portune to administrative leave for the remainder of the season - made a game out of what should've been a giggler for Oly.We were a little flat. It took us a while to find our niche, said McInnis, who started the season as an assistant to Portune. But once they found out what I wanted them to do, they did it very well. We had a lot more movement, a lot better defense.It started with eight unanswered points by Deadra Smith, which still left the Knights down 45-27 - and the murmuring galleries unimpressed. But Marcia Abrams tossed in a 3-pointer, Smith got a rebound bucket and free throw, then fed Kalleigh Pheasant for a baseline jumper that narrowed the gap to 45-35.At the other end, the flustered Trojans committed turnover after turnover as their southbound train picked up speed. When Shari Lewis grabbed another offensive rebound and scored, Bremerton trailed just 46-39. The two teams traded free throws before Oly's Morgan Willis finally broke the fall with a 3-pointer from the left wing - Troy's first field goal in 8 1/2 minutes.We called a couple time outs just trying to calm our kids down, Hurd said of the near-collapse. I give us a lot of credit for being able to get it back.Things might've been more dire for the Trojans had Bremerton been able to hit its free throws. The Knights got to the line repeatedly against Oly's flat-footed defenders, but could coax only nine of their 26 second-half chances through for points.That would've been the difference, lamented McInnis.For Hurd, the frightening second half came after a heartening first two quarters when his team improved on its penchant for slow starts.We've been struggling with our intensity early, but it was good in the first half tonight, Hurd said. I told the girls at halftime that things could turn. We got our 10th team foul early, and they got two free throws every time - I didn't want to let them back into the game that way.Janel Gillies, who hit a 3-pointer to quell Bremerton's final comeback attempt with 2:30 left, led Olympic with 16 points. Shar Agee contributed 13 and Willis 12."

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