Sports

Coug defense doesn't stop PA

"Unable to run its own offense, the Central Kitsap High School boys basketball team was nearly successful in using its defense to turn Port Angeles' annual visit into an exercise in futility.But the Roughriders' Colin Anderson had other ideas.Anderson's outside shooting supplied the missiles PA used to shoot down the Cougars 54-43 Friday, Dec. 8, CK's second Olympic League loss in a row to a team from a Port (the Cougs lost to the Townsends 61-46 Dec. 5 and are 1-2 going into tonight's home contest against North Kitsap).PA was able to win without its best offensive player, guard Jacoby Pender, who was sidelined by an ankle sprain suffered during the 'Riders' 61-54 loss at Olympic Dec. 5.After the Roughriders hammered away, without much success, against the Cougar defense, Anderson broke things open with 11 points in the third quarter - two 3-point buckets, another long jumper and a trio of free throws he made after being fouled while putting up another trey attempt.A couple of times, we just got a little lazy on the defensive end, and (Anderson) made us pay, said CK coach Tim Dower, whose team was outscored 17-8 in the third period and 36-21 in the second half. I thought our defense in the first half was exceptional.The problem was, we didn't score much more than they did.The Cougs' defense did indeed give them a slight edge in the first half, allowing a not exactly opulent 22 points to stake them to a four-point advantage.In fact, they led 26-18 shortly after the intermission before Anderson led a 17-4 barrage. Matt Sinnes' 3-bomb tied the score for the last time at 28-all with 3 minutes, 5 seconds to go in the quarter, and Anderson followed with another.Casey Sullivan, who led the Cougs with 15 points, pulled CK back within one, but Anderson was perfect with his three free throws and Tyler Thomas added another freebie for a 35-30 PA lead. Sinnes and Anderson scored three apiece to start the fourth quarter, and suddenly the Cougs had fallen into a deep, dark hole. Their offense couldn't generate enough light to show them the way out.We really lack knowledge of the offensive game right now, said Dower. I guess we'll have to start focusing more inside; go back to the simple, old-school inside-out style of basketball. Maybe that'll work better for us.The Cougs did get a nice game out of the 6-foot-3 Sullivan, who combined with reserve Ian Stenerson to give CK some defensive toughness inside.Dower's club is set up to be more free-wheeling, fastbreaking club offensively, but the wheels weren't turning and the breaks weren't breaking the right way for the Cougs in the second half. When they did get a breakaway, they'd miss the layup. When the got open perimeter jumpers from their half-court set, they couldn't find a hot hand.We haven't gotten that offensive spurt yet, the one we need to get us over the top in games like this, Dower said. We can't just rely on our defense.The Cougs fell behind by as much as 14 points down the stretch before a too-little, too-late burst - back-to-back 3-pointers from Aaron Brien and Stenerson - briefly got them back within single-digit range.I'm really frustrated right now, said Dower. We're better than the way we're playing.Or at least they will be, once the offense catches up to the defense. "

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