Warriors just miss upsetting 4A Vikings

"CHICO - With the North Kitsap High School girls basketball team playing its fourth game in five days, no one could blame coach Dan Weedin if he hoped for an easy game against King's West Saturday afternoon. But as he lifted his eyes towards the league championship banners than hang on the walls at Gundy Hall, Weedin knew that wouldn't be the case. Those are there for a reason, Weedin said. And it's not because they're a small school, or that they're a big school playing in a small league. They have a good coach and they have talented players. Weedin was right. The Warriors mounted a late charge and nearly forced an overtime before North escaped with a 52-50 decision.After leading by five at halftime, North seemed ready to pull away in the second half, with guard Mari McKinstry - who played her freshman year with King's West before transferring to North - popping two 3-pointers in the span of a minute. But Bekah Walker hit her own shot from beyond the stripe, and again King's West shot their way back into the game, with the two teams trading baskets well into the fourth quarter.Beth Grams, a 6-foot-1 senior, was a force for the Warriors in the fourth. She hit two free throws, then buried a jumper that tied the game at 50.Megan Curfman, hit the game-winner inside the last minute for North, and the Warriors missed three opportunities to send it into overtime before the final buzzer.We decided to go for the win at home, and not the tie, said King's West coach Tom Oliver. It was a nonleague game and we decided to go for it. We just ended up on the short end of the stick.While Oliver was proud of the job Natasha Beals did guarding McKinstry (who was held to 11 points), he said he thought King's West could have won the game had they done a better job inside against sophomore Sheena Brundage, who scored 20 to lead the Vikings. "

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