Sports

Cougar girls press the starch out of Troy

"It was, as Denise Baxter characterized it through a thin smile, One of those games.The Central Kitsap High School girls basketball coach could smile, even though. Her team had just beaten Olympic 63-42 and maintained its position in third place in the Olympic Division standings - second among the league's quintet of Class 4A teams.But it was a qualified smile. It had been a win, and a fairly easy one at that. But it could've been easier.It seemed like every time we'd start to make a run, we'd turn it over, she said. And we never got in any kind of flow. It was not a game where you could get in a flow.Thanks to a constant soundtrack of referees' whistles, there was less rhythm in the game than at the annual meeting of the High Fivin' White Guys. The two teams combined to go to the free throw line 61 times - enough to bog down a basketball game as efficiently as blizzard bogs down Snoqualmie Pass.We fouled a tremendous amount tonight, Baxter said of her team, which was whistled 22 times.Ah, but the Trojans went the Cougs one better, drawing 23 whistles. CK ended up with a 19-13 advantage in points from the line, canning 19 of their 32 free shots (59 percent) while Oly was 13 for 29, a chilly 45 percent.Even so, coach Jerry Hurd said his team might've stayed more in contention if it had done a better job handling the Cougars' fullcourt pressure and getting the ball into the attacking end for 6-foot-1 post Tiffany Jess.We had a tough time with the press, said Hurd. We tried to reverse the ball against it, but they did a good job denying that.The worst thing for the Trojans about losing the ball to CK's press - especially in the early going - was that they then would commit a foul. Central Kitsap shot 10 free throws in the first quarter, and were into the bonus with 27 seconds still remaining when Chantal Ricard committed her third infraction.CK led 20-10 at quarter's end and maintained that 10-point advantage into halftime, although both teams had the same number of field goals.The Cougars got things more or less buttoned up with a run of eight straight points to start the third quarter. Nicole Zygmontowicz, who finished with a game-high 20 points, canned a 3-pointer, and both she and Adria Layne both scored on offensive rebounds during that stretch.Down 19, the Trojans needed to surge. But the fourth wasn't going to be a quarter for surging, thanks to CK's press and the parade to the free throw lines - Oly went 7 for 13 in the period, while the Cougs were 4 for 8.Both Baxter and Hurd expressed concern over the inconsistency of the officiating, which led directly to the number of whistle-stops.We like to get out and run, get into a rhythm and get points in transition, Baxter said. I thought our press caused them problems and let us do that some. When we do that, we look pretty good. "

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