CK girls throw a scare into Roughriders

"The Central Kitsap High School girls basketball team has learned a thing or three since the first time it played against Port Angeles this season.Almost enough to beat the Roughriders.The Cougars, who were on the receiving end of a 79-39 defeat when the two teams first played back on December 8, made things a little closer in the rematch last Friday night at CK.Closer, as in overtime.But the Roughriders, using a barrage of 3-point baskets to offset the Cougs' superior halfcourt game, escaped with a 58-55 victory, solidifying themselves as the No. 1 Class 4A team headed into next month's West Central District tournament.But for the Cougars, who have been the Olympic League's No. 2 4A district delegate behind Port Angeles the last three years, the game was a milestone of sorts.That's the closest we've come to them in a long time, CK coach Denise Baxter said after watching sophomore Adria Layne force the extra session with a layup after Nicole Zygmontowicz' fullcourt pass with 4.8 seconds left to play. It just shows how far this team has come.The Cougs might've been satisfied that they were significantly closer to PA this time out. Instead, they came back from a 47-36 fourth-quarter deficit - holding the 'Riders scoreless over the final 5 minutes, 4 seconds - to take it into overtime.PA's Lindsay Sather left the door open, missing the front ends of two 1-and-1 free throw opportunities, the last with 7.1 seconds remaining. After a time out, the Cougs got the ball in to Zygmontowicz, who rifled it on to Layne at about the free throw line. She turned and drove the lane for the tying layup.Adria's unbelievable, Baxter said of the 5-foot-10 soph, who led both teams with 23 points. Nikki has a great arm; I don't know of anybody else who could've made that pass, and I don't know if anybody other than Adria could've gone up and gotten it.Baxter called the clutch play awesome. It was just great execution.The Cougars stayed right in PA's hip pocket until Mandy Wood hit her fourth trey of the game with 1:16 left in the overtime, giving the Roughriders the lead for good at 54-51. Layne countered with the game's last field goal at 0:47, and the 'Riders outscored CK 4-2 from the line the rest of the way.The Cougars had one last chance to tie, as Zygmontowicz dribbled towards the top of the lane. Instead of tossing up a desperation 3-pointer, though, she tried to pass to Amber McKinnis on the right wing and PA's Alison Crumb intercepted as time ran out.While the Roughriders leaned on their outside shooting and transition game, the Cougars took the ball inside with great success. Layne and Cassie Llewellyn (19 points) repeatedly got themselves into good position down low, and their teammates kept the entry passes coming.With PA struggling to stop Layne and Llewellyn, the floor opened up for the rest of the Cougars. A 12-4 spurt at the end of the second quarter staked them to a 26-23 halftime lead.That edge swelled to five points before Wood erupted for eight straight points - including a pair of threebies - and the 'Riders appeared to be on their way. Until, that is, CK clamped down on defense, knocking a more veteran Port Angeles team back on its heels, and embarking on its 11-point surge.They went to a trapping zone in the second half, and that really hurt is, Baxter said of her team, which committed several turnovers in the second half trying to continue to force the ball inside. We can handle their man-to-man, which we couldn't the last time we played, but that zone made our post entries a lot tougher. "

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