Playoff-bound Cougars out-shoot North Kitsap

"POULSBO - The North Kitsap girls basketball team stopped one Cougar Tuesday night, but they couldn't stop them all.The Vikings went into the game hoping to contain the Cougars' 15-points-per-game scorer, Adria Layne. Coach Dan Weedin even started two of his taller players, Sheena Brundage and Shennell Harris, to try to neutralize the Cougars' tall front line, which includes the 5-foot-11 Layne. And while Harris and Brundage were successful, holding Layne to eight points, the Cougars struck instead from the outside, burying the Vikings beneath a barrage of jumpers and winning the game 56-49.In the first few minutes, it appeared as if the Cougars would run away with the game, as they streaked to a 10-0 lead.As the second half opened, though, it appeared that North had more than survived that early deficit. Brundage twice scored off offensive rebounds, and North jumped to a 39-31 lead.Later Weedin said, I thought we had gained momentum.But with North focusing on the Cougars' inside game, it gave their jump shooters a chance to shine, and shine they did, led by Nicole Zygmontowicz. Zygmontowicz, like Layne only a sophomore, hit a layup in the third quarter, was fouled and drained the free throw. She followed that with a jumper, then added a second jump shot to give the Cougars a 40-39 lead as the third quarter ended.While North briefly stole the lead back in the fourth quarter, the Central Kitsap man-to-man defense stifled the Vikings into scoring only eight points in the final frame.And Central continued to score, the backbreaker coming from a Sunshine Monastrial 3-pointer. Monastrial's shot gave CK a four-point lead with less than two minutes to go.Behind a tough second-half defense and 27 points from Zygmontowicz, the Cougars took the game.That was a tough game, said Cougar coach Denise Baxter. I thought we stole it at the end.Baxter said, The girls knew what was on the line. They know they've got to come out and play every night.While Cassie Llewellyn grabbed a big offensive rebound down the stretch and Monastrial's shot put the game away, Baxter saved the bulk of her praise for Zygmontowicz. On hearing that Zygmontowicz had 27 points, Baxter said, She can do it. She can drill it from anywhere.The win elevated the Cougars' record to 10-3 in league, 13-4 overall, and assured them of the Olympic League's No. 2 berth in the upcoming West Central District Class 4A playoffs.The Vikings dropped to 9-8.I was disappointed, Weedin said of the outcome, but not with the effort.The game, Weedin said, was the best the Vikings played in a month.Central Kitsap's a good team, he said. "

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