Defense ignites Cougars in romp over North

POULSBO — After the North Kitsap girls basketball team lost 65-29 to the Central Kitsap Cougars on Wednesday, Dec. 12, Vikings coach Dan Weedin suggested — half jokingly, half not — that a switch had been made.

“That wasn’t the team in white that we rolled out last week,” Weedin said.

While the players were the same, Weedin suggested, the play was not. The Vikings lost to Olympia last week, but had run a patient offense, played tough defense and protected the ball.

But against Central, North took a large step backwards in the Narrows League Bridge Division opener for both teams.

North was outscored by the Cougars 18-5 in the first quarter and 22-6 in the third. An avalanche of NK turnovers led to several easy baskets for Central.

“Everyone has a bad game every once in a while,” said Weedin. “But this was a bad night to have a bad game.”

While the Vikings (0-3) had a bad game, the running and gunning Cougars (3-2) did not. Junior forward Adria Layne scored eight of her game-high 21 points in the first quarter.

Central coach Denise Baxter said her team’s defense was the secret to its early success.

“We got some steals out of the zone early and converted on those,” said Baxter. “We get in the passing lanes, we try to read well.”

Nicole Zygmontowicz added 15 points for the Cougars, who carried a three-game winning streak into a home game with league favorite Port Angeles on Friday, Dec. 14.

Central led North 25-12 at halftime, and the Cougars scored 22 points in the third quarter, at one point reeling off eight unanswered points, six by the speedy Zygmontowicz, who buried a long jumper, banked a layup off a steal, then converted a pair of free throws after being fouled on yet another steal.

At Port Angeles 88, Olympic 36 — The Trojans (0-1 Narrows, 3-2 overall) were hounded into 14 first-quarter turnovers by Port Angeles (1-0, 3-1) and trailed 31-5 after the first quarter onWednesday, Dec.12.

Lindsay Sather’s 19 points led the Roughriders. Tiffany Jess and Lauren Haas scored 11 each for Olympic.

At South Kitsap 72, Bremerton 42 — The Knights (0-1, 0-4) hung close with South Kitsap (1-0, 2-3) early, but they had a tough time stopping the Wolves, who buried Bremerton with a 19-5 advantage in the final quarter on Wednesday, Dec. 12.

MarCia Abrams led the Knights with 13 points. Jamae Feddock had 12 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks for South.

At Foster 67, Klahowya 51 — For the second straight game, Klahowya (0-4) wore down in the second half. The Eagles played even with Foster in the first half, but were outscored 16-5 in the third quarter of the non-league game on Tuesday, Dec. 11. Emily Jolley scored 21 points and had five steals for the Eagles. Jessica Hicks scored 13 points and Nikki Swanson grabbed 11 rebounds.

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