PA roughs up Cougars

Central Kitsap’s Adria Layne avoids the tight defense of Port Angeles’ Trisha Buckingham to pass the ball to a teammate. The Roughriders harassed the Cougars into 38 turnovers during Central’s 72-47 loss on Friday, Dec. 15 in Silverdale. Layne scored a game-high 19 points. - Rogerick Anas
Central Kitsap’s Adria Layne avoids the tight defense of Port Angeles’ Trisha Buckingham to pass the ball to a teammate. The Roughriders harassed the Cougars into 38 turnovers during Central’s 72-47 loss on Friday, Dec. 15 in Silverdale. Layne scored a game-high 19 points.
— image credit: Rogerick Anas

It’s a measuring-stick game.

It always is when Central Kitsap, or any other West Sound girls’ basketball team for that matter, takes on those confident invaders from the other side of the Hood Canal Bridge — the Port Angeles Roughriders.

“It’s always a good indicator because you know where you stand,” said Central Kitsap coach Denise Baxter following the Cougars’ 72-47 homecourt loss to Port Angeles on Friday, Dec. 15.

Baxter thinks her Cougars (3-3 overall, 1-1 Narrows League Bridge Division) are just about where she thought they’d be.

“You never feel good after losing by that margin,” Baxter said. “Did we play well? No. Can we play better? Yes. The positive was they didn’t check out. I’m sure they wanted to, but they stayed in it and played to the end. If you have that going for your team, the other things you can correct if you keep working hard.”

The Cougars actually hung with the Roughriders for a quarter and a half. It was 24-20 with 3:47 left in the half after CK’s Nicole Zygmontowicz buried a jumper.

PA, however, started cranking up its defense as it scored the final eight points of the half. They also started sticking their outside shots. Ashley Payne buried consecutive 3-pointers to open the second half and suddenly, the Cougars were down 36-20.

Like a shark that smells blood, the Roughriders continued to attack, never letting up.

“They challenge you,” Baxter said. “If you sag back just for one second, and they’re open, they’ll take it and hit it. You’ve got to be right on them. If you’re not, it’s going to be a long night.”

Port Angeles harassed the Cougars, who lack a true point-guard, into 38 turnovers.

“That’s the most pressure we’ve seen,” Central junior Nicole Zygmontowicz said. “That’s the best defense we’re going to face this year. It was hard just to get open.”

It was hard to do just about anything once the Roughriders got it rolling.

“As they stepped it up on defense, you could see their confidence,” Baxter said. “Once they got that five, six, seven, eight-point lead, you could see more and more pressure.

“You could really see our ball-handling ability is challenged when they get up and play pressure,” she said. “We know that and that’s one of the things we’re working on, and we’ll continue to work on that.”

Give Central one of PA’s three veteran guards — Lindsay Sather, Mandy Wood or Payne — and it likely would have been a different story.

“Yeah,” PA coach Mike Knowles said. “I feel sorry for Nicole (Zygmontowicz). If CK had one of our guards to go with what they’ve got, they’d really be dangerous. They’re already a tough team. I was nervous coming into this game.“That first quarter was back and forth. We finally hit some key shots and got it going. CK’s got some good young players, and as they mature, they’re going to get better and better.”

Payne, a junior, hit three 3-pointers and finished with 17 points. Wood added 14 and the cat-quick Sather 11. That threesome helped the Roughriders to a fifth-place finish at the state 4A tournament a year ago. The trio also set up 5-10 sophomore center Trisha Buckingham for 14 points.

“They’re better this year,” Baxter said. “They just have so much experience. Those girls have been playing since they were freshman.”

CK’s Adria Layne was effective inside when she touched it, scoring 19 points, but the Cougars couldn’t solve PA’s defense. Zygmontowicz added 12.

Zygmontowicz wasn’t discouraged.

“They killed us the first time last year, too. We lost the second time to them in overtime,” she said. “We knew we had to come with our ‘A’ game. We didn’t come with it.”


Saturday, Dec. 15

At Cascade Christian 72, King’s West 63 — The Warriors, without guard Brandin Jones (ankle) for the second straight game, ran into an experienced Cascade Christian squad that shot the ball well (20 of 39, including 5-of-11 from 3-point range). Blake Anderson had 24 points and 12 rebounds for KW (2-3), which played at Bremerton on Monday, Dec. 18.

At Olympic 65, Port Townsend 57 — Geoff Kelstrup scored 28 points as the Trojans (2-5) rebounded from a lopsided league loss on Friday to Gig Harbor.

Friday, Dec. 14

Central Kitsap 47, at Port Angeles 46 — The Cougars pulled out a rare road victory at Port Angeles, edging the Roughriders in a Narrows League Bridge Division game that went down to the buzzer. Lukas Henne scored 16 points for CK, which visits Gig Harbor today, Dec. 19.

At Gig Harbor 84, Olympic 43 — “We didn’t handle them very well in the first quarter and the damage was done,” Olympic coach Robert Polk said. “We got in a hurry and panicked.” Gig Harbor led 26-2 after one quarter as Olympic dropped to 0-2 in Narrows League Bridge Division play.

At Klahowya 69, King’s West 49 — Charlie Merry had 20 points and six assists, Andrew Matty had 15 points and six rebounds and Jordan Coursey contributed 12 points and nine rebounds for the balanced Eagles. Klahowya (3-1), which opened Nisqually League play at Vashon on Tuesday, Dec. 18, led King’s West from start to finish.


Saturday, Dec. 15

At Olympic 50, Port Townsend 37 — Kim Fairbanks had 18 points and 11 rebounds as the Trojans (4-3 overall, 0-2 Narrows) ended a three-game losing streak.

Friday, Dec. 14

Gig Harbor 65, at Olympic 47 — Olympic’s Tiffany Jess scored 25 points and the Trojans led 27-24 at halftime, but the Tides rolled in the second half.

At King’s West 48, Orting 37 — KW (3-1) won its third straight since losing its season opener in overtime against Olympic. Sophomore Geta Rauen scored 12 points and Lindsey Redfern added 11. Guards Rauen and Taryn Hanley, another sophomore, are averaging doubles figures for the Warriors.

King’s West hosted Cresent Tuesday, Dec. 18 and travels to Orting (Friday, Dec. 21) and Mount Vernon Christian (Saturday, Dec. 22).

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