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Roughriders show Cougars how to get it done
Central Kitsap coach Al Gleich has been saying it all year long.
These guys just dont know how to win.
The exasperated veteran coach repeated those words one more time following the Cougars 55-44 loss to Port Angeles on Wednesday, Jan. 23.
Central, as it has all season, showed flashes of what it can do when its concentration level matches its energy level.
The Cougars were the aggressors in the first half, matching PAs defensive intensity as they built a 23-17 halftime lead.
When Brad Maders left-handed jump hook found the net, Central found itself up 27-20 halfway through the third quarter. And PA was in foul trouble. Two starters had three fouls and another, Matt Johnson, had four after picking up a technical for disputing a call.
The Roughriders overcame the adversity, putting together a 17-2 run to knock out the Cougars faster than a phantom punch from Mike Tyson.
I wasnt worried we couldnt do it, PA coach Lee Sinnes said. I was worried we wouldnt have enough players to do it.
If Sinnes knows one thing, its that his team is going to go all-out, from start to finish. Thats the primary reason the Roughriders were on top of the Narrows League Bridge Division going into its showdown with co-leading South Kitsap on Friday, Jan. 25. PAs not loaded with superior athletic ability.
You cant have letdowns, Sinnes said. This isnt like the old Olympic League. Theres no Chimacum, no Port Townsend, no Klahowya.
The kind of mental toughness Port Angeles displayed is exactly what Gleich has been looking for.
We play so hard at times and so well together, and then theyll just go brain dead, Gleich said.
Senior guard Mike Malala agreed.
We play a quarter here, a quarter there, he said. It would be nice to see what would happen if we played a full game.
Gleich shook his head, knowing that time is running out. Counting Fridays home game against Gig Harbor, the Cougars had just four games left, including a showdown with rival Olympic at home on Wednesday, Jan. 30.
Olympics going to be hungrier than heck. And it doesnt get easier with South Kitsap and Bremerton. Until these kids understand they have to play 32 minutes of basketball, theyre not going to get it done, Gleich said. You cant play 18 or 20, its 32 minutes of basketball and its every night.
Sinnes, whose son Matt led the Roughriders with 18 points, said Centrals lack of a true point guard is critical.
Ive had Jordan Rhoads now for three years, Sinnes said. He doesnt care if he scores. He averages about two points a game but he gets us into the offense. I dont know what Im going to do when he leaves. Maybe Ill retire.
Marcus McKay was CKs high scorer with nine points. The Cougars got up just 37 shots (13-for-28 from two-point range and 1-for-9 from 3-point range). PA hit 7 of 16 three-pointers. CK outrebounded PA, 31-23, with Lukas Henne and Malala grabbing seven each.
Central had 12 of its 16 turnovers in the second half.
They got the lead and passed it and passed it and passed it and got an easy shot, Gleich said. Were just too anxious to score. We just cant stay patient for four quarters.