Sports

CK faces long ride, tough foe

LACEY — Even without Nicole Zygmontowicz, Central Kitsap felt it should have been able to win its Narrows League seeding game on Friday, Feb. 15 at St. Martin’s College.

But the Cougars couldn’t overcome a season-high 35 turnovers while losing 50-37 against Capital.

The Cougars (14-7) enter the West Central/Southwest District 4A Tournament as the Narrows’ No. 4 seed. Their reward? A trip to Vancouver-area suburb Brush Prairie today, Feb. 20 to face No. 2-ranked Prairie (19-2) in a 7:30 p.m. game.

Central coach Denise Baxter vented about the long trip.

“I have ranted and raved myself about the ungodly draw,” Baxter said. “It’s not right. The WIAA is going to allow on a school night three hours to play a game and three hours back? Someone is nuts. We just have to do what we have to do and go on. Now we have to go the hard way and we can’t complain about it because this was a winnable game (against Capital).”

Central, after turning the ball over on nine straight possessions in the first quarter, trailed 13-1 before putting together a 22-4 run to surge ahead 23-17.

With starting guard and leading scorer Zygmontowicz sidelined with a knee injury, the backcourt tandem of Sheena Stangler and Noel Gregory were left to deal with Capital’s halfcourt trap.

“We beat ourselves tonight,” Baxter said. “At this point of the season that’s the hardest thing to take. We were very tentative and the pressure wasn’t anything spectacular.”

Baxter said it took her guards a while to figure things out, especially in the first half. “They’re young kids and aren’t where they need to be right now,” Baxter said.

Stangler led Central with 13 points. Adria Layne added nine for Central, which got off just 30 field-goal attempts, making 12. CK made 13 of 23 free throws. Capital, led by Becky Ezechukwu’s 23 points, made 20 of 26 free throws.

Win or lose against powerful Prairie, Central will play again on Friday, Feb. 22 on 6 p.m. at either Olympia or Auburn. The opponent will be Gig Harbor or Rogers of Puyallup.

Narrows Bridge Division champion Port Angeles knocked off previously undefeated Olympia of the Bay Division, 57-42, to earn a No. 1 seed into the district tournament.

Warriors still alive in drive for five

King’s West has reached the state B girls’ basketball tournament the last four years and they’re still alive in their quest to make a fifth straight trip to Spokane.

The Warriors won a loser-out Tri-District game, 53-44, over Clallam Bay on Saturday, Feb. 16 at King’s High School in north Seattle.

King’s West returns to King’s on Friday, Feb. 22 to face the winner of Tuesday’s Cedar Park-Darrington contest. If KW wins on Friday, it will play for the district’s third and final state berth on Saturday, Feb. 23.

The young Warriors were bounced into the loser’s bracket by tournament favorite Mount Vernon Christian, 61-43, on Friday, Feb. 15 at Snohomish County Christian.

KW (18-6) rebounded with an outstanding defensive effort, forcing 27 turnovers against Clallam Bay while racing to an 18-0 lead.

Guards Natalie Mansfield, Gitta Rauen and Taryn Hanley provided most of the defensive pressure. Kallyn Hanley was also a defensive factor as she slowed down Clallam Bay’s Tanya Hull, who finished with a game-high 25 points.

Lindsey Redfern led KW with 18 points.

In the loss against Mount Vernon Christian, the Warriors (18-6) trailed 36-15 at the half, but played the Northwest League power even in the second half. Redfern’s 12 points led the Warriors.

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