Marvin shows Chico he’s the man to beat

Bremerton junior Marvin Williams had his best game of the season so far Monday with a 29-point performance against King’s West. - Photo by Rogerick Anas
Bremerton junior Marvin Williams had his best game of the season so far Monday with a 29-point performance against King’s West.
— image credit: Photo by Rogerick Anas

Judging by the crowd that packed the bandbox known as Gundy Hall, it was hard to tell the home team fans from the visitors as King’s West packed ’em in Monday night to see a 86-63 non-league loss to Bremerton.

The loudest ovation in the pre-game introductions was for Bremerton phenom Marvin Williams, whom it seemed everybody — including University of North Carolina mens basketball coach Matt Doherty — came to see.

Williams, a 6-foot-8 junior who has indicated that the Tarheels are still among his preferred teams on a very short list, didn’t disappoint.

He scored 29 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, made several blocked shots and even stole the ball away a couple of times despite being double-covered all night long.

“They played good defense,” Williams said. “I expect to be double-teamed every night and their coach had them ready.”

In the Knights’ first two games, Williams has averaged 26 points.

With a grueling week ahead where they play at No. 2-ranked Mt. Tahoma tonight and host Bay Division standout Lincoln Friday and Bridge Division favorites South Kitsap next Wednesday, the Bremerton boys could have easily overlooked Class B King’s West.

“You still have to get up for these kinds of games,” Bremerton forward Noah Garguile said. “Like coach (Casey Lindberg) said, ‘you’ve got to have intensity because any night a team can come out.’

“We have to get up for Mt. Tahoma and we have to be ready.”

With Williams taking much of the pressure, Garguile has not-so quietly averaged double figures in points and rebounds. On Monday he hit a double-double again with 17 points and 12 rebounds to go with his 12 point, 12 rebound performance Friday, Dec. 6, at North Mason.

The only other Knight to reach double-figures in scoring Monday was Anthony Ragsdale coming off the bench with 10.

Lindberg went deep into his bench to make sure everybody got some playing time.

“I played everybody that first half,” Lindberg said. “I was subbing in and out quite a bit and everybody got playing time and that’s the goal. As a coach, you want to know who can do what for you and who can’t as early as you can.

“Everyone we put in played hard and that’s what we gauge. You miss shots, you make shots, but as long as the kids are playing hard that’s what you have to be satisfied with. We use it as a learning tool.”

King’s West coach Rick Walker, a Bremerton basketball legend in his own right, said that’s the kind of game he expected from the Knights who dominated his team when they met Nov. 30 at the King’s West Jamboree.

The Warriors kept their plan simple and it worked in the first and fourth quarters when the Chico school outscored their neighbors to the south.

“We wanted to use the clock as much as we could, spread their defense and look to penetrate,” Walker said. “And we did that for most of the first half.

“The guys played hard, didn’t give up and we worked on the things we wanted to.”

The Warriors’ heart came alive in the second half as 6-foot-0 senior guard Brandin Jones took over on offense. Jones scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half, including three big three-point shots.

“I was just feeling it in the fourth quarter,” said the corn-rowed Jones. “It gets slow after awhile. Marvin was getting his points, but as a team we played as hard as we could.”

Jones said it was tough to adjust in the first half to the Knights’ pressure defense.

“They play good man-to-man defense and it was hard to see what was going on out on the floor,” he said. “At halftime we made a few adjustments and I just took over. As a senior, Coach Walker expects me to see what I need to do. He’s always forcing me to drive and penetrate to the lane and when I get a chance, that’s what I’m going to do. Then I’ll see if I can dish off to one of my teammates or make a basket. I’m just doing my best.”

Jones, who has averaged 21 ppg., has waited for his chance as the Warriors’ leader for several seasons.

“Brandin is our floor leader,” Walker said. “He has to be able to decide when he needs to take it to the basket, when he needs to get in the hands of somebody that’s open or in place to make a basket. When it comes down to it, he’s the playmaker on the team. He makes everybody else look good if they get in the right spot to get the ball and run the offense. Otherwise he’s taking it to the hole and trying to get to the free-throw line.

“When he’s off the floor you miss him.”

Walker said his young players are starting to get more comfortable working as a team.

“They’ve gotten a little more aggresive inside with (6-foot-7 junior) Joshua Beahan and (6-foot-4 sophomore) Erik Bright,” Walker said. “You can see Marvin is a superior player but Josh held his own (with 10 points and a block against Williams) and did what he had to do to play his game.”

Beahan, who’s played against Williams since the pair were in junior high, said the Knights came out more fired up in the second half than his team did.

Down by 26 points at the end of the third quarter, the Warriors refused to give up and heeded Walker’s advice.

“He said ‘go out, have fun and do your best,”’ Beahan recalled. “And it’s fun for us as a Class B school playing against these better Class 4A schools.”

The Warriors upcoming week is filled with difficulty as well. They host a slew of Class 2A schools from Klahowya at 7 p.m. tonight, Orting at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Port Townsend at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

They play a school their own size when they go to Shoreline Christian for a 7:45 p.m. start Tuesday.

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