CK finishes fifth at state

Central Kitsap coach Tim Fryer only needed one year to take the Cougars where they haven’t been in more than 30 years.

But the reward for taking CK (21-7), which hadn’t participated in the state tournament since 1971, to a fifth-place state finish with a 70-49 win against the Davis Pirates on Saturday at the Tacoma Dome wasn’t what he hoped.

“My wet pants don’t feel too good right now,” he said. “They kind of doused me and ruined my favorite tie.”

The Cougars built upon a familiar trend in the loser’s bracket — taking an early lead — to defeat the Pirates. CK took a 24-12 lead entering the second quarter and had a 37-24 advantage at halftime.

“We needed to play our own game,” Fryer said. “We left it in there and let the big boys (play).”

The main CK “big boy” was 6-foot-6 post Brice Brooks, who scored a game-high 19 points en route to second-team All-State Tournament honors.

Davis (24-5), a Yakima school, was without usual starters Eddie Pola and Curtis Gomez-Trimble, who both were suspended for the state tournament.

“It definitely was tough,” said Davis coach Shag Williams, whose team placed eighth. “The two we had — that’s 20 points (lost).”

The Pirates were able to cut Central Kitsap’s lead to 57-47 when Humbeto Perez, who paced Davis with 16 points, converted a 2-pointer with 4:47 minutes remaining in the game.

But the Cougars used a 13-2 run to finish off Davis.

“This is the best scenario we can get,” Brooks said. “We wanted to take advantage of our size.”

With the tallest Davis player registering at 6-foot-2, Brooks and 6-foot-4 teammate Neil Fryer, who scored 13 points and had a game-high 11 rebounds, did just that. Fryer earned second-team All-State Tourny honors.

Fryer, who scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds during Friday’s 64-46 win against Pasco, is expected to lead the team next year as a senior. Brooks, who averaged 18 points per game during the regular season, graduates and has received an offer to play collegiately at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.

“I expect next year to be a different style without Brice, but we’ll have high goals,” Tim Fryer said.

In addition to Brooks, the Cougars lose senior point guard Jeff Acres, shooting guard Sam Weller and center Lee Miller off the Narrows League Bridge Division champion team.

With both projected starting guards — Trent Bearbower and JR Gordon — shorter than 5-foot-10, the Cougars will be smaller, but possibly quicker.

“I think we’ll be a faster team and it can pick up the pace a little more than this year,” Fryer said.

With a pair of 6-foot-4 players — Ryan Forney and Glen Perkins — replacing a couple of 6-foot-6 posts, Brooks and Miller, the Cougars won’t lose much height in the front court.

“Glen is a great offensive player and a good rebounder,” Fryer said. “This group should be as stronger or stronger rebounding than last year’s squad. We expect Ryan to be a big rebounding and defensive force in the middle.”

One player Fryer expects to move up from junior varsity is 6-foot Zach Brown.

“A guy I look forward to seeing off the junior varsity team is Zach Brown,” Fryer said. “He’ll be a wing.”

Note: The WIAA forbides players and coaches from commenting about officials, but Fryer said he hasn’t received a reprimand for his remarks following Wednesday’s controversial 49-48 loss against Walla Walla. Ryan Mitchell was awarded three foul shots with no time remaining after apparently making contact with Neil Fryer to break a 48-48 tie.

“I hope they do call me,” Tim Fryer said. “I haven’t heard a word.”

Fryer didn’t back off his Wednesday remarks, which included saying it was “a pretty bizarre call.”

“I’ve heard lots of negative things about the way that the official handled it,” he said. “It probably is an official that shouldn’t be at that level.”

The coach said he believed the game’s outcome impacted later games.

“I noticed that they didn’t blow the whistle in the final five minutes of a game after that,” he said. “I’m sure they had a meeting and decided a mistake was made and they didn’t want that to happen again.”

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