SILVERDALE — Central Kitsap’s girl’s basketball team played its best game of the season when it needed to the most as the Cougars beat non-league rival Olympic 50-37 in the hardwood version of the Battle of Bucklin Hill Friday night at Central Kitsap.
The Cougars have won the district match up three of the last four years.
“We played every single quarter,” said CK coach Keri Collett. “That’s the fullest game we’ve played (this season).”
Central senior guard Vanessa Davies led all scorers with 17 points and teammate Olivia Krog finished with a double-double, 11 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
“It was definitely something that we needed for our team,” Krog said. “We’ve been doing good … but in past games, we haven’t been able to finish in the second half.”
Olympic coach Bryan Hanley said the Trojans are struggling to find their scoring game, but they’ll need to figure that out sooner rather than later.
“We’re really, really, really struggling with our scoring,” he said, “but we’re working on it on a daily basis. It will come, we know it will come. It’s just in fits and starts. Sometimes we’re great, and other times we can’t even hit our bunnies. You have to be able to put the ball in the basket in order to win.”
Hanley said one of the foundations of their system is to have faith — faith in each other, coaching and the process.
“We lost some of that I thought,” he said. “Poise is our biggest battle right now.”
The difference for the Cougars’ in Friday’s win versus recent games was their leadership, Collett said, which is taking on that critical role in games instead of sitting back.
“They’re starting to lead a little bit better,” she added.
Assistant coach Shawn Wallen said the Cougars had the better shot selection and kept turnovers to a minimum. CK finished with eight for the game.
“We didn’t rush ourselves,” Wallen said.
“We’re taking our time to find the right shot,” Collett added.
Both teams played the first quarter evenly with Olympic (2-5) taking a slight 13-12 lead, but Central took command offensively in the second quarter. The Cougars (3-7) outscored Olympic 11-5 and led 23-18 at the half.
Central continued to control the tempo in the second half leading by as much as 10 points in the fourth. Olympic sophomore post Aaliyah Williams hit a turnaround layup with about four minutes to go to cut CK’s lead to 38-33.
Williams finished with eight points in limited minutes, fellow post Morgan Kroesser had seven, and Kiki Mitchell led Olympic with 11 points. Olympic also lost starting senior guard Dejah Coleman to a sprained ankle in the first half. Her status is unknown.
The five-point differential would be as close as the Trojans would get as CK hit clutch shot after clutch shot.
The Cougars kept a 10-point lead in the final minutes to claim their second win of the week.
“We had a lot of energy today, and I think that was part of the stuff that we were missing,” Krog said. “I think it was a good note to end on this week.”