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POULSBO — Noey Barreith’s 18 points and a near double-double by Erin Pearson helped lead the North Kitsap Vikings past Franklin Pierce 67-31 Wednesday in a West Central District 2A girls basketball game at North Kitsap High.

The Vikings will play Friday at 7 p.m. at Renton.

North Kitsap’s Erin Pearson wins the opening tip against Franklin Pierce Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, at North Kitsap High.
(Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

Senior center Pearson, who finished with 10 rebounds, nine points, two blocks and two assists, said usually the Vikings start slow and have to fight back at the end. She liked the change of pace this time around.

“It was nice this time to be ahead finally and not have to fight the last seconds,” she said. “It was our last home game so we all were really aggressive.”

North Kitsap’s Noey Barreith drives to the basket after getting a steal against Franklin Pierce Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, at North Kitsap. Barreith finished with 18 points.
(Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

North Kitsap barely let Franklin Pierce into the game from the opening tip, which Pearson won. The Vikings scored at will while limiting the Cardinals’ offensive chances and when they had the opportunity they struggled to convert. A 22-7 first-period lead increased to 48-18 at halftime thanks to a Katie Hughes layup near the end of the second period.

It was 50-20 in the third and the Vikings (17-5) hit a 40-point lead on possessions in the second half. But at that point, it was just a matter of waiting for the clock to run out and gearing up to face Renton (16-3), the South Puget Sound League Sound Division champions.

Pearson said she was surprised at the large lead by the Vikings.

“I thought it would be a really tough game but we really trusted each other and our coach really trusted us,” she said.

The game was a far cry from the Vikings’ two recent losses to Port Angeles at the end of the Olympic League season. Pearson said the losses were motivating.

“We saw the losses and we kind of used them to power us to do better and to see our mistakes and how we can fix them and work together,” she said.

Grace Johnson of North Kitsap defends against Talia Spencer of Franklin Pierce in a West Central District 2A girls basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018.
(Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

North Kitsap coach Penny Gienger knows the importance of a consistent offense in the playoffs, but also the importance of letting bad games go.

“We lost some pretty tough games to PA and I think that took a little bit of wind out of our sails,” Gienger said.

Instead of dwelling on letting the No. 1 seed slip away, coaches and players looked at their goals from the beginning of the season and refocused on being positive.

“The truth is we’re a pretty good team,” she said. “We just had to get back to basics and remember that.”

North Kitsap’s Raelee Moore defends against Franklin Pierce’s Ashleigh Maynard in a 67-31 win Wedesday, Feb. 7, 2018 in a West Central District 2A girls basketball game at North Kitsap High.
(Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

In other 2A WCD playoff games, Kingston beat Steilacoom 42-35 as Avy Hiner finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds.

Kingston will head to No. 1 White River to face the Hornets Friday at 7 p.m.

Olympic lost to Eatonville 63-58 after the Trojans led at halftime 31-28. Now the Trojans play in a loser-out game Feb. 13 at Wilson, 6 p.m., against the loser of the North Kitsap vs Renton game.

 

In a Metro League district qualifier, the Bainbridge Spartans traveled to Ballard to face Roosevelt. A score was not available Wednesday night.

 

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