No matter the outcome, the North Kitsap girls and boys basketball teams will remember playing at the state tournament for the rest of their lives.
The teams left Tuesday morning from the high school to a rousing rally and send-off by classmates, teachers, administrators, family and friends.
Players perspective of @GONKVikings leaving for the 2A state basketball tournament in Yakima, for the first time in 30 years!! Second straight trip for boys, first time for girls in 30 years m/t @moore_raelee with the video pic.twitter.com/1VYJIGWAZa
— Annette Griffus (@AnnetteWSSports) February 28, 2018
The Viking girls play at 9 a.m. Wednesday against Burlington-Edison at the Yakima SunDome.
It’s the first visit to the state tournament since the 1987-88 season.
The boys are on the opposite end, playing in a 9 p.m. game Wednesday against W.F. West of Chehalis.
North Kitsap girls coach Penny Gienger said they wanted to head over to Yakima early so the team could get checked into the hotel, have an afternoon practice and dinner before its early loser-out game.
The opposition: Burlington-Edison Tigers
Coach: Brett McLeod
Last state appearance: 2016-17, second place
The lowdown: The Tigers are ranked No. 3 and are making their 17th trip to state in school history. Last season, Burlington-Edison lost to Lynden in the championship game, 44-36. The Tigers are 18-6 on the season, finishing second in the Northwest Conference with a 12-1 record. … There are six trophies up for grabs. The last trophy won by North Kitsap was in 1987-88 when the Vikings finished sixth after a 55-52 loss to Chief Sealth. The Vikings best finish, of course, was in 1984-85 when it won the state championship, 50-48 over Prairie. The previous season they were second to Woodway, 54-52 in the title game. NK also has two fifth-place trophies and a fourth-place trophy to its credit.
What’s next: The winner of this game will face No. 5 Archbishop Murphy (Everett) on Thursday at 9 a.m. in the quarterfinals.
The opposition: W.F. West Bearcats
Coach: Chris White
Last state appearance: 2007-08, eighth place
The lowdown: The No. 8 Bearcats are paced by the 12.1 points from senior forward/center Bailey Cooper. Jordan Thomas has chipped in 11.6 scoring average while Brandon White has averaged 10.4 points. W.F. West is coming off a 73-46 loss in regionals to No. 1 Lynden. … The Bearcats have played in 12 state tournaments with their first appearance coming in 1922-23 when they finished seventh. They did win it all in the 1959-60 season by beating Sumner 70-56. … The Vikings finished sixth last season with a 69-60 loss to Anacortes. North has played in 14 state tournaments with its best finish a third-place trophy in 1959-60.
What’s next: The winner of this game will play Thursday at 3:45 p.m. against No. 4 Mark Morris in the quarterfinals.
All-Olympic League Girls 2A
MVP: Emilia Long, Port Angeles; Olivia Selembo, North Kitsap; Raelee Moore, North Kitsap; Kiki Mitchell, Olympic; Lily Beaulieu, Kingston; Karleigh Gomez, Kingston.
Cheyenne Wheeler, Port Angeles; Avy Hiner, Kingston; Hope Glasser, Sequim; Gracie Long, Port Angeles; Erin Pearson, North Kitsap; Noey Barreith, North Kitsap.