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North Kitsap ran into a sizable opponent Thursday when the Vikings faced Archbishop Murphy in the Class 2A state quarterfinals.

The Vikings struggled offensively trying to get the ball inside against the much-bigger Wildcats, losing 41-29 at the Yakima SunDome.

North Kitsap will play its third straight 9 a.m. game, this time against Lynden in a loser-out, winner-to-trophy-round game.

ATM’s size was a disadvantage the Vikings couldn’t overcome.

“We couldn’t get anything close,” North Kitsap coach Penny Gienger said by phone from Yakima. “They had three six-footers. They’re big. When they went to the zone, it pretty much kept us in the middle. We had a hard time getting (inside) to score.”

The Vikings had good looks early, but the ball would rim out, and when the shots bounced back ATM was there to gather up the rebounds.

“The first half we hung pretty well,” Gienger said. “They gradually pulled away. We had a hard time keeping them off the offensive glass. They’re legit. (They have) size in every position. They were good. They’re a good team.”

The Wildcats held a 23-17 lead at the half and stretched it to 14 points late in the second half. Gienger said NK wanted to get ATM moving off the ball, but they were face-guarding against guard Olivia Selembo, and she couldn’t get loose to get a clear shot at the basket. Selembo finished with nine points while Erin Pearson had six. Noey Barreith grabbed 10 rebounds. ATM’s Emily Rodabaugh had 12 points and five blocks. Megan Dorney chipped in 10 points.

While NK might have been physically out-matched, it was the only part of the game where they Gienger said they were overshadowed.

“I’m proud of the way the girls fought,” Gienger said, adding she’s looking forward to matching up against Lynden. “We’ll play them and give them our best shot.”

Inside the paint

The girl’s team stayed up as late as they could to cheer on the boy’s as North played its opener Wednesday night.

The Vikings lost in overtime, 60-59, and Gienger said her players were heartbroken for their classmates and friends. She said they had to leave before overtime because she needed to get her players to bed for their early game Thursday.

After their game against ATM, the team went out to lunch then headed back to the hotel for some rest and do some homework.

“We’re having fun,” Gienger said, adding they were planning on going out to dinner and then back to the SunDome to watch some of the games.

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