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The Vikings 84-55 win over Bremerton put North into the drivers seat in a race to the postseason

POULSBO — The North Kitsap Vikings didn’t waste any time in a highly-anticipated Olympic League boys basketball game against Bremerton Friday night.

North raced to a 24-7 lead after one period and were up 34-15 at halftime as they beat the Knights 84-55. The win separated the two teams by one game in a race for the league 2A title. The Vikings (12-2, 5-1) now have sole possession of first place while Bremerton (9-4, 5-2) is in second. 

Senior guard Kobe McMilian said it was easy to feed off the hyped up home crowd.

“It was definitely easy for us to be comfortable in our home,” he said, “we’ve been in the big spotlight before.”

It was the 12th win in a row by North Kitsap over Bremerton. Bremerton’s last win against the Vikings was Dec. 16, 2013.

Kobe McMillian of North Kitsap dribbles against Bremerton defense during an Olympic League boys basketball game, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, at North Kitsap High School. North Kitsap won 84-55. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

Knights coach Miah Davis told his players there’s a reason the Vikings have been to state the last two seasons. 

“I told them every team looks like that,” he said. 

The snow-related delays from earlier this week may have kept the players off the courts but North coach Scott Orness said that didn’t mean his players didn’t have what he called homework.

Orness had his team watching film, sending them clips and certain plays to guard key Bremerton players.  

“I thought we did a good job of making some adjustments since the last time we played them,” Orness said. “The goal with them is to keep them away from the basket and take away the transition and force them to shoot contested jump shots.”

Orness and his coaching staff knew sophomores Ruppe Wilson, D’Angelo Moore and junior Caleb Washington are all playmakers for Bremerton. 

Bremerton’s Kaipo Retome puts up a shot against the defense from North Kitsap’s Logan Chmielewski during an Olympic League boys basketball game, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, at North Kitsap High School. North Kitsap won 84-55. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

“When they have the ball in their hands, they’re dangerous,” Orness said.

But it was Kanye Taylor who led Bremerton with 22 points, as he also had five rebounds and four steals. Kimo Retome added 10 points and Moore finished with seven points. 

The Vikings defense held Bremerton’s top two scorers, Moore and Wilson, scoreless in the first half. 

“That was our plan to keep those guys (from) scoring and we accomplished that,” McMillian said. McMilian finished with 19 points. Logan Chmielewski finished with 12 points, Jonas La Tour had 11 points, Shaa Humphrey 11 points as Aiden Olmstead and Johny Olmsted each had nine. 

Davis knew his team was going to be at a height disadvantage and it came down to being disciplined on offense and defense, but the Vikings transition game killed them. North scored 22 points in transition.

“Part of it is when you play a bigger team, and I can contest to this in high school … you have to get through that first layer of defense then what are you going to do with that second layer. You have to make good decisions. If you pull up for jumpers every time, they’ll either block the shot or you have to create.”  

Shaa Humphrey of North Kitsap looks to pass against Bremerton’s Kimo Retome during an Olympic League boys basketball game, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, at North Kitsap High School. North Kitsap won 84-55. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

Davis said the Knights are still in good shape and have to move on to prepare against Olympic (Wednesday, Jan. 22) and Sequim (Friday, Jan. 24) at home. 

“This doesn’t define our season,” he said. “We’re just getting started. We have to prepare ourselves for our next two home games and we’re thinking playoffs.”

The second half was much like the first as North led by 32 points, 64-36, at the end of the third.

“They were up for this game but they weren’t ‘over up,’” Orness added. “We were just excited to play at home and settled in and played really good basketball.”

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