The Trojans finished with a 50-46 win over the Buccaneers Thursday night at Olympic but it’s not the end of the road for Kingston
BREMERTON — Junior guard Jakiyah Willis’ opening three-pointer kicked off a scoring surplus that Olympic coach Bryan Hanley hoped to see this season.
Willis finished with 17 points and 12 steals to lead the Olympic Trojans to a win over the Kingston Buccaneers 50-46 Thursday night in Olympic League regular season finale for both teams. It was the perfect way Oly wanted to go out.
“For the most part the ball was hot and we got into transition,” Hanley said. “We got some transition points which we had not gotten many of (in past games). We had pretty good speed, rebounding was good and they didn’t get a whole lot of second chance points.”
Kingston, despite its struggles offensively for the second straight game, lives to fight another day.
The Buccaneers (8-12 overall) earned the No. 4 seed to the 2A West Central District due to the Olympic League tiebreaker rules. Kingston and North Mason, which lost 60-40, to North Kitsap also Thursday, finished the season at 5-7.
Tiebreaker scenarios begin with head-to-head competition against common opponents, starting from the No. 1 seed and working your way through the top standings until a tie is broken. Both Kingston and North Mason (9-10 overall) lost twice to Port Angeles and Sequim.
Kingston earned — what turned out to be — a critical 49-46 win over No. 3 North Kitsap, Jan. 10, before losing to the Vikings earlier this week to split its season series. North Mason lost twice to North Kitsap, therefore giving the fourth seed to the Buccaneers. There will not be a play-in game to district between North Mason and Kingston.
“At this point in the we’ll take any break we can get,” Kingston coach Charles Deam said. “We were definitely prepared to play (Saturday) though.”
Olympic (9-11, 3-9) seemed to feed of the home crowd energy on senior night, which in turn got louder with each steal by Willis. Kaylani Riley finished with 10 points including two three-pointers that nearly sucked the wind out of Kingston completely. Amiya Johnson finished with 10 points for Oly and senior post Aaliyah Williams contributed nine points.
Kingston trailed Olympic 24-17 at halftime and Bucs coach Charles Deam addressed his players in the locker room about playing scared.
“The second half of the Olympic game was exactly what we needed,” Deam said via message on Friday. “Although we lost, the girls responded to what I told them at halftime. We quit being tentative and went all out on every play. As a coach I can live with whatever the rest is, win or lose if we leave everything we have on the floor. I thought we did that in the second half.”
The Bucs did just that in the second half and nearly finished an incredible rally.
Olympic held a sizable lead through the third and started the fourth up 35-25.
Kingston guard Leetsah Deam cut into Oly’s lead when she drained a long three, 47-39, midway through the period. Forward Elle Brockman, who was in foul trouble most of the game, stole the ball and went the other way for a layup as the Bucs trailed 47-43. Johnson of Olympic hit two free throws with 1:11 left, and it was the fifth foul on Brockman, to make it 49-43.
Leetsah Deam drew a much-needed foul on the Trojans and hit both her shots to make it a one-possession game, 49-46, with 43 seconds left.
Olympic had a chance to increase its lead but missed two late free throws and Kingston got the ball back but was unable to put up a clean shot as time expired.
The Buccaneers will regroup and take on either Fife or Franklin Pierce at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, in the opening round of district.
“I feel like that carry over will serve us well if we show that fight out of the gate at districts,” Deam said.
North Kitsap (10-10, 7-5) will play against Washington at Washington High School, also Wednesday at 7 p.m. Sequim (15-5, 10-2) hosts Foster and Port Angeles (16-4, 12-0) awaits the winner of Eatonville and Orting on Feb. 14.