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Bucs take first Olympic League title outright | Girls basketball
POULSBO — The 2012 Olympic League title belong to the Kingston Buccaneers girls basketball team. It's the first time the team won the title outright in program history.
The Bucs finished up their regular season 14-2 in the league, 16-4 overall after defeating the North Kitsap Vikings 57-44 Tuesday night. Though the team claimed its first full title, coach Penny Gienger said there was not much celebration at the end of Tuesday's game.
"It was a pretty rough game last night," she said. "Last night's game wasn't that fun. We won, but it wasn't that fun."
Along with a player being ejected, it was a back-and-forth battle for court supremacy during the first half. The Vikings (9-7, 10) led the first quarter 14-8. At the half, they were down 23-21. The Bucs bounced back in the second half, outscoring the Vikings 17-12 in the third and 17-11 in the fourth. Kuiipo Fontes, Maggie Snaza and Lindsey Wicklein led the Bucs with 13 points each. Vikings Rebekah Baugh and Kristen Brown scored 10 points each.
Though the Vikings ended in fifth place in the league, they also move on to sub-districts. The Vikings fell one game behind Olympic High School, but were four games ahead of Klahowya (5-11).
The Bucs and Vikings now head to sub-districts to play for positioning in the playoffs. The Bucs start the tournament with a game against Renton High School at Clover Park High School. The game is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. The Vikings start the tournament against Tyee at Sumner High School, also scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The loser of the game is out, winner to playoffs.
Gienger would like to see the team take either the first or second seed into the playoffs. A top seed will give the team a better opportunity for advancing to the State tournament. And although the Bucs reigned supreme in the Olympic League, Gienger knows they could be up against more difficult teams.
"This next week is not do or die, but we still want to be playing good basketball," she said.
This season, Gienger is impressed with the team's defense and passing ability. She described the defense as hard-nosed. The Bucs are not selfish with the ball, either, which she also credits to their success. In assists, Napua Fontes leads with an average of three per game.
On offense, with a bench of players able to score, opponents have a difficult time targeting anyone, she said. For example, an opponent could try and block Amanda Carper, who averaged 10.3 points per game, but then there would still be Maggie Snaza (12.3 per game) or Lindsey Wicklein (8.4 per game).
During the regular season, the Bucs two losses came from Bremerton. Gienger said she could have done a better job matching players. The Bucs' lack of height was also an issue. The team's tallest player is 6 feet. The second tallest is 5'8. Gienger knows that will continue to be a factor through the post season, which is where "hard-nosed' defense comes into play.
Final Olympic League standings
Port Angeles 13-3
North Kitsap 9-7
Port Townsend 5-11
North Mason 0-16
Kingston against North Kitsap (Feb. 7)
Final: KHS 57, NK 44
Kingston 8 15 17 17 — 57
North Kitsap 14 7 12 11 — 44
KHS: Amanda Carper 6, Katelyn Carper 2, Kuiipo Fontes 13, Napua Fontes 2, Samantha Salis 8, Maggie Snaza 12, Lindsey Wicklein 14.
NK (leaders): Rebekah Baugh 10, Kristin Brown 10, Lexi Simmons 8, Indigo Williams 7