KHS varsity girls rock the Knights, 68-52

KINGSTON — If the Kingston varsity girls played like they practiced, they’d have been in some deep, deep trouble Friday night against the Bremerton Knights. Thursday afternoon, the Bucs had one of their “worst practices ever” said Head Coach Kevin Strozier.

Strozier has a well-earned reputation for not being fond of players who don’t go all-out. After reaching his frustration point on Thursday, he straight up sent the girls home for the day. He wasn’t thinking about the risk of not running practice the day before a game. He was just fed up by their “lackadaisical” efforts.

“I just sent them home,” he said.

Lucky for him, his practice-ending decision worked. In dividends.

The Bucs were jonesing to get back on the court Friday night and they were eager for a win. And win they did, in glorious fashion.

They made the home fans proud, beating the Knights 68-52.

“We played a lot better as a team. We had a lot more intensity and we really wanted this win,” said sophomore guard Laura Wicklein. “For the rest of the season we just need to keep up the intensity level and stay focused on our goal.”

Wicklein took the lead on offense, scoring 17 points. Sophomore guard Sophia Baetz and senior wing Riley Watts did their fair share of damage to the Knights, adding 12 each to the score.

Unlike the previous day’s practice, Strozier was pleased as punch with his Bucs’ effort.

“Tonight we just stayed with it,” he said.

Knights head coach Daniel McInnis didn’t take anything from the Bucs, saying they played hard the whole game. But he could see that his Knights could have turned up the heat a bit on offense.

“(The Bucs) played zone defense pretty much the whole game,” McInnis said. “We didn’t really execute on offense. We had shots, and we just didn’t take them.”

The Knights, too, fought the scoreboard and the clock until the final buzzer.

“We just lacked execution,” said Knights’ senior guard Jen Smalley. “We came in thinking we needed to keep our intensity high.”

The loss didn’t shake Bremerton’s foundation, though.

“We’re going to hold our heads high because we still have more games to play,” said Bremerton senior guard Michelle Dubrall.

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