Kingston girls enjoying fairy tale season

KINGSTON — There's a saying that the Kingston girls basketball team has heard —repetitively — all season. Good basketball players focus on what they do well and don't worry about what everyone else does. So says head coach Kevin Strozier, who knows a thing or two about basketball.

If basketball is a were classical concert, Strozier would be the maestro. And one in high demand, at that. Recruited from the girls' basketball mecca of Lincoln High in Tacoma for six years, he took a huge chance to leap across the water and head up a brand new program in a brand new school.

He welcomed the opportunity. All things considered, it's working out well for everyone.

The (10-3) Kingston girls are christening their new gym with one heck of a season. In their most recent dynamic accomplishment, they beat Klahowya Secondary 79-9 on Wednesday night. The Bucs were red-hot that night, shooting 45 percent from the floor and 71 percent from the freethrow line.

The Bucs now find themselves in a three-way tie for first place in the Olympic League, sharing the spot with Olympic and Port Angeles.

Even after a substantial win, there was no rest for the weary. The team was back in the gym Thursday afternoon for an "easy" day of game preparation. Strozier doesn't have "practices," as every day is intended for "game preparation," he said.

As always, the team was practicing the same drills, the same way they do every day.

"The more you practice what you do, the better you get," Strozier said.

And he just might be on to something.

The win over Klahowya was intentional, while the margin of victory was not.

"We don't intend any disrespect toward Klahowya," Strozier said. "We were just playing good basketball." He told his girls to focus on their game: Remember to pass the ball the specifically allotted times before shooting and stay strong on defense.

He didn't want to play the unsportsmanlike role, as he too, has often been on the lopsided end of a runaway victory.

The victory was almost surreal for seniors Joi Neimeyer and Stephanie Eadie, both of whom acknowledge this season has been a dream for them.

"As a senior, this is what we dream about," Eadie said.

To sum up the season, Eadie put things quite simply.

"We're bringing it," she said.

At the beginning of the season, the goal was to take first place in the league, and nothing less.

"Every team has that goal," Neimeyer said said. "If you don't have that goal, then you really don't deserve it."

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