Kingston girls winning in amusing fashion

KINGSTON — Kevin Strozier takes referee taunting to a whole 'nother level. In his passionate pleas for equality in foul-calling Friday night against Sequim, he stood toe-to-toe with a man in stripes on more than one ocassion. At several points in the game, it looked like the Kingston High head coach was going to be bounced off the court a tad early. He somehow managed to contain his temper long enough to finish the game.

The Bucs pulled off yet another sound victory, 43-30 over Sequim Friday night. With the loss to Sequim earlier this season fresh on their minds, there was no way the Bucs were going to end up on the short end of victory this time around.

Strozier's calm demeanor left the building a long time ago, and he's OK with that. He's just focused on taking first place in the Olympic League and will settle for nothing less.

"We're trying to be aggressive, but we're trying to go about it the right way," Strozier said.

He's enjoying his team's Cinderella season — a season that sees the Bucs in a two-way tie with Port Angeles for first place in the Olympic League.

"Nobody can tell me they expected us to come into this league and do this our first year," he said.

Both teams were playing with their hearts, resulting in a physical match etched in the memories of spectators for a while to come. The game likely left its mark on many of the players in forms of aches, pains and bruises as well.

In what could be one of the most contentious calls of entire season, junior Arissan Ugles — who had five rebounds, two steals and put eight points on the board — lost her cool for just long enough to earn a technical foul in the fourth quarter. She's thinking of it as a lesson learned.

Her act of indiscretion was the result of a frustrating game full of taunting and pushing, she said.

"We played through that," she said.

The junior wing pushed her game as hard as it would go because it was the team's final home game, a night when the seniors on the team are celebrated. She wanted to give seniors Joi Neimeyer, Aubin Duncan, Stephanie Eadie and Rily Watts her best effort.

"It's Senior Night. It's their last home game and their last year to play. I wanted the last game to go out with a bang," Ugles said.

Freshman Sophia Baetz, who added two rebounds and eight points to her growing basketball resume Friday night, said the Bucs went into the game with a positive. Now the Bucs are fully focused on their next opponent. They'll travel to Port Angeles this Friday. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

Baetz isn't cocky about playing Port Angeles, but she is confident.

"We plan on getting them out of that two-way tie," Baetz said.

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