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So close they can taste it
TACOMA These boys are hungry and its almost dinnertime. After a disappointing 70-67 loss to Gig Harbor Friday night, the North Kitsap Vikings came back with a vengeance to defeat Mount Tahoma 57-36 on Saturday.
Friday nights loss created a loser-out situation in the 4A West Central District tournament for the Vikes, who are but a mere two consecutive wins away from the prize: a berth to the state tournament.
Oh, man, can I taste it. Its already on my plate and ready be served up. Theyre fired up, said Head Coach Tony Chisholm. Its a big, juicy steak on the center of the plate but weve got to eat the side orders first. We know the steak is there.
This is the first time in four years the Vikes have been this close to a berth to state.
The loss to Gig Harbor, by a mere three points, was a difficult one for the Vikes. Their next district game will be 7 p.m. tonight at Curtis High School. If they win this game, then theyll play again at 6 p.m. Friday at Mount Tahoma. If they lose, theyll play at 6 p.m. Friday night at Clover Park.
If the Vikes can pull off a win tonight and Friday, theyll earn a trip to the state tournament. If they lose ... well, they dont want to think about that at this point.
Were two wins in row away from the state tournament, Chisholm said.
Just as hes been preaching from his court pulpit all season, the teams defense, mixed in with Taylor Hoffers and Kyle Ericksons raw talent, is winning ball games.
It will be this way until the end of the season, which hopefully wont come too soon. During a conversation with Central Kitsap Head Coach Tim Fryer after the win over Gig Harbor, Chisholm said theres no way to prepare for a specific opponent at this point in the post-season play because every team is good.
He asked me, So coach, do you know who youre playing? At this point, it doesnt matter who we play. Weve just got to bring our A game. And our A game starts with a D, and thats defense, Chisholm said. The bottom line is, defense is the story of basketball. At this point in the season, you have to crank it up to a different level, and were ready to do that.
Hes honest with his team in that Hoffer, Erickson and Jordan Coover are carrying the team offensively, as they all have an uncanny ability to hit the basket from nearly anywhere on the court. Weve got a supporting cast. They know were going to ride their backs. The supporting cast cant do it without them, and they cant do it without the supporting cast, Chisholm said.
Kyle Erickson is very consistent. We always expect good things out of Eric because hes consistent and hes a quiet team leader, Tony Chisholm said.
His defensive leader, Taylor Chisholm, hasnt been a disappointment. While its not his job to get points, it is his job to get the ball into a scorers hands, and that hes done well. Especially during the Mount Tahoma game.
Taylor played a really good game, Tony Chisholm said. Chiz (Taylor Chisholm) led the game with assists. Hes playing point guard the way he should. He had five points and one point with 13 assists. Hes another piece of the human puzzle. Its his job to pass the ball to Hoffer, Erickson and Coover.
As for the team as a whole, these boys are hungry, Tony Chisholm said.
North Kitsap 57, Mount Tahoma 36
Mount Tahoma 14 7 2 13 36
North Kitsap 19 18 9 11 57
Mount Tahoma Geno Munoz 9, Joshua Lord 7, Tyrell Dixon 6, Sylvester Harris 6, Adrian Smitherman 5, John Barr 1, Demetrius Starks 2.
North Kitsap Taylor Hoffer 25, Kyle Erickson 14, Jordan Coover 8, Kyle McCown 3, Evan Tidball 2, Bryan Woodman, Max Skelly 1, Brandon Huggins 1.
Gig Harbor 70, North Kitsap 67
Gig Harbor 21 13 18 18 70
North Kitsap 21 13 18 18 67
Gig Harbor Geoff McIntosh 29, Mathias Ward 20, Jake Pappuleas 9, Austin Jenkins 3, Milan Urban 3, Robbie Karamatic 2.
North Kitsap Taylor Hoffer 24, Kyle Erickson 21, Jordan Coover 12, Kyle McCown 5, Bryan Woodman 2, Evan Tidball 2, Taylor Chisholm 1.