KINGSTON — A 24-19 win over North Mason Jan. 29 kept the Kingston Buccaneers varsity team in contention for the Sub-District tournament. But the team is only one game from seeing an elimination from post-season play.
The Bucs (6-7) are fifth in the Olympic League, two games behind the North Kitsap Vikings (8-5).
“It’s a one-game separation between us and Sequim,” Kingston coach Matthew Smith said. “We can’t afford to lose one game.”
The Bucs are trailed closely by the Sequim Wolves (5-8). The two teams are battling for the fifth place spot in the league. The top five teams in the league advance to Sub-Districts.
With three games left in the regular season the Bucs must win all their games to stay ahead; if the Wolves win their last three games.
The Wolves’ last week of the regular season, however, could potentially be more difficult. The Wolves play first place Port Angeles (12-1) tonight, second place Bremerton (11-2) Feb. 5, and then Port Townsend (6-8) Feb. 8.
The Bucs play the Vikings Feb. 1in the North Kitsap High School Gymnasium, Klahowya (2-12) Feb. 5, and Bremerton Feb. 8.
The Bucs are also on a two-game winning streak, after a three-game losing streak. They beat the North Kitsap Vikings 72-53 Jan. 28 and North Mason 24-19 Jan. 29.
The Vikings (8-5) are not in the clear either. Though the team has a more stable record, if both the Bucs and Wolves win their last three games, and the Vikings lose all three; the Vikings will be out. However, the Vikings need to win only one game to be guaranteed a post-season appearance.
The Vikings’ schedule isn’t too threatening. After playing the Bucs tonight, the Vikings play third-place Olympic (10-3) and finish the season against last-place North Mason (0-14).
The Jan. 28 game against the Vikings took a lot out of the Bucs, Smith said. When they had to play North Mason the following night the Bucs weren’t themselves. Smith said his team took good shots, but they weren’t going in. And the players were moving like they had lead in their shoes, Smith added.
Smith expects the Bucs to be back at full strength for tonight’s game, however.
“Absolutely,” Smith said. “It’s a rivalry game and we’re playing for our playoff lives right now.”
Both the Kingston Buccaneers and North Kitsap Vikings are in good shape for the end of the regular season.
The Bucs (8-5) are fourth in the league.
The Vikings (7-6) are fifth.
The closest team to the Vikings is the Klahowya Eagles (4-10).
With three games left in the regular season, even if the Bucs and Vikings lost all three, the Eagles could not catch up. A three-game win streak for the Eagles would put the team at 7-10. A three-game losing streak for the Vikings would end their season at 7-9.
Like the girls’ teams, the boys are playing for seeding into Sub-Districts. Sub-Districts will determine how teams seed into the West Central District III tournament.
The Bucs and Vikings play each other Feb. 1 in the North Kitsap High School Gymnasium.
Boys Basketball league standings
North Kitsap 7-6
Port Townsend 3-11
Port Angeles 2-11
North Mason 1-13
Girls Basketball league standings
Port Angeles 12-1
North Kitsap 8-5
Port Townsend 6-8 (1A school)
North Mason 0-14