Basketball: North Kitsap boys even the score in victory over Kingston Buccaneers

KINGSTON — The North Kitsap High School boys basketball team sank its teeth into sweet revenge Tuesday at Kingston High, with a 52-51 win over the Buccaneers.

Kingston won a Dec. 18 matchup at North Kitsap, 49-42. It was the first time in three years the Vikings had lost to their North End rivals. Tuesday’s game was heated from the beginning.

“We expected a game like this,” North Kitsap Coach Tony Chisholm said. “We weren’t going to roll over and allow them to walk all over us. We both expected a tough game, and that’s what we got.”

North Kitsap led by as many as 10 points in the first half, but Kingston pulled to within three by halftime. With the lead changing hands multiple times in the second half, the game’s fate came down to a battle of free throws in the closing seconds. With less than 30 seconds on the clock, and the Vikings leading by one point, North Kitsap’s Jordan Seth was called for traveling, giving the ball back to Kingston. Kingston’s Sam Byers quickly hit a 15-footer to put his team ahead, 51-50. On the next trip down the floor, Seth was sent to the foul line and sank the two free throws that would ultimately win the game for the Vikings.

“I just knew we had to take care of the ball,” Seth said. “It was pretty loud, but I focused as much as I could and nailed them both.”

Byers went to the line with seven seconds left, but missed the would-be game-tying free throw. His teammates tried to follow, but were rebuffed twice, ending the game.

North Kitsap hosts Port Angeles at 7 p.m. Friday. Kingston will have another tough matchup Friday against North Mason (11-5 overall, 8-4 league).

“We’ve tended to play to the level of our opponents,” Kingston Coach Blake Conley said of the upcoming game. “I’m confident that our kids will respond in the right way.”

(Staff Photos/Brad Camp)

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