SILVERDALE — Hundreds of fans filed into the snug confines of the brand new Central Kitsap gym Friday night for an old tradition.
The boys and girls varsity teams from Central Kitsap and Olympic squared off in their annual Battle of Bucklin Hill doubleheader, and each school came away with one victory. The Olympic girls won their game 55-34, while the Central Kitsap boys lit up the scoreboard in a 72-56 triumph.
While neither game was particularly close, the split ensured that fans from each school had something to cheer about.
The festivities opened with the girls game and the Trojans gave everyone a preview of what is to come this season. Kayla Brehmer, Jakyiiah Willis and Kaylani Riley all scored in double figures as the offense showed off its prowess.
“Practices are just a thing of beauty, exquisite,” said Olympic head coach Bryan Hanley. “The ball is flying around, it’s hot, everybody sees it.”
Brehmer, a freshman, led all players with 15 points — and she was coming off a sparkling debut in her team’s win over Aberdeen three nights earlier. Brehmer scored 26 points and added seven rebounds and six assists in that game and did not show any nerves despite being tapped for such an important role as a ninth grader.
“My biggest fear going out there was thinking I was going to forget my plays,” Brehmer said, “but I got it all down.”
The Olympic defense did a good job of keeping Central Kitsap’s big backcourt away from the paint and easy buckets. Despite being at a size disadvantage, the Trojans were able to force a few turnovers and limit their opponents’ opportunities.
That allowed the offense to flourish as they raced out to an 18-4 lead after one quarter. Willis scored nine of her 12 points in the first and Kaylani Riley added a big 3-pointer early in the game; she finished the night with 10.
“They didn’t let that break them down and disintegrate into one-on-one or two-on-two,” Hanley said. “They kept the ball moving.”
Olympic 55, Central Kitsap 34
Oly 18 15 15 7 — 55
CK 4 12 6 12 — 34
Olympic (55) — Brehmer 15, Willis 12, Riley 10, Jameson 8, Bode 5, Turnquist 4, Williams 1.
Central Kitsap (34) — Neumann 7, Fuiava 6, Kopp 6, Sincere 6, Katz 5, Saunders 2, Taylor 2.
Colby White’s big night leads the CK boys over Olympic
Cougars senior Colby White looked around the Central Kitsap gym Friday night and didn’t see too many familiar faces.
His own team lost four starters to graduation last year, and Olympic lost its three key starters and several bench players as well.
With so many new faces around, it’s up to the 5-foot-8 guard — who is one of four seniors on the roster, but only one of two who played meaningful minutes last season — to be the “glue guy” in the words of head coach Scott McMinds and get the next generation of Cougars ready to take over the program.
“It’s definitely a challenge, but it’s a fun one,” White said.
White got off to a slow start against Olympic, connecting just once in his first six shots from the field, but exploded for 15 points in the second quarter as his team jumped out to a huge lead. The senior guard finished the night with a game-high 28 points as well as seven rebounds.
“If there’s a guy that plays 100 percent every single possession, it’s him,” McMinds said. “I’ve said it before, I’ve coached a long time, but I don’t think I’ve coached a tougher player. He lays it on the line day in and day out, he’s a warrior.”
The Cougars still started the contest well thanks to junior Maurice Green, who sank a pair of field goals and a 3-pointer in the first quarter to pick up seven of his nine points. Central Kitsap led 14-8 after one.
In the second quarter, Rhylan Ferguson and Jay Tolentino-Balagtas came off the bench to provide some depth scoring, each chipping in six points. Central Kitsap scored 33 in all in the second quarter and the team took a 47-22 lead into the halftime break.
The Trojans made a bit of a run in the second half behind the play of Tyler Lindal and Kai Holland. Lindal, a senior guard, went 3-for-4 from the 3-point line in the third quarter and scored 14 of his team-high 21 points in that frame. Holland finished the game with 15, including 10 in the second half.
But the Cougars were able to keep pace even with some of their younger players, such as sophomores Owen Boisen and Jack Strickland getting some prime minutes in the fourth quarter. It was a good opportunity for McMinds to get some of those new varsity players on the floor.
“We’re learning a lot about who we are,” McMinds said. “I was unsure of what kind of team we would have. We graduated a lot of kids last year.”
Central Kitsap 72, Olympic 56
Oly 8 14 18 16 — 56
CK 14 33 13 12 — 72
Olympic (56) — Lindal 21, Holland 15, Erickson 8, Mejia 5, Trottman 3, J. DeWalt 2, Bailey 1, McInnis 1
Central Kitsap (72) — White 28, Green 9, Searer 9, Tolentino-Balagtas 8, Ferguson 6, Strickland 4, LaBow 3, Watkinson 3, Massey 2.