KINGSTON — Despite three days off due to the winter storm that blanketed the Puget Sound region, the Buccaneers and the Trojans showed little rust on Thursday.
Kingston’s sharpshooters were on target early and often in their 77-59 victory over Olympic. The Bucs hit 14 3-pointers and shot 45 percent from beyond the arc for the game.
“That opens everything up for us,” said Kingston head coach Charles Deam.
Any worries that the time off might affect their ability to capitalize on the momentum gained from beating North Kitsap on Friday were put to rest early.
The Bucs started the game on an 8-0 run as Sierra Denning and Kylee Walker both connected from downtown. Leetsah Deam also connected from the 3-point line twice in the first quarter. Deam finished with a team-high 19 points and four different players scored at least 15 — Walker finished with 16 while Denning and Ellee Brockman each chipped in 15.
Kingston also showed some versatility, especially in the second half as they were able to get points in the paint against an Olympic team with some good size in the post. They leaned heavily on Brockman to get to the basket in the third quarter, when she scored nine of her 15 points.
“I think that’s a misconception — people think we’re just shooters,” Deam said.
The Trojans battled right to end. In the fourth quarter, despite facing a 20-point deficit, they ratcheted up the pressure and went to a full court press.
It worked for a time; Olympic was able to get Kingston’s lead down to 11 early in the final quarter behind freshman Kayla Brehmer, who was a physical force all game long. Brehmer finished with a game-high 24 points.
Unfortunately, the Trojans had too much trouble defending Kingston’s ball movement and outside shooting.
“We have to anticipate,” said Olympic head coach Bryan Hanley. “We have to be moving on the flight of the ball, not once it gets there.”
And the Bucs were able to settle down after getting forced into a few turnovers. Deam and Denning both hit daggers late to ensure their team would walk away with a victory.
“They’re understanding that it takes 32 minutes to win a game,” Deam said.
The Olympic League is jam-packed after Port Angeles and Sequim. North Mason, Kingston, North Kitsap and Olympic are all vying for the final two playoffs spots. The Trojans are now sitting at 1-5 and are looking at a big game Friday night at home against North Mason.
“We’re venturing into must win territory,” Hanley said.
The Bucs are in a better position, currently sitting in fourth in the league, a half game behind North Mason. They get one more shot at the Bulldogs and also have one more game against North Kitsap and Olympic, which are, at this point, essentially playoff games.
“Whether it’s the three or the four [seed], we just want to make the playoffs because then anything can happen,” Deam said.
Kingston 77, Olympic 59
Oly 14 17 8 20 — 59
KN 19 17 23 18 — 77
Olympic (59) — Brehmer 24, Riley 10, Turnquist 8, Willis 7, Jameson 4, Bode 3, Carrier 3.
Kingston (77) — Deam 19, Walker 16, Brockman 15, Denning 15, Skinner 8, Epperson 2, Jorgensen 2.