Knight girls survive scare to beat North Kitsap, 55-51

Bremerton’s Alishia Lindsay takes a shot over the arms of Megan Hoisington (44) and Kaitlin Poppe (15). - Kent Soule/Hoot Creek Photography
Bremerton’s Alishia Lindsay takes a shot over the arms of Megan Hoisington (44) and Kaitlin Poppe (15).
— image credit: Kent Soule/Hoot Creek Photography

With both teams needing a win, the short-handed Bremerton Knights jumped out early and held on in a 55-51 win over league foe North Kitsap at home Wednesday night.

With starting forward Kayla Bennett serving a one-game suspension and starting point guard Jennifer Jacobs limited by a knee injury, coach Daniel McInnis said his team had to find a way to win.

“The bottom line is we have to win,” McInnis said. “If we win the rest of our games the worst we should finish is third.”

After Jacobs staked Bremerton (11-4 overall, 6-3 league) to a 19-9 lead in the first quarter with a 10-point outburst, North Kitsap (4-11 overall, 2-7 league) cut the lead to five at the half.

With 3:50 remaining in the third quarter, the Vikings tied the game at 34 on a jumper by Molly McCluskey.

Bremerton’s Jessica Bollinger answered with a put back of her own and back-up point guard Ebonee Batiste capitalized on a steal to put the Knights back up by four.

With a one-point lead going into the fourth quarter, both teams traded baskets and with 18 seconds left in the game and Bremerton leading by two, North Kitsap’s Jessie Eadie was unable to convert two free throws allowing the Knights to preserve the victory.

“We left it all out on the court and it just came down to a few points,” said North Kitsap coach Dan Weedin.

The Vikings needed a win to help them move up the league standings to catch Port Angeles and South Kitsap, Weedin said.

“It’s tough when you have to go to Bremerton and play a tough team like Bremerton,” he said.

For the Knights the win allowed their role players to step up, which should pay dividends later in the season, McInnis said.

“We got through it and it was good for the team to learn they can win with other people,” he said.

Jacobs led the Knights with 17 points and Alishia Lindsay added 12 in the victory. Grettenberger grabbed 7 rebounds for the Knights as well.

Bremerton fell for the second time this year agaist Central Kitsap last Friday, losing on the road, 67-55. Last year, the teams split the season series, 1-1.

“We know we can beat them,” McInnis said. “We just have to come out looser and play better. We had a good push at the end, but it was a little bit late.”

With the win, CK (13-1, 9-0) began the second half of league play the same way they finished the first half – with a win.

Bremerton couldn’t get into any kind of rhythm for the second time this season. CK beat Bremerton 61-39 in Bremerton last month.

“(CK) played very good, definitely,” McInnis said. “I don’t know what it is. We’re rushing it. We’re not loose.”

Bremerton tried to come back strong at the end, scoring 22 in the fourth quarter.

“We had a couple of runs,” McInnis said. “The big thing was we couldn’t keep (Megan Hoisington) off the glass or out of the middle. We gave her second and third shots. She is tall and big. We talked about doubling her, but we just couldn’t do it.”

Hoisington has been the ire of many CK foes this season, finishing with a game-high 19 points and 15 boards. Those numbers came despite early foul trouble, which kept Hoisington off the court of the final two minutes of the first quarter and all of the second.

Jacobs again led the team with a game-high 24 points. Bollinger scored 11 in support, while Lindsay and Bennett each had 10.

The Knights played Olympic at home yesterday and will next travel to Port Orchard to face South Kitsap at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

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