Warrior girls battling early

King’s West’s Megan Spence rips down a rebound against North Kitsap on Friday. Spence scored 8 points against the Vikings in the second game of the season. - Photo by Jesse Beals
King’s West’s Megan Spence rips down a rebound against North Kitsap on Friday. Spence scored 8 points against the Vikings in the second game of the season.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

POULSBO — Defense wins openers.

The North Kitsap High School Lady Vikes started out the season with feisty full-court pressure and some silky shots as they maintained an early lead to beat the King’s West Warriors Dec. 2.

The up-tempo energetic pace, courtesy of NK’s athleticism, saw the Vikes to a 19-8 lead by the end of the first quarter.

The young-running Warriors - devoid of seniors - wished for the battle to be waged out of the offensive set, but NK’s tenacity on defense wouldn’t allow them to get down the floor at times. When the Warriors finally stabilized, they looked inside.

Warrior post Chloe Mosey - a junior - got her motor running late in the first half, muscling through NK’s much smaller front court. But most of her game-high 21 points came in the second half.

North’s first-half points came through patience and follow-through as the Lady Vikes shot lights out in the first frame, led by Jessie Eadie on the perimeter and Jade Niemeyer in the post.

“It’s nice to know that running all those lines and suicide drills is worth it,” Niemeyer said of the opening win.

North’s quickness pushed King’s West out of its element and the Warriors were forced to fight from behind. But by halftime, the Warriors had cut the lead from 15 down to a count of 27-22, on the back of points from Mosey and Megan Spence.

The Warriors came out with a flare to start the second half, but Rachael Kramer led an energetic NK offense back to a ten-point lead halfway through the third frame.

With a minute left in the quarter, Aly Lydick dropped a triple that pushed NK’s lead to 41-28 and far enough to maintain for the rest of the game.

The Viking defense stayed strict enough to endure a fourth-quarter stall on the offensive end, as King’s West and an unfriendly rim negated purple shots.

North ended the fourth quarter with a designed offensive stall and cruised to the 54-42 opening win.

“The crowd really inspired us,” Niemeyer said of NK’s intensity. “But we can improve on settling down on offense and making our free throws.”

Niemeyer led all Viking scorers with 18, while Kramer and Eadie contributed 18 combined. For the Warriors, Mosey’s 21 were supported by six-point performances from Spence and Lakiesha Nilles.

Boys basketball

The Warriors are taking their lumps against foes from bigger schools in the early going.

In a contest at 2A Chimacum Tuesday, the Warriors took their lumps in the early going from a Cowboys squad playing their first game without standout Stephen Gray, who transferred to Bainbridge.

King’s West was able to play Chimacum fairly evenly over the final three quarters but could not overcome their first quarter struggles, falling 66-49.

The Warriors opened against North Mason Tuesday, Nov. 29 and took a 69-37 hit against the Bulldogs, led by Drew McCullough’s 12 points, the lone Warrior in double figures. A contest against Port Townsend canceled due to snow Thursday, Dec. 1 has been rescheduled for Dec. 20.

Sean Janssen contributed to this report.

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