Kingston Bucs trounce Klahowya Eagles in girls basketball

KINGSTON – A staunch defense led the way for the Kingston High School girls basketball team Tuesday, as they cruised to a 56-28 victory over Klahowya.

Nearly everything went Kingston’s way from the beginning, as the Buccaneers took a 27-11 lead at halftime. New Kingston Head Coach Penny Gienger said her team is capable of more, though

“Tonight I wanted a little more intensity from what we had,” she said. “Right now we’re just doing some easy things poorly that we haven’t mastered yet.”

The Kingston defense was still enough to stymie the Eagle offense. Freshman Amanda Carper had six steals and the Buccaneer team combined to block four shots on the night.

“Offensively, we just weren’t even in their game,” Klahowya Head Coach Don Farrell said. “They play aggressive defense and forced some bad plays. The (shots) we did manage to get, we weren’t hitting.”

The Buccaneers jumped out to a 13-3 lead by the end of the first quarter, thanks to nine points from junior guard Sophia Baetz. Baetz finished with 25 points, despite being benched late in the third quarter because of foul trouble.

“That’s the person we tried to shut down,” Farrell said.

Thirteen of Baetz’s points came in the third quarter, as the Bucs took a 33-point lead late.

“We were working on our offense, and in the third quarter that’s when we executed it best, so that’s when those shots were open,” Baetz said.

Gienger agreed, noting Kingston’s strategy of pounding the ball inside to the team’s two, six-foot post players, Elsa Brown and Maggie Snaza, worked to the team’s advantage.

“I thought in the third quarter we played pretty good basketball,” Gienger said. “I really believe in going inside first. It really opens up your guards.”

But the season is young, and Gienger believes the 2-1 Bucs have plenty of room for improvement.

“We’re starting a major learning phase,” she said.

The Bucs play their next game at 7 p.m. Friday against division rival Port Angeles at home.

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