Bremerton boys basketball sprints to the playoffs

Bremerton High School junior Andre Coleman squeezes a pass between two defenders during the Knights’ 72-57 victory over Kingston High School at Kingston Tuesday.  - Brad Camp/staff photo
Bremerton High School junior Andre Coleman squeezes a pass between two defenders during the Knights’ 72-57 victory over Kingston High School at Kingston Tuesday.
— image credit: Brad Camp/staff photo

The regular season is over, but for some area basketball teams, the most important games have yet to be played.

With the postseason looming, the Bremerton High School boys basketball team extended its win streak to seven in a 72-57 win on the road Tuesday over Kingston High School.

The Knights will take that momentum into a seeding game Monday against No. 6 Capital High School (19-1), which hasn’t lost since December.

“They are a good team, but so are we,” Bremerton coach Casey Lindberg said.

It will be the biggest test of the season for the Olympic League champion Knights (14-4), who have won their past seven games by an average of 27.3 points. The closest game over that span was a 12-point victory over North Kitsap High School Jan. 26.

But those wins came against teams with a combined record of 71-87.

Lindberg expects the Cougars of Capital to play an up-tempo, full-court game, much like Bremerton has done all season, which could make for a high-scoring contest.

“They are a lot like us, they have a little bit more size than we do,” Lindberg said. “But I don’t think they’re quite as fast.”

The winner of Monday’s game earns a No. 1 seed to the Class 3A West Central District III/Southwest tournament, which begins Feb. 26, while the loser drops to a No. 3 seed.

As a No. 1 seed, the Knights would face the No. 3 team from the Seamount/South Puget Sound League. As a No. 3, however, they would play the Seamount/South Puget Sound No. 1 team, which likely will be undefeated Enumclaw High School (20-0).

“We’ve just got to continue to play our game and we’ll be successful,” said senior guard Terrick McGhee, who scored 16 against Kingston.

Bremerton hasn’t advanced to the state tournament since 1999, when it placed fifth, but that would change if the Knights win one game at the district tournament.

And the team will get two tries to do it, thanks to the double-elimination format.

“We’re pretty confident,” junior Andre Coleman said. “We’re just looking forward to the tournament and doing better than we did last year.”

Although the team is confident, Lindberg said the players are remaining level-headed, a trait they’ve displayed the entire season.

When the Knights lost back-to-back games to Sequim High School and Kingston in January, they responded with seven consecutive wins. And rather than overlooking the next opponent after each of those wins, they refocused and continued the streak.

That mentality, Lindberg believes, will help Bremerton in the playoffs.

“It’s a really special trait, especially for high school kids,” Lindberg said. “It’s rare to have a team that’s so level.”

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