OLYMPIA - After struggling with four straight losses to start the season, the Olympia girls basketball team won its third straight game with a 53-52 victory over Central Kitsap in a 4A Narrows League game at Olympia High School on Wednesday night.
The Bears have won four of their past five games and improved to 4-5 overall, and 2-1 in the Narrows League.
“We’re playing much better, and feeling good about ourselves,” Olympia coach Rod Tripp said.
Kara Sherman led a balanced offensive attack for the Bears with a team-best 14 points. Lauren Herseth, who scored a career-high 34 points on 7-of-9 shooting from behind the arc against Chehalis on Dec. 30, had 12 points, and Olivia Rethwill and Marie Beagle had nine points apiece.
Olympia had an eight-point lead with four minutes left before Central Kitsap started sending the Bears to the free-throw line, and making their shots on the other end. The Cougars sank a half-court 3-pointer at the buzzer to produce the final score.
Tripp said his team’s turnaround has been a combination of things, including starting to compete in games and taking in the new team-first structure the first-year coach has implemented .
“It has taken some time,” Tripp said.
Stadium 25, Shelton 21: The Highclimbers fell to 0-10 overall, while Stadium earned its first Narrows League win and improved to 2-6.
Shelton’s 6-foot freshman post, Jaycee Kingery, had a team-best six points.
Olympia 62, Central Kitsap 41: The Bears proved to be too much for the Cougars, taking a commanding first-half lead and cruising to their fourth Narrows League victory.
Olympia (9-1 overall, 4-0 Narrows) held Central Kitsap to eight first-half points and forced the Cougars to three first-half shot-clock violations on the way to a 29-8 halftime lead.
“That was huge for us,” Olympia coach Luke Salme said. “It was a good way to come back from (Christmas) break.”
The Bears shot 43 percent – 29 of 67 – and took 19 more shots than Central Kitsap, but Olympia’s defense proved to be the difference.
“That set the pace early,” Salme said.
Alex Weber-Brader led Olympia with a game-high 26 points.
With an extended zone defense by Central Kitsap, Weber-Brader was able to get the majority of his points at the high post and in the paint. He finished with 13-for-19 shooting.
Shelton 56, Stadium 47: The Highclimbers beat the Tigers to earn their first Narrows League victory and improve to 3-7 overall.
Tre Fisher had a game-high 24 points for Shelton, and Barry Peterson chipped in with 17.