Newport downs Kamiak | Girls basketball

By David Pan | Feb 13, 2019

A young Kamiak team gained some valuable experience at the Wes-King 4A girls basketball tournament.

The Knights’ youth, however, probably was a little too much to overcome, as a veteran Newport squad easily prevailed 61-22 in a loser-out game Thursday, Feb. 7, at Newport High School.

Newport, also known as the Knights, finished second in the Kingco Crest Division with an 8-5 mark (12-11 overall). The team came into Thursday’s game with six seniors and three juniors. Kamiak (6-7, 6-14) had two seniors – Casey Gonzales and Rachel Coleman.

Kamiak coach Brian Norman is hoping the five juniors – Margo Manalo, Brooke Erlandsen, Polina Startsev, Jordyn Porea and Sloane Loudenback – who logged significant minutes this season, learn from this season’s brief postseason appearance.

“We’re still pretty young,” Norman said. “They got a taste of postseason play. It’s a little more physical and the quality of the opponent was pretty good. They kind of handed it to us.”

Kamiak shot only 17 percent from the field and scored only 1 point in the fourth quarter. Norman noted that he brought up some of the players from junior varsity so that they also could see court time in the playoffs.

But the Kamiak coach added that the Knights have to work on their shooting. The struggles from the field were a reoccurring theme this season.

“That’s been kind of one of the issues is getting the ball to go in the basket,” Norman said. “It’s something we need to work on. It’s not necessarily the selection of shots, though we didn’t have the best selection. It’s just being a little more relaxed and letting the game come to you. Just shoot the way you shoot in practice. Just improving our shooting percentage will help us out a lot.”

Loudenback led her team with 8 points with a strong inside game against a Newport team that had a height advantage. Norman did like that Kamiak limited its turnovers to 14 for the night.

“It was one of lows of the season,” he said.

In sharp contrast to Kamiak’s shooting woes, Newport connected on 10 3-pointers.

“They can shoot the ball,” Norman said. “They didn’t miss too many – even defensively when we contested their shots.”

Norman has preached throughout the season that the Knights need to work on their fundamentals and that includes better defense.

“We need to get a little more physical, tough and have better communication,” he said. “Offensively, we need to execute better – get open with screens, cuts, ball fakes.”

Kamiak’s up and down season ended for the most part on the upside with back-to-back wins over Monroe and Mariner during the final week of the regular season. “Each of us individually, coaches and players, needs to get a little better,” Norman said.


WAITING GAME: Like everyone else, Mariner has been playing the waiting game for its Wes-King 4A district opener. The Marauders, who last played on Feb. 1 when they beat district rival Kamiak, were scheduled to host Skyline in a loser-out game on Tuesday, Feb. 12, after the Beacon’s deadline. The winner advances to the double-elimination portion of the tournament and is scheduled to play Kingco No. 1 seed Mount Si at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 13 at Mount Si High School. The Wildcats were 13-0 in the Kingco Crest Division and 20-2 overall.

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