Kamiak unable to sustain strong start | Girls basketball

Turnovers doom Knights’ late comeback attempt
By David Pan | Jan 23, 2019
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak’s Sloane Loudenback prepares to shoot the ball against Mount Vernon.

Just about everything went right for Kamiak to start out against Mount Vernon.

The Knights jumped out to an 8-0 lead and took a 17-6 advantage into the second period.

But the Bulldogs regrouped, eventually tying the score at 30 by halftime and taking a 44-35 lead into the fourth quarter.

A 3-pointer by Kamiak senior Casey Gonzales cut the deficit to 53-48 with 2:17 left in the game.

But that would be as close as the Knights would be able to get the rest of the night, as they struggled to execute on offense and Mount Vernon prevailed 60-50 in a Wesco 4A girls basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 15, at Kamiak High School.

The Knights had nine turnovers in the fourth quarter with five in the final two minutes.

Turnovers are a reoccurring theme for Kamiak (3-6 in the league, 3-12 overall).

“We got helter skelter,” Knights coach Brian Norman. “We had some good flow during the game, but when we needed to calm down and make things happen, we got too excited, too amped up. That’s a learning thing for us. That’s something we’ve been doing a lot this year. We’ve just got to let the game come to us, be quick but under control.

“The decision-making needs to be a lot better.”

Junior center Sloane Loudenback scored all 14 of points in the first half.

“She was nice around the basket,” Norman said. “I thought she worked really hard inside.”

The Knights made about 40 percent of their shots in the first half, double what they have been shooting from the field.

“I thought we shared the ball pretty nicely in that first half,” Norman said. “We took pretty good shots and we made more shots than we normally do. … It was offensive rebounding, good passing and finishing around the rim. Those things add up to pretty good numbers.”

Sophomore guard Jordyn Porea scored 13 points and junior center Brooke Erlandsen added 10 points.

The turning point of the contest may have been in the second quarter when the Bulldogs outscored the Knights 24-13.

“They brought their intensity up and we matched it at points, but we didn’t match it consistently enough to kind of thwart their run,” Norman said. “A lot of those (points) were in transition. They were getting out and we weren’t getting out defensively in transition. And then fouls caught up to us too.”

Junior Margaux Manalo, senior Casey Gonzales, Porea and Loudenback all ended up in foul trouble in the second half and had to take a seat on the bench at various points.

“We tend to do a little reaching and have a little less feet movement,” Norman said.

Kamiak defeated Mount Vernon (4-5, 5-10) 47-43 in a mid-December matchup on the road. Norman said that the game also was back and forth. The Knights trailed by five points late but hit two 3-pointers and also sank some key free throws.

“They play a good physical, fast brand of basketball,” Norman said. “Rebounding was the demise for us, as well as turnovers. Those are two things we harp on quite a bit. We’ve getting a little better, but it’s baby steps.”

Kamiak ended the week with a 45-32 loss to Jackson Friday, Jan. 18, at Jackson High School. Porea and Loudenback each scored nine points. The Timberwolves (6-3, 11-4) were led by senior Megan Mattison, who scored 20 points.

The Knights trailed 22-13 at halftime and then were outscored 20-6 in the third quarter.

Kamiak is scheduled to face first-place and No. 1 ranked Glacier Peak at 7:15 p.m., Friday, Jan. 25, at Glacier Peak High School.

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