Shooting woes contribute to tough Kamiak losses | Girls basketball

Knights struggle from field against Vikings, Grizzlies
By David Pan | Jan 12, 2017
Photo by: David Pan Kamiak’s Carolyn Brunner (14) guards Monroe’s Emily Toycen during the Knights’ 52-47 victory.

The Kamiak girls basketball team doesn’t necessarily live or die by the 3-pointer, but the shot is a big part of its game.

In Monday’s Wesco 4A game against Lake Stevens, the Knights struggled with their long-range shots and as a result fell 51-42 at Kamiak High School.

The Knights made only 5 of 22 3-pointers for the night and were an equally disappointing 11 of 32 with the rest of their shots.

Kamiak coach Brian Norman didn’t have any complaints about his players’ effort  against the Vikings.

“We really came out and put together a good defensive effort. We played hard the entire 32 minutes,” he said. “Our shooting kind of let us down.”

The Knights have been taking good shots in Norman’s opinion.

“We’re just not clicking with regard to the ball going in the hole,” he said.

Senior wing Sarah Payne scored 16 points and senior guard Aliea Marrero had 13 points.

“We did a good job in the second half of getting into the paint,” Norman said. “Our goal was to draw some fouls in the second half.”

The Knights, however, only made 5 of 11 free throws.

Kamiak (3-2 in the league, 6-5 overall) was coming off its worst loss of the season, 81-35, to league leading Glacier Peak. The Grizzlies sprinted out to a 26-7 lead after the first period and outscored Kamiak in each of the subsequent three quarters.

“We didn’t play very well,” Norman said. “Obviously, they’ve got some pretty talented girls over there. They jumped on us early and they kept rolling.”

The Knights turned the ball over 13 times and didn’t shoot the ball well, Norman added.

Kamiak has been struggling with field goals in its last four games. Because the Knights don’t have much height, they often rely on 3-pointers.

“We like the opportunities we get with the 3-ball,” Norman said. “The last three, four games we haven’t been shooting well. We’ve hit a little rough patch.”

The Knights beat Monroe 52-47 in a Jan. 4 contest at Kamiak High School.

The difference was free throws, according to senior guard Kate Huguenin, who scored 21 points.

“Everyone was at the line,” she said. “There were lots of fouls.”

Fifteen of Kamiak’s 52 points were from the line and 24 of the Bearcats’ 47 points were from free throws.

The fouls were mostly a result of improper positioning, according to Huguenin.

“I think people weren’t keeping their hands up and they were getting chippy stuff,” she said. “Not a lot of it was at the hoop. It was out there up top.”

The Knights trailed 33-32 late in the third quarter when Payne and Alex Gallaher made back-to-back 3-pointers to give Kamiak a 38-33 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

After Monroe cut the lead to 38-36, Kamiak’s Hunter Beirne hit another 3-pointer to extend the advantage to 41-36. Huguenin scored 7 points in the final four minutes to help secure the victory.

“We stepped it up on defense,” she said. “We got some really big steals. We had a couple of big 3s.”

Norman was glad to come away with the victory but he didn’t think the Knights played especially well.

“Our defense was not great,” he said. “We didn’t play good fundamental defense. … We did win. That’s the main thing.”

The Knights have been connecting on about 20 percent of their 3-pointers, below the 33 percent Norman wants to see.

Norman doesn’t see shot selection as the problem.

“We’re taking good looks,” he said. “We’re not forcing it. Right now they’re not falling. It’s not just one girl. It’s across the board.”

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