North Kitsap teams prep for post season

With the regular season wrapped up, teams from both high schools in the North Kitsap School District prepare to fight their way into the post-season.

The Kingston High School boys and girls basketball teams, which took first and second respectively in their division, will continue on into sub-districts this weekend.

The KHS wrestling team will send 15 students — 12 boys and three girls — to the regional tournament at Franklin Pierce.

“We wrestled outstanding on Friday and Saturday,” head coach Bobby Reece said, referring to the sub-regional tournament at Port Angeles Feb. 4 and Feb. 5.

The team took home the first district title for a KHS wrestling team after defeating the Klahowya Eagles by a margin of five points. Of the 21 wrestlers who went to the tournament, 19 scored more than the five points needed to win the title.

A highlight of the night: Kingston 130-pound wrestler Benny McMullen defeated Klahowya’s top-seeded Shane Burleson by decision.

“We really did it as a team,” Reece said.

Kingston is not the only force on the court.

Despite being fifth in the Olympic League with a record of 4-12, the North Kitsap girls basketball team will hit the court for seeding in the district tournament next week.

“We’re really excited,” head coach Tim French said. “We haven’t won as many games as we hoped, though.”

This is French’s first year as head coach of the basketball team, which consists of mostly freshman and junior players. As first-year coach, French said he did not have a lot of expectations for post-season and was hoping to build more on the team’s “culture.”

Since the beginning of the season, French said the attitude the team has developed on the court made a turn for the better. “Overall, the season was very rewarding,” he said.

The NK gymnastics team and debate team also advanced into the post-season.

Though this is the first time the gymnastics team has not qualified for the West Central District 3 meet as a team, eight girls from the team qualified individually.

“Gymnastics can be like that, just like any other program,” head coach Kris Goodfellow said.

As students graduate and others come in to replace them, Goodfellow said it can “close the door” on going to the state tournaments.

Of the 10 girls that went to the Cascade Elite League meet on Feb. 5, having eight qualify is a good sign of things to come next year. Jessica Dimof, Alyssa Kjormoe, Lauren Wageman and Sarah Zimmerman have shown progress, which, if the gymnasts stick with the team next year, will all have shots at State — if not this season.

“Alyssa (Kjormoe) has been picking up skills left and right,” Goodfellow said of the junior. “Its like something just clicked.”

Wageman and Zimmerman both qualified for the district meet in all four events, but a back problem may keep Wageman from competing.

“My fingers are crossed that she can compete Friday night,” Goodfellow said.

For the NK debate team, competition will also continue, with 11 more students than one week ago.

Because students accumulate points, a leap of those qualifying for state is not rare.

During the final tournament of the season at Pacific Lutheran, 11 students from the team qualified for state in speech.

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