GIRLS BASKETBALL: Port Angeles rallies to beat Kingston
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Port Angeles’ Brittany Norberg, left, pulls down an errant pass in the closing seconds of the second quarter while facing pressure from Kingston’s Anna Gaines.

By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A bleak outcome loomed late for the Port Angeles girls basketball team: an early season homecourt loss to an Olympic League rival.

Finding themselves trailing Kingston 42-35 with just 3:35 to play in the fourth quarter, the Roughriders gathered themselves and finished the game on an 11-0 run to win 46-42, earning what appeared to be an unlikely victory just minutes before.

“There was zero doubt on our bench and out on the floor that we could come back,” Riders coach Michael Poindexter said of Friday's rally.

“Kingston obviously outplayed us, and I told the team they won 21 minutes of the game and we won 11, the first eight and the last three.”

Port Angeles (3-0 Olympic League, 4-0 overall) bolted to an early 22-12 lead after the first quarter, thanks to the hot outside shooting of senior guards Krista Johnson and Maddy Hinrichs.

Johnson connected on three early 3-pointers and totaled 12 points in the first frame, while Hinrichs knocked down two triples.

That double-digit lead wouldn't last, however.

Poindexter said Port Angeles expected a battle against Kingston.

And “because we got so much early,” both early in the offense and early in the game, the Riders relaxed and allowed Kingston to climb back in the contest.

Port Angeles cooled considerably in the second and third quarters, scoring just four and six points, respectively, as Kingston claimed a 37-32 lead entering the fourth.

“We had too much of a quick-shot mentality [on offense]. I felt we were settling for early shots and not making Kingston work enough on defense,” Poindexter said.

Kingston also was beating Port Angeles to rebounds and making the most of inside opportunities.

“We were not blocking out and not fronting the post well,” Poindexter said.

That all changed in the final moments as the Riders pressed in the back court, forcing numerous turnovers from the younger Buccaneers team and knocking down clutch basket after basket.

The rally started after Kingston's Anna Gaines' short jumper in the post just beat the shot clock to give Kingston that seven-point lead with 3:35 left.

Johnson, held scoreless in the second and third quarters, came through with back to back scores, the second after she managed a steal and was fouled on a layup attempt.

The shot was good, the free throw was off, but Kingston's lead had been trimmed to 42-39.

Hinrichs splashed a 3-pointer to tie it at 42-42 with 1:15 to go, and after another Port Angeles steal, a layup by sophomore Maddie Boe put the Riders back on top for good at 44-42 with 52 seconds left.

The Riders stole the ball again, and Johnson knocked down two free throws with 46.3 seconds to account for the final margin.

“Krista's experience and maturity helped us down the stretch,” Poindexter said.

“We discussed subbing her but we couldn't take her off the court.”

Kingston, a young team with just two seniors, made a curious decision to not foul down the stretch to potentially extend the game.

“They crumpled at the end,” Poindexter said of Kingston.

“You could see confusion in their faces and they looked like they didn't know what to do [on whether to foul Port Angeles].”

Port Angeles, hit hard recently by illness according to Poindexter, was playing its second game of a six-game in 10 days stretch.

The Riders will host Klahowya (0-2, 2-3) at 7 p.m. Monday.

Port Angeles 46, Kingston 42

Kingston 12 9 16 5— 42

Port Angeles 22 4 6 14— 46

Individual scoring

Kingston (42)

Fontes 13, Clark 10,Carper 9, Gaines 6, Kay 3, Beaulieu 1 .

Port Angeles (46)

Johnson 19, Hinrichs 13, Baxley 5, Boe 4, Jeffers 2, Hofer 2, Jones 1.

Last modified: December 14. 2013 6:01PM
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