Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News Port Angeles’ Nizhoni Wheeler, left, squeezes between the defense of North Kitsap’s Ashley Vest, front right, and Raelee Moore for a layup attempt in the first quarter of play on Tuesday at Port Angeles High School.

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News Port Angeles’ Nizhoni Wheeler, left, squeezes between the defense of North Kitsap’s Ashley Vest, front right, and Raelee Moore for a layup attempt in the first quarter of play on Tuesday at Port Angeles High School.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: North Kitsap defense stifles Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles had trouble with turnovers against first-place North Kitsap, getting blitzed by the Vikings in a 19-0 run in the third quarter, eventually falling 45-27 in an Olympic League 2A Division girls basketball game.

Coach Michael Poindexter said that not only did giveaways kill the Roughriders, but four or five missed layups in the first half came back to haunt them. The game was actually relatively close until early in the second half.

“Amidst all those turnovers, if we make those layups, we’re right in the game,” he said.

North Kitsap’s Lauren Weins and Olivia Selembo both did an effective job of jumping into the passing lanes and stealing passes, which led to a lot of easy layups, particularly for Selembo, who scored 17.

Despite a rash a turnovers, the Riders were right in the thick of the game early in the third quarter. The Riders only trailed 26-18 with six minutes left in the third quarter, thanks largely to some clutch outside shooting. The Riders had four 3-pointers in the first half, two by Krysten McGuffey and one each from Lauren Lunt and Natalie Steinman.

But, then the turnovers started adding up and North Kitsap went on a 19-0 run to close out the third quarter and blow the game open.

Poindexter said there is a reason why North Kitsap is 6-1 in the Olympic League 2A Division. That lone loss was to Port Angeles earlier this season.

“That was a great defensive team. They’re the best defensive team in the league,” Poindexter said.

“[Turnovers] have been a problem we’ve faced in practice and other games. We’re not learning from our mistakes,” he said.

Poindexter said he thought his players got intimidated by the Vikings’ defense and that his players need to learn how to deal with stress better. He gave credit to Steinman and McGuffey for continuing to battle throughout the game.

The Riders were led by Steinman and McGuffey, who each hit two 3-pointers and scored six each.

Port Angeles (7-8, 4-4) will try to regroup against Bremerton in a home game at 7 p.m. Friday.

North Kitsap 45, Port Angeles 27

North Kitsap 15 11 19 0 — 45

Port Angeles 11 5 2 9 — 27

North Kitsap (45) — Selembo 17, Vest 7, Mackenzie 6, Moore 6, Weins 4, Hughes 3, Barreith 2.

Port Angeles (27) — McGuffey 6, Steinman 6, C. Wheeler 4, N. Wheeler 4, Lunt 3, Brady 2, Robideau 2.

________

Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected]

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