Shorewood overmatched by taller Kamiak

  • Aaron Coe<br>For the Enterprise
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 11:58am


They screamed the word so loud inside the Kamiak High School locker room Friday night that it could be heard echoing through the halls.


The Kamiak girls basketball team is now playoff bound after a dominating 52-27 victory over Shorewood in a Western Conference South Division game Jan. 26.

The victory and a loss Friday by Edmonds-Woodway secured one of the South Division’s four Class 4A District 1 playoff berths for the Knights, who are still in the running for a No. 2 seed. They were scheduled to play at Edmonds-Woodway on Wednesday and close the regular season with games against Jackson, Meadowdale and last-place Mariner.

Led by Nicole Bozek’s 17 rebounds, the Knights out-boarded Shorewood 50-28. Though no Knights scored in double figures, every Kamiak varsity player scored at least two points and grabbed a rebound.

Bozek tied Elise Jones for team-high honors with nine points, despite leaving the game for good late in the third quarter with the result in the bag. Post Jordan Keller and guards Kelsey Patrick and Nichole Chittick each tallied six rebounds.

Shorewood coach Jeff Bernhardt said his team was overmatched by the taller Knights.

“We’ve just got to be willing to do it,” said Bernhardt, whose team (5-7, 7-9) fell back in the playoff race.

“We’ve got a mental block. When you see a big girl you’ve got to be willing to stick your forearm or your butt into her and make her go over you.”

Friday’s box score is a perfect example of the team philosophy Bozek believes the Knights have this season.

“I think this year our team chemistry is better,” said Bozek, a 6-foot-2 post who has committed to play next year for Alaska-Fairbanks. “We all understand that we are all on one path to districts.”

Third-year Kamiak head coach Branda Anderson witnessed some growth in her team when the Knights played well in the latter stages of last season, which ended with a 7-11 division record. It became clear to her during the offseason and early stages of this campaign that her team was willing to buy into the team-first concept.

“It makes us hard to guard,” Anderson said. “We don’t want to be just Nicole Bozek, or just Kelsey Patrick or just Elise Jones. That makes you easy to guard. … We want to make it hard for everybody.”

Trailing 8-7, Kamiak’s offense awakened in the second quarter. Five Knights scored in Kamiak’s 15-point second quarter while the defense held the Thunderbirds to eight points. Shorewood led 11-10 after Rachel Eckerlin’s 3 with 6:35 to go in the half, but Kamiak post Julia Church’s layup opened an 8-1 run for an 18-12 lead.

Bozek did not make a field goal in the first half, but dominated nevertheless. Bozek grabbed 13 rebounds in the half while making all of four of her free throw attempts and blocking two shots.

Ashley Larsen made Kamiak’s final two baskets of the half to give the Knights a 22-16 edge. Though Shorewood’s defense made points hard to come by, the Knights’ rebounding advantage allowed them a halftime lead.

“When your shots aren’t falling, you’ve got to play other parts of the game,” Anderson said. “You’ve got to play great defense and rebound – things that you can control.”

The score got out of control in the second half when Kamiak’s shots started dropping. Bozek began the second half with a 3-point play to key a 9-2 run. Jones made consecutive 3-point shots during Kamiak’s 13-0 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters. Jordan Keller scored the final five points of that run, which gave Kamiak a 46-21 lead.

Jane Fleck led Shorewood with 11 points and seven rebounds.

Aaron Coe writes for the Herald of Everett.

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