King’s loses to Nooksack Valley | Girls basketball

By David Pan | Feb 08, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan King’s Mia Flor dribbles past Nooksack Valley’s Karley Stremler.

A young King’s team couldn’t overcome its inexperience and the play of veteran opponent.

Senior Katrina Gimmaka scored a game-high 21 points to lead Nooksack Valley to a 42-37 victory over the Knights in a 1A District 1 tournament game Tuesday, Feb. 6, at King’s High School.

The Knights take on Cascade Conference rival Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) in a loser-out game at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 8, at King’s High School.

What hurt the Knights the most, besides Gimmaka, was a sluggish offensive performance in the first quarter. The Pioneers jumped out to a 16-9 advantage after the first eight minutes of the contest.

“We got off to a slow start,” King’s coach Dan Taylor said. “We couldn’t get momentum offensively. But from there we started to make our adjustments. We couldn’t catch up with them from an offensive standpoint.”

Nooksack Valley headed into halftime with a 22-14 halftime lead. King’s freshman Daylee Peterson’s 3-pointer cut the deficit to 24-21 with just over two minutes left in the third quarter. Nooksack Valley’s Kora Larsen then hit a shot and teammate Jenna Tenkley made two free throws. Freshmen Peri Welch then scored and King’s went into the final period trailing 28-23.

The Pioneers came out strong in the fourth quarter, outscoring King’s 12-5 in the first four minutes to extend their advantage to 40-28. The Knights were able to trim the deficit to 41-34 on a basket by freshman Mia Flor at the 35-second mark but weren’t able to get any closer until freshman Claire Gallagher hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The Knights struggled with their free throws, making only two of nine in the second half.

“Of course, I’m going to expect our youth to get to us,” Taylor said. “But I thought our girls played tough. … We’re playing a lot of freshmen and sophomores. We’re young, so it’s stuff that I’ve expected. But we’re only going to get better and grow.”

The Knights previously faced Gimmaka so Taylor knew what to expect from the senior standout.

“She’s got some experience in big time games,” Taylor said. “As a senior leader, she stepped up big.”

Gallagher scored 10 points and freshman Mia Flor finished with 9 points. Freshman Annika Ruud had 7 points.

Taylor told his squad to continue to learn from these opportunities.

“Sometimes you win. Sometimes you learn,” he said.

King’s beat Cedar Park Christian (Bothell) twice during the regular season – 44-38 and 39-36.

“We have to play our game. When we play frantic and helter skelter, we aren’t very successful,” Taylor said.

Since mid-January, the Knights have won four out of their last six games coming into Tuesday night’s playoff game.

“We’ve been playing real good basketball lately,” Taylor said. “I’ve been pretty pleased with what we’ve been doing.”

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