Jackie Robinson and Jackie Thomas agree on this — these two programs know each other well.
That’s probably why, Robinson said, the second meeting this season between Olympia High School and its new Class 4A South Puget Sound League rival, Curtis, ended with a low score Tuesday night.
“She knew what to take away from us, and we knew what their strong points were,” said Robinson, Olympia’s second-year coach.
Plenty was taken away on both sides — the programs combined for 40 turnovers and several long scoring droughts — but the Vikings rallied late to slip by the Bears, 34-30, at Curtis High School.
With 2 minutes, 25 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Jalaiya Frederick drove down the left lane and converted a layup.
That ended a Vikings drought that lasted nearly 11 minutes, and sparked a 12-0 Curtis run.
“We were missing shots we usually make, but I think it was because we were playing so slow,” Thomas said. “Once she got that going, the tempo worked in our favor a little bit.”
Olympia turned the ball over five times before the quarter expired, and the Vikings converted on buckets by Kaelin Williams-Kennedy and Kayrena Taylor.
Taylor added a pair of free throws to tie the game at 24-all at the end of the third.
Then Sharay Trotter opened the fourth quarter with back-to-back baskets to give Curtis the lead for good.
“I think they turned up the pressure in the second half,” Robinson said. “We knew it was coming. I think it was just about a five-minute stretch that was probably the difference in the ball game.”
Francis Brown, who led the Bears with eight points, knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the lead to one point, but that’s as close as Olympia got.
Williams-Kennedy answered less than a minute later to push Curtis’ lead back to three, and Olympia couldn’t regroup.
Williams-Kennedy led Curtis with 10 points while Frederick and Taylor each added six.
“This was kind of a step backwards, but we learn from it, and we get better,” said Olympia guard Amelia Ack.
Ack, Olympia’s leading scorer, who is averaging 15 points per game, was limited to just two on Tuesday night. Averie Stock, who is averaging 10.7 per game, was held to four.
“I thought I got the looks I wanted, I just wasn’t hitting them tonight,” Ack said. “… They did a good job on us.”
Olympia finished 12 of 50 shooting (24 percent) with 23 turnovers. Curtis was 15 of 48 (31.3 percent) with 17 turnovers.
The Bears (8-7, 7-4 4A SPSL) sit in fourth place in the league, and travel to Emerald Ridge at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Olympia’s only losses in league play are to the three teams (Bellarmine Prep, Curtis and Rogers) that are in front of it.
“We’re not satisfied with losing a ballgame, but we know we’re right there,” Robinson said.
Olympia 11 7 6 6_30
Curtis 10 6 8 10_34
O – VanDormolen 2, Ack 2, Stock 4, Terry 2, Landers 5, Brown 8, Church 7
C – Frederick 6, Prodder 4, Brubaker 6, Marsh 2, Taylor 6, Williams-Kennedy 10