Sports

Spartan girls put forth all-star effort

Kirsten Michael was one of the many reasons the Bainbridge girls basketball team qualified for a state berth this season.  - Brad Camp/File Photo
Kirsten Michael was one of the many reasons the Bainbridge girls basketball team qualified for a state berth this season.
— image credit: Brad Camp/File Photo

Five players earn spots on All-KNG squad.

It was a much better year for the Bainbridge girls team this season.

The Spartans started off strong with wins over Newport and Bishop Blanchet, then hit a slow spot with three losses in four games.

But with the new year came a big winning streak as they took eight of their last ten games to send them into the playoffs.

There, Bainbridge took the first four, then split the next two to make it to state, their first trip since 2004, and ended the season ninth in the rankings.

Though they lost the next three, including two at the state tournament, the Spartans will be in great shape next season.

Five Spartans made the All-Kitsap News Group team as voted on by the sports writers for the Bainbridge Island Review, the Bremerton Patriot, the Central Kitsap Reporter, the North Kitsap Herald and the Port Orchard Independent.

Candidates for the team are nominated by the writers for their respective areas. The nominees are then voted on by the writers, with the top vote-getters making the teams.

Two honorable mentions are selected from each school for each sport.

The teams include the best players from area schools that not only performed well individually, but played a role in the success of their team as well.

The starters

G — Emily Farrar, Bainbridge, senior — The 5-5 Farrar absolutely hates to lose at anything, so she did her best to make Bainbridge a contender in the always-tough Metro league.

Farrar averaged 12.6 points and 1.7 steals a game and converted 73.7 percent of her free throws. Also a threat from behind the arc, Farrar hit 33.8 percent of her three-pointers.

The three-sport threat will continue to compete, as she will run for the cross-country and track teams at Washington State University next year.

G — Sophia Baetz, Kingston, freshman — As a freshman this 5-7 young lady demonstrated she’s got the goods to play with the best of the best.

Baetz scored 12.7 points per game and averaged two steals and two rebounds per game in addition to shooting 80 percent from the free throw line.

F — Brittany Gray, Bainbridge, junior — The 5-11 wing continued to amaze, as she averaged 18.6 points and 12 rebounds for the Spartans this season, shooting 55.6 percent from the field.

Gray also had 17 double-doubles, including two games in which she scored over 20 points and grabbed more than 20 rebounds, just missing a third in the playoffs.

She also averaged a block per game and converted 80.2 percent of her free throws as she helped the team score a state berth.

A future Division I player, she’ll be one of the top players in the state again next season.

F — Megan Spence, King’s West, senior — Spence dominated the SeaTac League all season, averaging 20.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 4.4 steals per game. She also shot 54 percent from the field, including 37 percent from three-point range.

F — Nicole Buhl, Olympic, senior — Buhl was easily the most complete player not only for the Trojans, but in the Olympic League.

She put up 11.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, but also averaged three steals and 2.6 assists for the Trojans in helping Olympic come within a game of the state tournament.

Co-coaches

Kevin Strozier, Kingston — Not only did Strozier help his team to a state berth in its first year of competition, his spark and coaching style earned him the respect of his athletes as well as the Kingston community.

He led his team to a 15-10 overall season record in his first year working with a brand new school and program.

Bryan Hanley, King’s West — King’s West has advanced to state in all but two years since 1996, compiling a 4-20 record over that span. Hanley finally helped the Warriors get over the hump this year, however, as the Warriors won the first trophy in school history: a fourth-place finish at the state 2B tournament.

The Lady Warriors finished the season 21-6 overall, running the table in SeaTac League play (10-0), and won every league game by more than 23 points.

The bench

Kaileigh Westermann, South Kitsap, senior, G — Westermann returned from knee surgery in 2007 to become South’s top scorer at 4.9 points per game and also paced the Wolves with 6.1 rebounds per game during the regular season. A first-team Narrows League Bridge Division pick, she also averaged 1.2 steals per contest.

Anna Wood, Bainbridge, junior, F — The 5-9 Wood was big for the Spartans as she averaged 11.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, complimenting Gray well in the paint.

She also shot 44 percent from the field and converted 67.7 of her free throws.

Megan Morris, King’s West, senior, G — Morris gave the Lady Warriors exactly what they needed to make a postseason run: consistency. She averaged 7.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, four assists and 2.9 steals per game.

Katie Lintz, Central Kitsap, senior, F — Lintz left her mark on the Lady Cougars’ program, helping a team many thought would flounder to a .500 record while continuing CK’s streak of postseason berths.

Lintz averaged 12 points and hauled in nine rebounds a game in helping the Cougars to an 8-7 league record.

Pepper Fanua, Olympic, senior, G — Fanua was a spark plug for the Trojans, often providing the emotional lift Oly needed through her tough, scrappy play on the floor, scoring 6.5 points while grabbing 7.2 rebounds per contest. She also averaged 2.7 steals while dishing out five assists a game.

Naomi Abad, Bremerton, senior, G — Abad lit up the score sheet every night, averaging 10.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.4 steals per game. She bailed out the Lady Knights every time they needed a big play.

Riley Watts, Kingston, senior, F — A 6-1 senior, Watts tallied 9.5 points and grappled for 5.1 rebounds per game. This senior star also shot 67 percent from the free throw line.

Also stellar

Kirsten Michael, Bainbridge, junior, G — Michael was a steady presence at the point for Bainbridge this season, averaging 4.7 points, four rebounds, 3.61 assists and 1.74 steals per game.

Jesse Vincent, Bainbridge, junior, F — The 6-1 Vincent rounded out a stellar frontcourt for the Spartans this season, averaging 6.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

Arissan Ugles, Kingston, junior, G/F

Darcey Hughes, North Kitsap, junior, F

Nolan Winger, Central Kitsap, senior, F

Shawntell Bradford, Olympic, senior, F

Jordan Dixon, Klahowya, freshman, G

Irene Moore, King’s West, junior, G

Gina Ogazi, Bremerton, senior, F

Stephanie Osterdahl, South Kitsap, junior, F

Lauren Forney, Central Kitsap, senior, F

Samantha Viray, Olympic, sophomore, G

Carly McElwee, Klahowya, sophomore, G

Jacki Hill, Bremerton, senior, G/F

Brielle Foley, King’s West, junior, F

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