Bainbridge sent home early from state

Anna Wood fights for the rebound against Auburn Riverside in the 3A state tournament at the Bank of America Arena Wednesday. - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
Anna Wood fights for the rebound against Auburn Riverside in the 3A state tournament at the Bank of America Arena Wednesday.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON – It was a tough draw and no one could say otherwise.

And though the Bainbridge girls basketball team did their best, they couldn’t get past two top five teams at the 3A state tournament this week, losing 78-21 to number one Auburn Riverside on Wednesday and 72-63 to fifth ranked Meadowdale on Thursday at the Bank of America Arena on the University of Washington campus.

Against Auburn Riverside, the defending champs made sure there would be no upset taking place as they raced out to a 16-4 lead in the first quarter.

Katie Grad scored eight points – including two threes – to start it off and also assisted on another score from Mercedes Whitmore.

The Ravens quickly increased their lead to 25-8 as Rachel Givens sank a three ball while Randi Raiford and Grad scored as well.

Meanwhile, Bainbridge had trouble getting past the press of Riverside and when they did, they turned the ball over at a rapid pace, as the Spartans had problems finding the open person.

“The press wasn’t as big of an issue,” Emily Farrar said. “We thought it was going to be a bigger issue than it was.

“We broke the press but we had a hard time getting into our offense because they play good defense.”

Brittany Gray also struggled, getting into foul trouble early.

The Ravens pushed the lead to 42-14 at the half as Grad scored ten points on layins to push her first half total to 20 points.

Kirsten Michael scored on the first possession for Bainbridge in the second half, but that was their only field goal for most of the second half.

Kara Jenkins and Raiford connected on threes while Kathleen Cooper scored four points to put the lead out of reach.

Head coach Penny Gienger and Farrar were not happy that many of the Riverside players kept shooting three pointers even when they were up by 43.

The Ravens shot 10 of 22 from beyond the arc.

“I’m disappointed in their sportsmanship,” Farrar said. “I think it’s rude to continue shooting three pointers, but whatever.”

Bainbridge struggled to score in the second half and didn’t until Gray split her free throws at the 1:51 mark.

Farrar hit a jumper from the right side with 45 seconds left for her only points of the game and just the team’s second field goal of the half.

The 21 points for Bainbridge was a season low and was just four points away from setting the record for lowest point total in a game (17 is the record set by Kennedy in 2004).

The Spartans shot just 19.4 percent for the game and turned the ball over 30 times, with the Ravens scoring 34 points off those turnovers.

Gray was the team leader with seven points and nine rebounds, but all her points came at the free throw line.

Riverside set the record for biggest win margin with 57 points and also set a new record for assists by a team with 25.

“They are good,” Farrar said. “Their (players are) going Pac-10, Division I and that’s what they want to do.

“We tried,” she continued. “We experimented, we gave it everything we had.

“It was not as bad as the score (indicates).”

Against Meadowdale, Bainbridge had an easier time scoring points, but too many turnovers again were their downfall.

Both teams traded the lead early, as Gray and Jesse Vincent got off to a good start with Vincent putting Bainbridge up 13-9 with a 12-footer.

The Mavericks kept right with the Spartans until Hanna Fjortoft sank two threes in the second to put Meadowdale on top by five.

Gray scored four points while Farrar added five on a steal and a layin and a three-pointer to keep things close.

But Eryn Jones scored four points and Danica Coronacion hit a three with seconds left in the half to send them to the locker room up by 11.

“I didn’t think we could play them in a man (defense) but we had to because they were hitting threes,” Gienger said. “Defensively, we didn’t have the energy that we had in the second half.”

In the third quarter, Jones continued to frustrate the Spartans with seven points right out of the gate.

When Alli Streit scored inside, it was 55-42, but Bainbridge went on a quick run to close the gap to nine by the end of the third as Michael, Vincent and Claire Thomas all scored.

While the Mavs struggled from the field (they shot just 25 percent in the second half) Jones kept them in it by staying perfect at the line – she finished 13 for 13.

But the Spartans kept hanging in there as Farrar made a three and Anna Wood scored inside off a nice pass from Gray with 3:05 left to cut the lead to seven.

“Our offense got us here,” Gienger said. “I thought we ran stuff against them. We went through a couple of lulls where we threw the ball away for no reason, but for the most part, we can play offense.

“I thought we made some really nice plays and looked like a good basketball team.”

Fjortoft made things interesting when she missed both her free throws.

Wood scored inside again with 1:09 left, but that was the last score of the game for Bainbridge.

Mavs head coach Dan Taylor alertly called a timeout before they turned the ball over on a five second inbounds violation while Jones scored four points at the line to close things out.

The Spartans shot 50.9 percent for the game.

Gray finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds while Vincent finished with 15 points on 6 for 6 shooting from the field.

“Jesse’s a great player,” Gienger said. “She’s got a beautiful shot.

“She did really good,” Gray said. “I love it when she’s a lot more aggressive and she steps up and makes her shots.

“At practice she’s always on and she never misses.”

Wood added 12 points.

Meadowdale scored 23 points off of 24 Bainbridge turnovers.

Despite the losses, Gienger said they’ve exceeded their expectations for this season.

“Most of these kids sat on the bench last year,” she said. “We made great strides from the beginning of the year to now.

“Our goals at the beginning of the year wasn’t state. Our goal was to try and win a couple of games at districts. We really did a good job this year.

“We gave it everything we had,” Farrar said. “Coach always says no matter what the outcome, make sure when you walk off that floor that you’re not thinking ‘I could’ve done this,’ or ‘I could’ve done that.’

“I think every kid that played gave it everything they had.”

For next year, only Farrar and Thomas will move on, while Gray, Michael, Vincent and Wood, along with the entire bench, return for Bainbridge.

“I think we’re going to be better next year,” Gray said. “We’ll be young but I think we’ll do really good.”

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