Oh happy day: Girls just one win away

Spartans take first two games in tourney; berth to state in sight.

BELLEVUE – The Bainbridge girls basketball team is one game away from state.

The Spartans defeated Newport 52-48 on Tuesday, then topped the Metro League champs and ninth-ranked Lakeside 64-52 Thursday at Bellevue Community College to take the first two games in the 3A Sea-King District 2 tournament.

It’s their fourth straight playoff win and their 12th victory in their last 14 games.

“It’s exciting,” head coach Penny Gienger said while sporting a big grin on her face. “It’s a lot of fun. We’re pretty happy about it.

The Spartans and the Lions kept things close for most of the first quarter before Bainbridge took the lead late in the period.

Brittany Gray had four points while Jesse Vincent kicked in five as did Emily Farrar.

Kirsten Michael also contributed with a steal and an assist.

Lakeside worked their way back to tie it at 25 before the Spartans shut the Lions down en route to a 13-0 run to end the half.

“Everybody was involved,” Gienger said. “We had Jesse scoring, we had Brit scoring, we had Anna scoring – our guards were dishing right. Everybody scored or got an assist.

“We were hitting on all cylinders.”

“We just ran our stuff,” Farrar said. “We knew that if we could get Brit or Anna one-on-one with one of their post players, they were dead.”

Gray had five points while Vincent kicked in four and Wood had two points and two assists.

Both teams played a mostly even third quarter before Lakeside went on a 13-4 run to close the lead to two by using the full court press to rattle Bainbridge.

Molly Levine scored five points in the run.

“Sometimes we break it well and score, sometimes we freak out a little bit,” Gienger said. “People say ‘press Bainbridge, press Bainbridge,’ but I think sometimes you press us (too much) and we’ll score.

“I’m OK with our press break.”

But after Muffie Burleson scored at the 4:43 mark, neither team could convert on an offensive possession.

Finally, Wood broke the stalemate with three of four free throws.

Gray later scored on a putback to put the Spartans up by seven.

Madeline Barnes scored at the 1:20 mark, but that was the last field goal for the Lions.

Farrar sealed it at the line by converting five of six free throws.

Against Newport at Ingraham High School Tuesday, the Spartans got off to a hot start, then got a big game from Wood to help the team get past the Knights.

Gray and Wood scored the first eight points, with Farrar capping the run with a three ball.

But Newport came back to tie it early in the second quarter with both teams trading the lead before Wood tied it up at the half.

It was all Bainbridge for most of the third quarter as Wood’s nine points sparked a 14-4 run.

Newport cut the lead to five at the end of the third, but Gray scored to open the fourth, then she, Wood and Michael converted on five of six free throws for a 12-point lead.

But the Knights kept on them, pulling to within three late in the period.

That’s when Wood converted two big free throws, then scored inside while Farrar split her free throws to ensure the win as Newport missed several shots in the last minute.

Wood snared the defensive rebound off the last miss for her 17th rebound to go with 23 points, both career highs.

“They know what Brittany can do because she’s amazing so that given me more opportunity to come in and help out,” she said.

Her coaches and teammates appreciate Wood’s presence inside.

“Anna’s been big for us these past (few) games,” Gienger said. “They’re double-teaming Brit, so she’s just getting her hand on it and doing what it takes to get us to advance. She’s really coming around.

“She gets it (the ball) – I don’t know how – she just grabs it and puts it right back up,” Michael said. “It’s crazy.”

Bainbridge plays eighth-ranked Seattle Prep Tuesday at BCC in a winner-to-state game, but before that, they’ll take a weekend off.

“We need a weekend,” Gienger said. “They’ve been playing every other night for a while.”

Farrar said despite the youth of their team, they won’t get too wrapped up in the hoopla.

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