Sports Roundup - Spartans outlast Lions in overtime thriller/Tumblers stay perfect again/Boy hoopsters keep things hot

Any time the Bainbridge and Lakeside girls basketball teams get together, the contests are not recommended for the faint of heart.

In a must-win game for either side that featured more thrills than a roller coaster and more close calls than any action movie, Brittany Gray's free throws were the deciding factor in a 63-61 win over the 10th ranked Lions in double overtime Friday at Paski Gymnasium.

It's the third straight game and the fourth time in nine games an extra period was needed to decide things, between the Lions and the Spartans, with eight of those nine games decided by eight points or less.

“You don't see that many overtimes in high school girls basketball,” head coach Penny Gienger said with a smile. “It was just a good game.”

With this win – along with their 48-43 win over Rainier Beach on Tuesday – it moves the Spartans into a tie for second with Lakeside in the Metro League Mountain Division.

It also gives them some breathing room over Holy Names, who were upset by Eastside Catholic Friday.

After going in tied at the half, Emily Farrar knocked down a three pointer in the opening minutes of the third to put the Spartans up for the rest of the third period and most of the fourth.

Lakeside eventually took the lead with 1:44 left in the game but Brittany Gray found an opening down low to tie the game back up.

Gray then put the Spartans on top with 24 seconds left but Morgan Merriman worked her way inside to tie the game up 11 seconds later and send it to overtime.

In the first overtime, Bainbridge went on a 6-2 run to take the lead, but Lakeside came back to within two.

But Merriman split her free throws while Whitney Best made a costly turnover later when she was called for traveling.

Despite the breaks – and even after a frantic sequence by Bainbridge to control the ball on the offensive end – they couldn't get a score until Kirsten Michael found Jesse Vincent for the layin with 11 seconds left for a three point lead.

But after a Lakeside timeout, Erika Fisher spotted up and drilled a three with six seconds left to tie the game again.

“I thought we were set and ready for that,” Gienger said. “We said no threes and no three-point plays but she hit the three. It was a good shot by them.”

The Lions scored to open the second overtime period, but Michael and Anna Wood connected on three of four free throws to put them back on top.

Madeline Barnes countered with a three to give Lakeside the lead again, but Gray scored inside and Mallory Farrar took a charge a few seconds later to force a big turnover for the Spartans.

Wood took advantage when she scored inside and was fouled, but missed the free throw.

The junior finished with 14 points, with six of them scored through both overtimes.

“We knew we had to slow it down more and working it inside a lot more and realizing who was open,” Wood said. “That really helped a lot.”

After Merriman scored inside to tie the game back up, the play was called to eventually set Gray up for the score, catching a break when she was fouled by Muffie Burleson.

“I always get really nervous when I'm the one shooting at the end (of the game) but I always tell myself to stay positive,” she said. “We do situations like that in practice so I just think about practice and focus.”

Lakeside spent a timeout to set up their last play, but the Bainbridge defense was good enough to force Sadie Mackay into an off balance jumper as time expired.

“Our defense has gotten so much better since the first time we played them,” Gienger said. “We had so many holes in our defense (then).

“We had a lot of breakdowns in the first half, but in the second half we came out a lot tougher,” she continued. “They just really dug deep for this game.”

The junior finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds.

Combined with the 16 points she scored against Beach Wednesday, Gray becomes the seventh player in school history to score over 1,000 points in their prep career.

Now at 1,038 points, she currently sits behind Morgan Zajonic for sixth place.

The Spartans travel to Blanchet Wednesday, then host Seattle Prep – ranked number one in 3A and undefeated in league play – at 6:15 p.m. Friday in the last home game of the regular season.

Tumblers stay perfect again

Another season, another spotless record for the Bainbridge gymnastics team.

The Spartans won its 97th regular season dual meet in a row Friday night when they topped North Kitsap 161.35-157.7 in the last meet of the year.

Sophie Wenzlau, one of four seniors (Lauren Fleming, Stella Wilson and Marie Welsh are the other three) taking part in their last regular season meet of their careers said it was “a great feeling” to leave BHS undefeated.

“Four years of being undefeated is not something you see very often in high school,” she said. “Me and Stella have been together (in gymnastics) since second grade and we've known Marie since fifth grade and Lauren's been on club with us for a long time... it's original and it's something I'm going to walk away from high school always remembering (what we did.)”

Annie Zuckerman took home a share of the all-around title with NK's Melissa Kunold as both scored a 33.7.

Zuckerman also tied with Kunold on the vault as both scored an 8.5.

Kunold took first on the uneven bars with an 8.2.

Adrienne Palay placed first on the beam with a 9.05 while NK's McKenna Elves took first on the floor with a 9.1.

Palay finished second in the all-around with a score of 32.95 while Anne Schwartz finished fifth and Talia Weiss was sixth.

While head coach Cindy Guy was happy to go through another season undefeated, she did admit that they have “felt a tremendous amount of pressure” to keep the streak going.

“I was talking to a mom who has a eighth grader on (a club team) and I ran into her at (Woodward where Guy works as a PE teacher) and she said 'Grace wants to know if you guys are still undefeated, because she wants to be a part of that team,'” she said.

“I feel like we've got everything accomplished that we needed to do,” Guy continued. “(Now) we're looking forward to Metros.”

In the junior varsity meet, Kalise Ball took second in the all-around with a score of 22.3.

She placed first on the vault while Chelsea Mahnke took first on the floor exercise.

Mackenzie Teddy was third in the all-around while Mahnke was fifth.

Bainbridge hosts the Metro League tournament in the gymnastics room and the Commodore Gym starting at 6 p.m.

Boy hoopsters keep things hot

The Bainbridge boys basketball team are still rolling right along.

They had their six game winning streak snapped by top ranked Rainier Beach Tuesday by the score of 89-54, but came back to defeat Lakeside 56-41 Friday at Paski Gymnasium.

The win – their seventh in the last eight games – keeps them in company with O'Dea and Seattle Prep for the Mountain Division title with four games to go.

“This time of year we're trying to tighten up a few things and sharpen up our offense and our defense to be a really good team in February,” head coach Scott Orness said. “We did a great job of that (Friday) especially on defense and crashing the offensive boards. That's been two of our points of emphasis.”

Both teams traded baskets before Caleb Davis put Bainbridge up with a steal and a layup.

That was the catalyst for a 15-0 run through the second quarter as the Spartan defense forced the Lions into numerous turnovers.

Sam Barnes broke the dry spell with a three-point play, but Mike Walsh and Ryan Burris combined for six more points to send them into the locker room with a 26-10 lead.

Bainbridge pushed the lead to 37-18 before Nic Lane connected on three three pointers as part of an 11-2 run to close the lead to 10.

Lakeside cut it to nine two separate times early in the fourth, but Walsh and Nick Fling combined for a 13-0 run to put the game away.

Fling finished with 22 points on 8 of 11 shooting. He also had eight rebounds, six assists and three steals.

“Nick Fling just had a gutsy game,” Orness said, noting that he played with some nagging injuries. “He's just a warrior. He competed all the way through.”

Fling said the team “had to prove something to themselves” Friday, referring back to the last time they played Lakeside when it was a closer game than they wanted.

But with four games left and the top two spots in the division still up for grabs, he also feels they can win out and take the first or second seed to the Metro tournament.

“We got Prep at our place now,” he said. “We're looking forward to that game.”

The Spartans played Blanchet yesterday, then host Seattle Prep at 8 p.m. Friday in the last home game of the regular season.

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