Sports Roundup - Sparts ‘D’ up, defeat Irish in critical game/Girl hoopsters lose close one

Mike Walsh drives to the basket as O
Mike Walsh drives to the basket as O'Dea's Brian Walker tries to block him out. Walsh scored eight points as Bainbridge defeated O'Dea 54-41 Friday at Paski Gymnasium.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

Fling scores 18 as Bainbridge gets some revenge from last March.

In an up and down year for the Bainbridge basketball team, the Spartans, now back to .500, needed a big performance against a top Metro team to help propel them to a playoff spot.

Enter O’Dea and memories of last season when they ended the chances of Bainbridge’s title hopes in the championship game.

The Spartans used that motivation to make an inspired effort on defense and defeat the Irish 54-41 Friday night at Paski Gymnasium in front of a good-sized crowd.

The win moves Bainbridge to a game behind O’Dea and Seattle Prep for first place in the Metro League Mountain Division.

“We had a good game plan and our guys stuck to it,” head coach Scott Orness said.

“It feels great to do that on a Friday night in front of a big crowd against O’Dea,” senior co-captain Nick Fling said. “Redemption from last year.”

In the first matchup between the two teams since the 3A state title game last March, the Spartans scored the opening bucket and never relented the lead the rest of the way.

Jimmy Baggett – getting his first start of the season – made the most of it, scoring that opening bucket off an assist from Ben Eisenhardt and providing some strong defense as well.

He also got a rise out of the crowd with a crossover dribble that put Irish guard John Taylor on his backside.

“(I) haven’t done it that many times, but it was fun to do it in front of a big crowd like that,” he said with a laugh. “I felt so much adrenaline out there. I’ve been looking forward to that (game) for a long time.”

“He just came out and competed from the start,” Orness said. “I thought he gave us our spark at the beginning of the game.”

Fling was excited to see the effort Baggett and Eisenhardt were putting out for the game.

“The future’s bright for the team,” he said. “Even when we’re gone, they’ll still be rolling.”

Mike Walsh scored four points while Fling added two as Bainbridge went strong to the hole time after time.

Meanwhile the Irish couldn’t get anything going.

Johri Fogerson was called for an offensive foul after running into Eisenhardt on the first time the Irish had the ball, just one of the many times the Spartans forced the Irish into turnovers.

Even when O’Dea finally got on the board as Sean Jones forced a steal and a dunk, they still had trouble scoring, as Fogerson bricked on a dunk after forcing a steal of his own.

That enabled Caleb Davis to knock down a three a few moments later.

“I feel like we really prepared well in practice for them,” Davis said. “The coaches did a great job scouting them and getting us prepared mentally.”

But the Irish weathered the Spartans’ defensive storm and hung around the rest of the first.

Jordan Suther and Taylor scored in the opening moments of the second quarter to pull O’Dea within three and it appeared they would make a run.

But Jesse Powell knocked down a big three, while Fling converted on a three point play a few moments later to keep the lead on the side of Bainbridge.

The Irish wouldn’t go away, though, as a Fogerson three near the buzzer put O’Dea down by six at the half.

The Spartans countered by putting the hammer down defensively in the third quarter, holding O’Dea to one field goal and four points overall.

“We’ve been working on defense a lot in practice,” Fling said. “We’ve been putting in some new stuff and it’s paid off, so kudos to Coach (Orness) for that.

Even with Bainbridge unable to connect on most of their shots, they still scored enough to head into the fourth with a double digit lead.

Fling scored five points in the period including a putback as time expired in the third.

The Irish broke out of their slump in the fourth, but Fling and Davis kept them at bay with eight and seven points respectively.

Davis knocked down a three while Fling scored all his points on drives to the basket.

Fling finished with 18 points on a perfect night from the field, going eight for eight.

“He’s one of those guys that’s just a big game player,” Orness said. “I didn’t know he would have such a great offensive game, but I knew he would come out and play hard.”

The win is Bainbridge’s third straight over O’Dea at home.

“I think when we look back, we’ll say that was the thing that really springboarded us forward,” Orness said.

The Spartans played Cleveland yesterday.

They host Chief Sealth Friday at 8 p.m.

Girl hoopsters lose close one

The Bainbridge girls basketball team struggled in running their offense under pressure.

They had trouble grabbing offensive rebounds and made turnovers at critical points.

And yet...

“I told the girls afterward that was the best we could possibly play and still lose,” senior co-captain Emily Farrar said. “I am so proud of how we came out unlike Wednesday (against Eastside Catholic.) That was the worst game we’ve played (all year.)”

The Spartans had the lead against the Cougars, but couldn’t hang on in the last few minutes, losing 66-64 in overtime Friday.

With the game getting off to a late start after the team got there late, Bainbridge took the early lead and held it for most of the game.

But Holy Names slowly chipped away in the fourth, then Shawna McLaughlin stole the ball, scored and was fouled at the 3:09 mark.

She converted her free throw to give the Cougars a one point lead.

Anna Wood scored inside and Jesse Vincent split a pair of free throws to put Bainbridge back on top, but Claire Conricode sank two foul shots to tie the game back up.

Holy Names took the lead with 21.1 seconds left, but after she was fouled, Laura Sullivan couldn’t connect on the front end of a one-and-one.

After getting the ball back, Brittany Gray tried to score inside but couldn’t connect.

She was fouled with .1 of a second left on the clock and calmly sank both free throws to send it to overtime.

But it was in the extra period where both teams had problems running their offense.

Farrar scored with 1:06 left to give the Spartans a lead, but Chelsea Gonzales scored inside and Sullivan knocked down three of four free throws to finish it off.

“We played a great game but we just couldn’t get into our offense to score,” head coach Penny Gienger said. “That just takes practice and some experience.

“We played a lot better than we did the other night,” she continued. “We’re just trying to get better and make the playoffs and do the best we can.”

Bainbridge plays Cleveland today at home, then host Chief Sealth Friday at 6:15 p.m.

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