Heartbreak on the Hardwood -- girls basketball

(L-R) Allie Picha, Megan Burris, Brittany Gray, Kaitlin Bailey and Kari Pierce shed a few tears over their loss to Holy Names. - JULIE BUSCH photo
(L-R) Allie Picha, Megan Burris, Brittany Gray, Kaitlin Bailey and Kari Pierce shed a few tears over their loss to Holy Names.
— image credit: JULIE BUSCH photo

The Spartan girls are bounced from tournament play by Holy Names, 75-67.

BELLEVUE – The Bainbridge girls basketball team didn’t suffer through a single losing streak during the regular season.

But they picked a bad time to start one.

The Spartans defeated Seattle Prep 49-41 last Friday, but lost to Issaquah 62-47 on Tuesday and dropped a heartbreaker to Holy Names 75-67 two days later.

Defeat in the winner-to-state, loser-out game eliminated Bainbridge from the 3A Sea-King District 2 tournament and halted their run for the 3A state tournament.

“I knew it was going to be a tough game,” said head coach Penny Gienger. “We played hard, we played well, we just couldn’t get over the hump.”

The Cougars scored early in the first quarter and kept the lead, increasing it by 13 at one point in the second quarter.

Brianna Reichelt was the big shooter for Holy Names, as she had 15 points on five three-pointers in the first half.

But the Spartans came back to close the gap to within four at halftime.

The third quarter saw both teams making big shots, but also some mistakes that held them from breaking the game open.

After Reichelt hit another three, Brittany Gray and Allie Picha combined for a 6-0 run to tie the game at 37.

But the Spartans turned the ball over on two straight possessions and Anna Martin scored while Reichelt hit another three to push the lead back to five.

“We were able to get close and tie it up, but we couldn’t get over the hump,” said Kaitlin Bailey.

Picha and Burris combined for a 7-3 run to tie the game at 49 near the end of the third, but Jenna Dumpit scored to put Holy Names back on top going into the fourth quarter.

Gienger felt that was the deal breaker.

“If we would have gotten that next bucket, I think we could have gone on a bigger run,” she said. “But we couldn’t get over the hump and you gotta credit them for that. More power to them. They outplayed us.”

In the fourth, Holy Names almost put Bainbridge away with an 8-4 run in the beginning minutes, but the Spartans came back again thanks to Picha and Burris, who made a nice hustle play on a loose ball and tipped it to Bailey before she went out of bounds.

Bailey threw it in to Picha for the bucket.

The Cougars pushed the lead back at the foul line, but they couldn’t close it out just yet, shooting 17 of 32 from the charity stripe in the fourth.

But the Spartans couldn’t capitalize. Gray scored and was fouled, but she missed the free throw and Bainbridge wouldn’t score again.

Picha, who scored 17 of her 26 in the second half, said she doesn’t know what went wrong.

“They just pulled it out and we didn’t,” she said. “But everyone gave it their all and that’s all you can ask for.”

But it wasn’t enough, and now, she and the rest of her teammates return to the mortal world of simply being students.

“I’m going to sleep in on Saturdays now, and I’m going to look forward to it,” she said.

Bainbridge finished the season with a record of 21-4.

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