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Buzzer-beater sparks Spartans in West Seattle battle
With just seconds to spare in the second quarter, Greg Shea raced to the edge of the top left corner of the three-point line and tossed up a prayer.
The buzzer sounded, and the basketball gods answered.
Swish! The Spartans on court and off erupted as the ball caught nothing but net.
The sensational shot gave Bainbridge Island a 27-20 halftime lead and the momentum the Spartans needed to beat West Seattle 59-53 at home Tuesday.
Bainbridge jumped in front early in the Metro League contest, and the Spartans led 11-8 at the end of the first quarter, thanks to four points from sophomore Oskar Dieterich, and two points each from sophomore Trent Schulte and junior Nick Edens.
Bainbridge kept its lead throughout the second quarter, with Dieterich and Joey Blacker taxing the twine for six points each.
West Seattle was never far behind, though, and pulled to 14-10 with 5:46 remaining.
The Wildcats also got plenty of shots, 14, but most came from outside given the Spartans' powerful presence in the paint.
West Seattle attempted nine three-pointers in the second, but only connected on two.
Shea was the spark plug for Bainbridge, and came off the bench for an injured Edens. Shea shot 3-for-3 and finished with seven points. And his buzzer-beating three was a big boost in a tough night of shooting from the outside for Bainbridge, as the Spartans went 2-of-8 from beyond the arc in the first half.
Things improved in the third. The Spartans outscored West Seattle 17-11 for a 44-31 advantage going into the final stanza, and Bainbridge held on to win despite a high-scoring, 22-point fourth quarter for the Wildcats.
The win improved Bainbridge to 1-1 in league play (5-1 overall). West Seattle fell to 0-3 (0-3 overall).
Dieterich led all scorers with 21 points. He also had 10 rebounds.
Blacker — who is No. 4 on the Metro League's list of leading scorers — finished with 15 points, including a first-quarter three-pointer from the corner.
"Joey Blacker has been consistent on both ends of the floor for us, doing his share of the scoring and defending the best perimeter players," said Bainbridge Coach Scott Orness.
"Joey held LeTrey Newsome to only two points in the first half, which set the tone for the game," Orness added.
Newsome, currently the No. 10 scorer in the league, finished the game with 16 points for the Wildcats. DeAndre Love led West Seattle with 19.
Six Spartans scored in the game.
Schulte added seven points, Blake Swanson scored five points and dished 10 assists, and Edens added four.