Spartans win first two in Metro tourney
By BRIAN KELLY
Bainbridge Island Review Editor
February 8, 2013 · 11:41 AM
It was one small point for the Spartans, one giant leap for Bainbridge’s postseason prospects.
The Spartans prevailed 46-45 over Lakeside after a come-from-behind, last-stand fourth quarter Tuesday in Seattle.
The road win kept the Spartans perfect in the playoffs, with a 2-0 record.
Bainbridge notched its first win in the Metro League girls basketball tournament against Chief Sealth on Monday with a 46-23 shellacking.
Against Lakeside, the Lions led 11-5 after the first quarter, and the teams played nearly even to keep the contest in Lakeside’s favor, 24-17, at the break.
A third-quarter echo in offense - Bainbridge tallied 11, Lakeside posted 11 — saw the start of the fourth with the judgement Lakeside, 35; Bainbridge, 28.
But Bainbridge shot the lights out in the fourth, and outscored the Lions 18-10.
It was sweet revenge for the Spartans, who lost their final regular season game against the Lions late last week in Seattle.
Five Spartans fueled the BHS offense in Tuesday’s playoff win.
Grace Kenyon crushed it with 25 points. Sydney Severson added nine points, and Julie Feikes sank six.
Maddie Ketcheside contributed four points, Paige Brigham added two.
Kaylee Best was the high-scorer for Lakeside with 18.
The Spartans were scheduled to play Franklin Thursday in Seattle in a game that will decide the fifth- and sixth-place tournament winners. Both teams will advance to district play.
The Spartans entered the Metro tourney on the tail of a 2-1 end-of-season stretch that wrapped up with two games on the road.
Bainbridge broke a two-game hiccup of losses with an outstanding 87-48 victory over Rainier Beach at home Jan. 25, then beat Chief Sealth in Seattle 64-46 on Jan. 30. The Spartans then stumbled against Lakeside with a 57-38 loss late last week.
Against Rainier Beach, the Spartans rocketed to a 27-8 advantage after the first quarter.
By halftime, Bainbridge was ahead by 30 points, 52-22.
Poor shooting vexed the Vikings in the first half. Rainier Beach connected on just 3-of-17 in the first quarter, but hit 4-of-10 in the second.
Kenyon was unstoppable in the first quarter. She shot 7-of-9 in the first, and 2-of-3 in the second, to notch 18 points in the first half.
Fellow Spartan Severson was a scoring sensation in the second. She hit 6-of-7 from the field, and converted 2-of-4 from the free throw line.
The hot hands of Bainbridge cooled a bit in the second half, but six Spartans scored in the 35-point half for BHS.
Imani Wright shouldered Beach’s offense in the second half, and the game, for that matter. Wright finished with 43 points, and the only other contributions from her fellow Vikings came via an Aryanna Jackson three-pointer in the third and Marcuita Roach’s basket in the fourth.
For the Spartans, it was the team’s highest score of the season. The previous high mark came on Dec. 19, when Bainbridge posted 71 points, also against Rainier Beach, in a Seattle matchup.
Beyond the big point tally in the rematch, the win made the Spartans the No. 7 seed for the playoffs.
Kenyon finished with 27 points for the Spartans. Her offense against the Vikings propelled her to 1,002 career scoring points, and just the eighth Spartan to crack the 1,000-point milestone since the start of the girls program in the 1970s.
Severson had a season-high 23 points.
“The turning point in the game was at the very beginning when we got a huge streak and knew that we were going to win,” Severson said.
It was also Senior Night for three of the Spartans; Severson, Kenyon and Miller.
“It meant so much to me because it was one of the last times I would be playing on the court,” Severson said.
“As a team, it was the last time playing with these girls who I have played with for years. We had also never scored that much in a game, so that was a plus too,” she said.
Katie Usellis contributed 13 points, also a season-high for the freshman.
“From the start we knew we could win the game if we played strong, fundamental basketball,” Usellis said.
“The entire game the energy was great. Everyone was cheering each other on and giving high fives on the court. The bench was really into it, too,” she said.
“The team really wanted the win because it was Senior Night and we wanted to make Grace, Sydney and Emilie’s last home game a special one,” Usellis said.
Ketcheside added nine points, and Brigham finished with seven for the Spartans.
Feikes and Miller added two points each.
Bainbridge won the following game against Chief Sealth 64-46.
The Spartans trailed 28-24 at halftime, but rallied with a 26-point third quarter.
Four Spartans scored in double figures.
Kenyon led Bainbridge with 26 points. Severson had 12, Ketcheside added 11, and Brigham poured in 10.
The two-game win streak was snapped in the season-ender against Lakeside in Seattle late last week.
The Lions won 57-38, in large part due to a 20-point second quarter from Lakeside that left the Spartans in a 12-point hole going into the second half.
In the Spartans’ first game of the Metro tourney, Bainbridge downed Chief Sealth 46-23 at home.
The Spartans unleashed a frenzy of shots in the first quarter and held the Seahawks to just two points by Sealth’s freshman forward Lani Taylor.
Bainbridge took 17 shots in the opening stanza and connected on just three, but also added four points from the free throw line to finish the quarter up 10-2.
The teams played even in the second, with the Seahawks and Spartans both scoring 11 points.
Bainbridge led 21-13 at the half, and the Spartans put the clamps on Chief Sealth in the third to hold the Seahawks to just four points.
Six Spartans scored in the third as Bainbridge built a 35-17 lead.
Bainbridge coasted to the win with 11 points in the fourth (Kenyon contributed six points on 3-of-7 shooting, Severson added a three-pointer, and Ketcheside hit both from the free throw line).
Kenyon again led all scorers with 20 points.
Feikes and Severson finished with nine points each, while Ketcheside had four.
Brigham and Usellis added two points each for BHS.
The win against Chief Sealth in the loser-go-home matchup qualified the Spartans for district play.
The Spartan girls have now advanced to district play for 28 years in a row, a stretch that dates back to the 1985-86 season.
Review writer Julia Thomas contributed to this report.Contact Bainbridge Island Review Editor Brian Kelly at email@example.com or 1-206-842-6613.