Sports

Sparts fall in title defense opener

"They’re still learning which roles to play. And until they find them, the young members of the Bainbridge High School girls’ basketball team will be still learning which way to win.That was the story of the Spartans’ season opener, a 48-43 loss at Lakeside Wednesday in a clash of state-ranked Top Ten teams.“It’s just a matter of finding our roles and knowing where to get our shots, and getting our first-game jitters out of the way,” Bainbridge coach Penny Gienger said.In a display of equal parts talent and temerity, the defending state 3A champions stormed back from an early 13-4 deficit to tie the game at halftime and twice take the lead midway through the fourth period.With a 40-38 advantage with four minutes to play, however, the bigger, stronger Lions muscled their way to nine straight points to put the contest away.“Our defense was pretty good, but their starting five had not only height on us but bulk,” Gienger said.Lakeside’s starting five also had all its starters, while Bainbridge is still missing the services of 6-2 junior Alexis Kimball. Kimball, who suffered a knee injury in May, is not expected to be back in the lineup before the Christmas break.Bainbridge’s other twin tower, however, acquitted herself well in her first game back in more than 10 months. Senior Kim Beemer, working her way back from her own knee injury, was missing the fine touch on her turnaround shots down low but still finished with a team-high 14 points in 25 minutes of play.And several other players, notably Nicole Hebner and Natalie Berry, had particularly strong inaugural performances. Hebner, filling the bulk of the departed Britt Themann’s off-guard role, hit two three-point shots and finished with nine points. Berry, a slender 5-10 sophomore, showed a willingness to scrap for the ball down low, scoring six points, pulling down a team-high seven rebounds, and contributing two steals.The Spartans will get a fresh opportunity to work out their roles under more opportune circumstances when they host Olympic League foe Klahowya in a 7 p.m. Tuesday contest at the Woodward Middle School gym.Lakeside JV 42, Bainbridge 38: Coach Korrie Beemer’s squad came up empty after a 38-38 tie with two minutes to play in the Spartans’ JV opener Wednesday. Freshman Jenny Maurer led Bainbridge with 11 points, while fellow ninth-grader Laura Bartunek and sophomore Christine Schwager each contributed nine.Swimmers fall in season openerThe Bainbridge High School boys’ swim-and-dive team lost its season-opening match at Marysville-Pilchuck Thursday.That doesn’t mean there wasn’t ample cause for celebration, however.Senior Dan Davies broke one of the school’s oldest records – Konrad Ribiero’s 1989 mark of 1 minute, 3.07 seconds in the 100 breaststroke – with a scorching state-meet-qualifying 1:03.02 effort. Davies also participated in the Spartans’ state-worthy 200 medley relay, joining Jeff Bartunek, Jeff Christensen and Joey Barrett in a 1:46.26 performance.Bainbridge head coach Joe Black said that state-qualifying swims don’t usually take place until mid- to late January.“It was a phenomenal meet,” Black said. “The kids really did exceptionally well. Almost 90 percent met the goal times that we had given them, and about half had lifetime bests.”Marysville-Pilchuck, a perennial 4A powerhouse, won by a 106-80 score, and Black expects to fall to fellow 4A rival Peninsula on Tuesday as well. Winning is secondary, Black said, to “finding out what I’ve got.”Among the best of what he had Thursday:l Bartunek’s victories in the 200 freestyle (1:56.30) and 500 free (5:31.06).l Christensen’s 100 butterfly win (1:00.36).l Barrett’s strong second-place finishes in the 50 free (23.83) and 100 free (53.52).l Barrett, Christensen, Bartunek and Nate Rooks’ second-place finish in the 400 free relay (3:35.85).l Nathan Walker’s third-place finish, as the only eligible Spartan diver, in the 1-meter event with 106.25 points.l A rare tie in the 200 free relay, as Davies, Rooks, Andrew Sperling and Erik Steinecker knotted with an M-P quarter at exactly 1:38.06.Frosh McCallum dominates openerFreshman wrestlerNick McCallum put an emphatic exclamation point on Bainbridge’s 55-21 season-opener home victory over Nathan Hale Thursday.McCallum, in his first varsity match, gave up 45 pounds to his opponent, Miles Matsen, in the heavyweight class. But that didn’t stop the 203-pounder from pinning his foe just 57 seconds into the second period.Other Bainbridge winners were Steve Devine (103 pounds, forfeit), Travis Dever (119 pounds, 11-4 decision), Brandon Nall (135 pounds, 16-2 decision), Jacob Hayashi (145 pounds, pin, 1:27 2nd), Joey Mankes (152 pounds, pin, 1:30 1st), Michael Penn (160 pounds, 4-2 decision), Justin Hanseth (171 pounds, pin, 1:45 2nd) and in the night’s fastest decision, Zack Ahneman (189 pounds, pin, 0:48 1st).In addition, all four junior-varsity wrestlers – Nick Sturza, Dan Bachen, Pat Taylor and Dan Siegel – won their matches with pins.“I was a little worried about the lower weights, and I still would like a true heavyweight,” coach Steve Hohl said.“But I was very pleased with Nick McCallum and Zach Ahneman.”"

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