Poloists peak to rout tourney foes

"In a prime example of a squad peaking at the right time of the season, the BHS water polo varsity swamped the opposition at last weekend's regional tournament.The blue team not only posted a perfect 4-0 record in tourney play at Ray Williamson Pool, but it won those matches by a combined score of 49-10.This is the best we've played this year, coach Steve Killpack said. It was a tremendous unifying experience for these girls to play four games in 23 hours, and to play as well as they did.The blues played two games Friday evening, opening with a 4-1 win over Newport then beating Stadium 21-0. They came back Saturday to beat Peninsula 12-8, then finished with a 12-1 victory over Wilson.The only game in which the outcome was in doubt was the first game against Newport of Bellevue, a team the blues had edged 6-4 earlier in the season.Late in the second quarter, the Sparts were clinging to a 3-0 lead thanks to two goals by Mary McAllister and a fast-break goal by Helen Silver following a perfect outlet pass from goalie Andrea Benson. When two Bainbridge players were whistled for exclusion fouls in quick succession, giving Newport the ball and a two-player advantage, a Newport score appeared certain.But the Sparts then came up with the play of the tournament. Liz Robinson knocked the ball away from the Newport attacker to Benson. Benson fed Katie Billings, who fired a long pass to Robinson for a fast-break goal, turning Newport's advantage into a Bainbridge score.That was a beautiful defensive play and a beautiful pass, Killpack said. That's the way it's supposed to work.Despite the scoreless second half, Killpack was delighted with the team's play. This was our best game of the season, he said. These were two good defensive teams. The next game, against Stadium of Tacoma, was no contest. After missing a number of shots in the first quarter and leading only 3-0, the offense began clicking, and poured in ten second-quarter goals, including three by Allison Stover and two by Erin Russell. In the second half, Bainbridge appeared to make an effort not to run up the score, allowing the 35-second shot clock to expire on several occasions rather than taking a shot.Saturday morning's 12-8 win over Peninsula appeared closer than it was. Bainbridge got off to a 6-0 lead before starting to swap goals. McAllister, Silver and Christina Swanson each scored twice.Killpack had predicted that Wilson, Bainbridge's final opponent, might be the toughest competition in the tournament. But again, the Spartan defense turned that one into a lopsided affair. Bainbridge led 3-0 after one quarter and 6-0 after two before Wilson got on the board. Then Bainbridge ran off another five straight scores to put the game away. McAllister had three scores and Swanson two to lead Bainbridge scoring.The Bainbridge gold JV team was equally dominant, winning its three games by a combined score of 37-7. Chelsea Karsten's four goals paced a 13-2 win over the Stadium JV team. Alex DuPont, Samantha Olson and Brooke Faltermeier added two scores each.Against the Peninsula JVs, Faltermeier and Michelle Purdom scored four goals each in a 14-3 win. And against Wilson's JV, Natalie Berry not only scored three times, but had nine steals.Bainbridge's white team of freshmen and sophomores tied Peninsula's JVs 4-4, then dropped a 7-2 decision to Wilson's JVs. Elizabeth Wiggs, Meredith Hong, Lisa Weigle, Tara McNulty, Candace Rodda and Julia Knight scored for Bainbridge, Knight's score coming on her 16th birthday."

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