"Girls romp past Knights, 82-21"

"The start of the second half of Friday's girls basketball game against Bremerton was symbolic.The Knights, totally unpressured, couldn't get the ball inbounds and turned it over the the Spartans, who cruised to an easy 82-21 triumph and moved to 4-0 in Olympic League play. A power outage the following day in Port Townsend prevented the Spartans from improving that mark, as the scheduled game had to be postponed.Senior Emily Pierce led the team with 23 points, and added head wounds and floor burns to the usual statistical categories such as rebounds and assists as she was continually hacked and dived for loose balls.Her teammates fed off that energy as they never let up the pressure. Playing with a somewhat depleted bench - Laura Hornung broke her thumb on Tuesday against Port Angeles and is out four-six weeks, while newly added Angela Ashe and Natalie Berry didn't have enough practice time to play - the Spartans demonstrated an ability to score almost at will against a team that tried hard but couldn't begin to match their athleticism. Pierce scored the first eight points for the Spartans, dished off to Alice Russell for an easy hoop, then closed out first quarter scoring with a steal and short jumper as Bainbridge led by a relatively modest 12-4. Nearly three minutes into the second quarter, the score was just 18-8. Then Christine Schwager's basket ignited a 22-point run that ended with Jenny Maurer's field goal for a 40-8 halftime lead. Pierce and Fab Rezayat each had a hoop in the first 16 seconds of the second half before Bremerton finally snapped its scoring drought two minutes later and actually cut slightly into the Spartan lead over the next few minutes to trail 51-15.But Morgan Zajonc had mirror image steals on Bremerton's next two possessions to end the third quarter with the Spartans up 55-15. The Knights were stuck in place for five minutes of the fourth quarter as another Spartan run extended the score to 70-15.The teams then traded baskets to run out the clock.After last night's game against Olympic, the team plays in the White River Tournament on Dec. 29-30, then returns to Olympic League play on Friday, Jan. 5 against Central Kitsap.Bainbridge JVs 64, Bremerton JVs 20 - Tasha Francis scored 16 and Toren Johnson added 15 as the Spartans won easily after leading 29-13 at the half. Boys splitPort Townsend suffered a pair of power outages on Saturday. The first occurred at the Redskins' gym early in the afternoon and caused the cancellation of the scheduled girls' basketball game with Bainbridge.The second occurred in the Spartan gym that evening, when the Redskins' boys team played in figurative darkness for most of the first half as Bainbridge opened up a 16-point halftime edge.The Redskins found the on switch with some frequency in the second half and eventually narrowed the deficit to four points late in the fourth quarter. But despite the raucous crowd that came down with them supplying an almost home-court atmosphere, they missed two key shots at that point and finally turned the ball to the Spartans. Zach Whedbee sank four clutch free throws down the stretch to ensure a 67-59 triumph. The win improved the Spartans' Olympic League record to 3-2 after a 58-49 loss to Bremerton the previous evening.Port Townsend led 8-2 in the early going, and it wasn't until Mike Botefuhr's three-point shot with 54 seconds left in the first half that the Spartans finally took the lead at 11-10. Botefuhr drained another trey off an in-bounds play with less than a second showing on the clock to extend the margin to 16-10 at the buzzer.The Redskins scored just a single field goal in the second quarter as Teddy Picha's 10-foot jumper with 12 seconds left sent the Spartans into the locker room at halftime leading 34-18. Port Townsend opened the third quarter with two quick hoops, but the Spartans answered with a Botefuhr hoop, Whedbee's layin, and Picha's 18-footer to open a 40-22 edge and regained that 18-point edge at 2:25 with a Nick Thompson three-pointer. The Redskins cut the lead in half until Adam Brenneman's trey with five seconds left put Bainbridge ahead 52-40 after three quarters. Botefuhr made both ends of a one-and-one to put his team up 63-54 with three minutes left, but a Redskin trey and layin off a steal closed the gap to within four with slightly over two minutes left. But that was as close as they got.Botefuhr finished with 22 points, Whedbee added 18, and Picha also had 18 on seven for seven shooting as the Spartans shot 51 percent for the game, including five of nine from three-point range. Picha also pulled down a game-high seven boards.Coach Jeff Eller was pleased with the win, especially the first half. We played our game and were very patient, Eller said. Our three-pointers usually came after longer possessions, whereas in previous games we've been passing once and shooting.The team is playing good defense, he said, keeping Olympic League teams well below their season averages.Against Bremerton Friday, though, it wasn't enough. The Knights used a 16-2 run to open up a 29-18 first half lead as the Spartans missed several layins, and extended it to as much as 17 in the second half before the Spartans closed to within 54-49. But they could get no closer.Eller was somewhat upbeat about the loss. It would have been easy to give up when we were so far behind, he said. But the kids played aggressively in the second half, with courage.Whedbee led the team with 16 points while Thompson added 14. "

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