BI boys can’t face down Braves

The Blanchet and Bainbridge boys basketball teams combined to become The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight in the first quarter of Saturday’s game.

Bainbridge shot three of ten from the field, while the Braves were a woeful two of 14 as the Spartans took a 7-4 lead at the buzzer. But Blanchet sank eight of 12 and committed just one turnover for a 20-5 second-quarter edge over the Spartans, who were one of seven and turned the ball over eight times.

In the second half, the Braves built their lead to as much as 20 points and withstood a late Spartan rally for a 57-49 win.

After Travis Guterson’s jumper late in the third quarter reduced Blanchet’s 12-point halftime lead to eleven at 32-21, the Braves ran off eight points in a minute and a half. Simon Pollack’s free throw made the score 40-22 entering the final quarter.

With the scoring pace picking up, the Braves enjoyed their largest lead of the evening at 46-26 with just over six minutes left. Bainbridge chipped away, but a pair of Brave free throws made the score 54-39 with 1:05 left.

Then the Spartans finally came alive.

Mike Botefuhr sank two free throws, Teddy Picha drained a trey, put back a missed shot, and Botefuhr scored a three-pointer in a 40-second span to narrow the margin to 54-49 and create a two-possession game with 21 seconds remaining.

But the Spartans couldn’t foul quickly enough on the inbounds play and a long pass created an easy Blanchet basket to ice the game.

“We didn’t really show up to play,” said coach Scott Orness. “Usually at halftime I go over X’s and O’s. But all I did on Saturday was write three words on the board: Heart. Courage. Desire. Those were missing in the first half.

“So I was proud of the way they played in the fourth quarter. A lot of teams would have quit, but our guys kept battling.

“But they need to learn how to play 32 minutes, not turn it off and on. There are no easy games in the Metro League, that’s for sure.”

Botefuhr led the team with 12 points, Picha added 11 and Travis Guterson had 10. Hank Guterson chipped in six, Spencer Evans and Pollack had four, and Adam Brenneman had two.

After shooting just eight for 31 (26 percent) in the first three quarters, the Spartans were nine of nineteen in the final stanza for an overall 34 percent. Blanchet, on the other hand, was 22 of 32 (69 percent) in the final three quarters, with many of their shots from short range as they exploited cracks in the Spartan defense.

The team (3-5 overall, 2-4 Metro League) traveled to Ballard last night. The Spartans visit Lakeside on Friday before hosting Ingraham on Saturday in the final game before winter break.

Blanchet JVs 62, Bainbridge JVs 35 – Trailing 10-9 at the end of the first quarter, the Spartans scored just two points in the second quarter and six in the third as they fell behind 43-17. Bainbridge closed to within 15 points late in the game, but a flurry of Braves’ three-pointers blew up the score.

“There wasn’t enough defensive intensity, and we didn’t create any easy baskets,” said coach Keith Quirked.

Schuyler Boone led the team with 10 points, while Joey Picha added six. Peter Oden “had a nice game,” said Kirkwood, adding five points and pulling down seven rebounds.

Blanchet “C” 53, Bainbridge “C” 51 – Winners of all six of their previous games, the Spartans took a 17-11 first quarter lead. But what coach Chris White termed “a strong defensive team with an effective half-court trap” forced numerous Spartan turnovers as the Braves took a lead they never relinquished in the second quarter.

David Vander Hoek sank a trey in the closing seconds to pull Bainbridge to within two points but time ran out.

In the absence of the team’s leading scorer, Grant Leslie, who was sidelined with a hip injury, Cody Bludorn stepped up with 17 points. Eric Baker added 12, Logan Best had seven, while Vander Hoek and John Grue both had five.

Today’s scheduled game with Ballard was canceled, so the team’s next action will come on Jan. 4 as they host O’Dea.

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