Spartans shoot down ‘Hawks

Senior night was last week for the Spartan girls basketball team, but Paski Gymnasium was rocking and rolling again for the Bainbridge girls Wednesday evening as they opened the Metro League tournament with a 67-52 victory over Chief Sealth.

The win put Bainbridge into the league championship game last night at Ingraham High School against Cleveland.

Wednesday’s victory also guaranteed Bainbridge a bye in the first round of district play beginning next week.

If Bainbridge was victorious last night, they will open district play at 6:30 p.m. next Thursday, at Bellevue Community College.

If the Spartans lost last night, the Bainbridge district opener will be at 3 p.m., Friday -- also at Bellevue CC.

What evolved into a Bainbridge-

dominated blowout in the second half started out as a close battle in the first against Sealth. The Seahawks pulled out to a 26-18 lead with about four minutes to play in the half.

Tiana Gallagher closed the gap to 26-20 with an inside bucket, and Haley Wiggins cashed in on a pair of outside shots -- including a trey -- to put Bainbridge within one at 26-25.

After a Sealth free throw, Spartan Morgan Zajonc hit a shot to knot the score at 27-27 going into halftime.

As the second half got under way, it looked to be maintaining the basket-trading scenario of the first half.

The Seahawks led 32-31 a couple minutes into the half. The rest of the quarter belonged to the Bainbridge girls, as they outscored Sealth 17-3 through the quarter-ending buzzer.

In fact, Russell’s three-point bomb from the left corner beat the horn to leave Bainbridge up 48-35 going into the final period.

Defensively for Bainbridge, the second half picked up where the first half ended -- dominated by the tenacious Spartan half-court pressure matching zone.

A flustered Chief Sealth offense was forced into numerous turnovers that resulted in quick Bainbridge baskets.

The Seahawks turned to fouling Bainbridge midway through the fourth, but the Spartans were up to the task. Bainbridge hit 8-for-10 from the charity stripe in the quarter -- including 4-for-4 by Zajonc.

“After the first half, I thought the second half would be exactly the same,” Bainbridge coach Penny Gienger said. “But we handled them.

“Our defense is pretty darn good,” she added. “And we didn’t give the ball up.”

Wiggins led Bainbridge with 17 points -- including a perfect 7-for-7 effort from the field, while Alice Russell and Zajonc added 15 each and Allie Picha had 12.

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