Spartans find footing against South Kitsap

Jacquie Menalia (left) grabs a rebound from SK’s Sierra Vinson while Spart Megan Burris assists. - JIM BRYANT photos
Jacquie Menalia (left) grabs a rebound from SK’s Sierra Vinson while Spart Megan Burris assists.
— image credit: JIM BRYANT photos

The girls prevail in a defensive battle against the Wolves in non-league play.

Penny Gienger’s young team is beginning to find its identity. Two courses come to mind – Physics and Chemistry.

Physical play and teamwork has kept the players upbeat through a 1-2 run through a trio of tough opponents, finding their strengths as a team.

“Overall we are playing better basketball,” coach Gienger said. “But we still have work to do.”

Bainbridge made a late run in their 41-38 loss at Blanchet last Friday, then played tough in a tight defensive battle at South Kitsap, winning 34-29, before facing down number one Chief Sealth.

The Spartans followed the lead of Allie Picha, overcoming the Wolves on Monday. Picha scored nine of her 17 points from the free throw line, also grabbing 17 rebounds.

“Allie kept us in the game,” Gienger said, also highlighting other performances from her line-up. Caitlyn Salo hit several three-pointers on her way to nine points. Jacquie Menalia had five rebounds, four points and four steals. Angela Failla sparked tough defense off the bench, scoring seven.

“We liked the win,” Gienger said. Her team (3-6, 6-7) hosted top-ranked Chief Sealth on Wednesday keeping their foes off balance most of the game.

Down 24-20 at the half, the Spartans outscored Sealth by 11 in the final frame but were outmatched 25-8 in the third.

Salo and Kaitlin Bailey combined for 22 points, while Picha had 15. Megan Burris played strong in the key, finishing with eight.

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