Sports

Spartans swamp Lakeside, back to back

Megan Burris goes high for a rebound against Lakeside’s Jamila Humphrie during action Friday evening at Paski Gym. - JIM BRYANT photo
Megan Burris goes high for a rebound against Lakeside’s Jamila Humphrie during action Friday evening at Paski Gym.
— image credit: JIM BRYANT photo

The boys’ defense clamps down early, while the girls race to a blowout victory.

Hold an opponent scoreless for a full quarter on the football field, and it’s a good but unspectacular defensive effort.

Match that feat on the basketball court, and people will be talking about it for a while.

Spartan fans witnessed an unusual display of defensive prowess Friday, as the Bainbridge boys blanked Lakeside 12-0 in the first frame of their Metro League contest en route to a 51-44 win.

The Sparts opened up an 18-point lead before the Lions – who shot just three-for-30 in the first half, and 18-for-65 for the game – first breached the hoop.

Even longtime Bainbridge partisans were left scratching their heads in the stands, trying to recall a similar disparity between reasonably evenly matched teams at the varsity level.

“It happens every once in a while, but I haven’t been part of one – at either end, thank goodness,” Spartan coach Scott Orness said.

Orness credited his players for effective switching between man-to-man and zone defenses, keeping Lakeside crossed up throughout. When a Lion did manage a shot, there was usually a mitt in his mug.

“I don’t think we gave up more than one or two uncontested shots in the first half,” Orness said.

The Lions did make a run after intermission, and the game turned into one of the more engaging contests of the season before a solid crowd at Paski Gym. The atmosphere was abetted by a spirited contingent of Lakeside faithful, who spent the game on their feet and were in full throat throughout.

Spartan Grant Leslie was all over the court, ringing up nine assists, seven rebounds and five steals as the Bainbridge built up its lead. Theo Miller played at the rim and above it, collecting 16 points and 14 boards. Coby Gibler continued his recent domination in the paint with a double-double for hustle, 10 blocked shots and 10 rebounds.

Bainbridge went into the locker room with a 25-6 lead, and appeared to come out loaded for Lion. Theo Miller ignited the stands with an alley-oop dunk off a Cody Bludorn feed to resume play.

But Lakeside went to a press, and slowly cut into the margin as their shooters found their touch.

An 11-1 Lion run closed the gap to 43-35 with 2:25 to play. The Spartans finally caught a break when, bottled up by tight Lion marking in the offensive end, they coughed up the ball but wound up with possession when the ball drifted out of bounds off a Lakeside player.

After the inbound, Gibler was fouled to the line and missed a free throw, but Bludorn pulled down the rebound to hold serve. Bludorn finally scored at the glass on a Leslie feed to break the Lion run.

Three Chris Kelly free throws extended the margin, before Gibler fed Miller for his third dunk of the half to seal the win.

The victory leveled the Spartans’ league mark at 7-7 (11-7 overall), leaving them tied for third place in the Metro League’s Mountain Division with Blanchet behind O’Dea and Seattle Prep.

Bainbridge traveled to O’Dea last evening. Then the Braves come to town for the season finale this Friday, a 6:15 p.m. contest, hot on the heels of a surprising upset of Prep last week.

The Metro League playoffs convene Feb. 15-18.

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