Spartans throttle Nathan Hale, move on

Austin Wood gets sandwiched in the Spartans’ 50-38 win over Blanchet Friday evening at Paski Gym. - JIM BRYANT photo
Austin Wood gets sandwiched in the Spartans’ 50-38 win over Blanchet Friday evening at Paski Gym.
— image credit: JIM BRYANT photo

Solid defensive efforts earn the boys back to back wins over Blanchet, Hale.

The Spartan boys basketball team is hitting full stride at the right time, and it’s defense that’s making the difference.

Bainbridge clamped down on Nathan Hale in early post-season action Monday evening, leaving Paski Gym with a 63-44 Metro League tournament win in the loser-out contest. The victory followed Friday’s 50-38 beatdown of visiting Blanchet to cap regular-season play.

“The boys want the ball and are limiting teams to one shot that is contested most of the time,” coach Scott Orness said. “You can’t ask for much more.”

Coby Gibler was the difference Monday, racking up 14 points, nine rebounds and six blocked shots. Cody Bludorn added eight rebounds, while Grant Leslie limited Hale’s leading scorer, Michael Wooley, to a single field goal in the decisive first half.

Bainbridge opened up a 14-5 advantage thanks to a John Bruns three-pointer as the first quarter wound down, and led 28-14 at the break on more hot shooting by Bruns and Lance Trueb.

Orness called the contest “the best team effort of the year.” That was saying something, given the coach’s solid reviews of the Friday night win.

Gibler led the way in that contest as well, with 17 points and nine rebounds. Theo Miller and Leslie combined for 19 boards, and the Spartans committed just seven team turnovers in a game that was never in doubt.

Monday’s victory moved the Spartans’ record to 13-8, and into a road contest against Cleveland last evening, as they look for a berth in the district tournament.

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