Spartans survive Metro hoops challenge

Emily Farrar punctuates a fast break with a layup during fourth-quarter play in the Spartans’ 53-25 win over Lakeside at Paski Gym Wednesday. Next up: Prep. - DOUGLAS CRIST/Staff Photo
Emily Farrar punctuates a fast break with a layup during fourth-quarter play in the Spartans’ 53-25 win over Lakeside at Paski Gym Wednesday. Next up: Prep.
— image credit: DOUGLAS CRIST/Staff Photo

The boys overcome early troubles to down Sealth, while the girls hold off Seattle Prep.

Facing “do or die,” the Spartan boys basketball team “did.”

Bainbridge overcame a turnover-marred first quarter to outscore Chief Sealth in each of the final three frames Saturday, en route to a 53-47 Metro League tournament win on the neutral court of Ingraham High School.

The victory advanced the Spartans to SeaKing 3A District Tournament play, where they faced off against O’Dea at Ingraham Tuesday afternoon. A win in that contest would move the squad on to face Issaquah at 4:45 p.m. Thursday at Bellevue Community College.

Saturday, they faced a young but athletic Chief Sealth quintet that brought an aggˆressive full-court pressure defense, forcing bad passes and 10 Spartan turnovers in the first quarter alone.

“They were right up on you, and it was hard to adjust,” Theo Miller said of the Seahawk “D.”

Once the Spartans escaped backcourt, the contest was largely decided in the paint, reflected in Coby Gibler’s game line of 15 points, 20 rebounds and seven blocked shots. Miller added 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Chris Kelly racked up 11 points in what coach Scott Orness called his “best game of the year, making things happen at both ends of the court.”

The Spartans erased an early 14-9 deficit behind several put-backs by Bludorn, and moved out to an eight-point lead in the third quarter thanks to some slick moves by Kelly that included a finger-roll after a drive through the lane.

John Bruns aced back-to-back three-pointers during the decisive run.

Sealth could get no closer than four points the rest of the way, and Miller pounded home a fast-break dunk in the final minute to put the game in the bag.

“I’m just proud of the team and the way they played,” Miller said. “It’s a fun season.”

His coach credited the squad’s collective rebound from early travails.

“(We) played very steady, and didn’t ride the emotional roller-coaster like a lot of young teams,” Orness said.

Girls get around to beating Prep

Poor free-throw shooting down the stretch protracted the varsity girls’ Metro League playoff win over Seattle Prep on Saturday.

The girls finally found their touch in overtime, outscoring the Panthers 10-3 in the extra frame to claim a 46-39 victory.

“It was pretty crazy,” coach Penny Gienger said of the Spartans’ travails at the line, where they had shot around 70 percent over the course of the season. “(But) we were six of eight in the overtime, and I’d take that all the time.

“Ugly game, good win.”

The contest was the third of the season between the two teams, with each having claimed victory on the other’s home court during regular season play.

At stake were seedings in the SeaKing District 3A Tournament, which began yesterday at Ingraham and Mercer Island high schools.

Early play Saturday was somewhat haphazard, with neither team able to take hold of the game. Kaitlin Bailey aced four free throws at the end of the first half, giving the Spartans an 18-16 advantage at the break.

Bailey was again the story when crunch time rolled around, collecting a loose ball in the paint and going to the glass to knot the score at 34 with 1:22 left in the game. On the Spartans’ next possession, she drove the baseline from the left side, scoring on an assist from Caitlyn Salo.

Bainbridge had several chances to win in regulation, but had trouble inbounding the ball in front court. A last-second shot by Picha went awry.

Megan Burris came to play in the overtime, sinking two free throws and scoring back-to-back buckets on Caitlyn Salo assists in the final minute to secure the win.

She also collected two key defensive rebounds to keep the Panthers at bay.

Bailey led the Spartans for the game with 17 points, while Allie Picha added 12 and Burris 10.

Bainbridge faced Bellevue yesterday evening at Ingraham in the District Tournament.

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