Sports Roundup -- Girls LAX to play for state title/Spartans hold court at tourney/Rough start for track team/Fastpitchers idled by rain, rain, rain/Boys LAX do

Girls LAX to play for state title

Bainbridge girls lacrosse dominated in their Tuesday semifinal, and will play Lakeside in today’s state championships 4 p.m. at Mercer Stadium.

It’s a chance to make up for their only loss of the season.

The Spartans won handily 23-2 over Overlake at home Tuesday, improving on the 16-4 win over the same squad on March 30.

Bainbridge outshot Overlake 36-10. Colbi Brawner led with six goals, two assists and seven ground balls. Kathryn Bachen had four goals. Amy Gulbranson had six ground balls, and Hannah Davis three goals.

“Most importantly, we played well as a team,” said coach Tami Tommila, pleased with her team’s execution.

Noting that Overlake’s leading scorer Anna de Regt had only one goal, she said, “We shut down their attack.”

Tommila played her entire squad liberally throughout the second half. In a peek preview of next year’s team, Tarie Caouette scored her first varsity goal and caused one turnover. Marley Horne and Megan Nakata each had an assist.

In the title game against Lakeside – who overcame Mercer Island in an 11-10 overtime shootout in the other semifinal a game after they beat the Islanders 8-3 – Bainbridge will face a team with whom they split during the regular season.

Both teams prevailed at home, and enter the contest with identical 13-1 records.

Seeking the first repeat championship since Lakeside did it in 1997-98, Bainbridge has prepared for a high-pressure Lions defense and attack to return to their glory years of 1994-96 where their first three of six state championships were claimed.

Lakeside, seeking their fourth championship, and first since 2001, has two hot scorers along with a pressure defense that not only defeated the Spartans 6-3 April 28, but also allowed them to dump Mercer Island Tuesday.

Gracie Binder joined Kate Okrasinski, their leader, with four goals apiece in the other semifinal. The Lions have four who scored in double-digits during A-league action – and a fifth in Tess Eisenhart if you count playoff scoring.

Many think the final will be a test between two of the best goalkeepers in the Evergreen State, the Lions’ Erin Coltrera and Dimi Lotakis of Bainbridge.

Lotakis, friends with the enemy, knows a thing or two about Coltrera, having played on the Pacific Northwest all-star team with her. Coltrera finished with a 69 percent save ratio, posting a 12-1 record. She spurned 20 of the 30 shots she faced against Mercer Island.

“She’s a great goalkeeper,” Lotakis said. “Let it fall as it may.”

Lotakis pitched at 71 percent in the playoff win, and overall, saves more than 64 percent of shots faced so far this season. She is intent on improving on her five-for-11 showing in the loss at Lakeside April 28.

“There was a lot going on at that game,” said Lotakis, recognized as a team player in an individual position. “We’ll be ready for Saturday.”

She will have the aid of more than 10 Spartans who have scored A-league goals this year, including seven in double digits led by Alexandra “Alfred” Winnicki with 42 and Kathryn Bachen with 30.

They have prepared for the Lakeside double- and triple-teams, and look to increase their 23-shot total in the Lakeside loss.

– T.F. Smeeth

Spartans hold court at tourney

After three days of action in the Metro Individual Tournament, facing the best of their conference, the Bainbridge Spartan tennis program fared quite well, thank you.

Whitney Cheng repeated as girls singles champion.

Spartans Anna Judson and Darton Gibbons took third place away from Seattle Prep’s Rosellini/Kinder in an entertaining 6-4, 7-5 win. Their season ends on that high note, as the event, lacking a state classification, will not be played at Districts.

The Judson/Gibbons duo finished with a flourish, going two for three in Metro, and finishing with a 5-1 record.

“It was the best accomplishment by our individual players,” said coach Mike Anderson. “We felt good by the way they all competed.”

On Monday Daniel Donohue defeated Alex Montgomery of Seattle Prep, 6-2, 6-2, then fell to Jerry Ellison of O’Dea in the third-place match. He will advance to Districts as the Metro fourth seed.

Likewise in boys doubles, the Spartan duo of Spencer Cheng and Hank Hobbs will go to District as a fourth seed after fighting to a 6-2, 7-5 loss to Jenkins/Burke of league champs Seattle Prep. Taylor Lea and Erik Saksa won their way in as a seventh seed, defeating Prep’s Lacava/Thomas 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.

The champion Panthers crossed the Spartans’ paths throughout the tournament. Whitney Cheng blanked Prep’s Christine Tidwell, who eliminated Lauren Tregeser Saturday.

Molly Donohue upset Tidwell 6-4, 6-2, earning her the Metro third seed, joining first seed Whitney Cheng.

Cheng extended her school record to 79 wins and her win streak to 23, beating Hannah Mangham, the number two seed from Lakeside, 6-4, 6-2 to take the Metro crown.

Cheng only had two losses in the 2004 postseason, to Stephanie Hammond of Mercer Island in the District tournament, and to eventual state champ Kasey Knox from Hanford, in a classic. Losing 7-5, 5-7, 6-3, Cheng was the only player to take a set off Knox at state.

Both girls doubles teams will trip to District play at Lower Woodland. Marietta Crocket and Jenny Trygg edged fifth-seeded Spartan teammates Gwen Gottlieb and Jocelyn Moody as fourth seeds. Their nemesis: Elling/Thayer and Morgan/Sullivan of Seattle Prep who took second and third respectively.

Whitney Cheng was honored Tuesday before the girls final, the third recipient of the Jill Curran Award by the Metro coaches. Named for the 2000 Seattle Prep graduate who died in an accident in Paris in 2002, it goes to the Metro player best exemplifying the qualities of sportsmanship, leadership, perseverance, dedication and friendliness.

Of the 17 Spartans competing, 13 advanced into the third day with 11 claiming berths in the Sea-King District tournament that begins Monday morning.

Included in the Sea-King District are the KingCo League entries, the protégés from the prestigious Mercer Island program among them.

The Sea-King District start times for the Spartans at the Lower Woodland tennis courts include:

• 8:15 Daniel Donohue (Metro No. 4) v. Loren Lo, Newport (KingCo No. 5)

• 8:15 Molly Donohue (3) v. Metro (7)

9:45 Spencer Cheng/Hank Hobbs (4) v. Fulk/Culpepper, Mercer Island (7)

• 9:45 Taylor Lea/Erik Saksa (7) v. Jenkins/Burke, SeaPrep (3)

• 9:45 Marietta Crockett/Jenny Trygg (4) v. KingCo (5)

• 9:45 Gwen Gottlieb/Jocelyn Moody (5) v. KingCo (4)

• 11:15 Whitney Cheng (1) v. Winner of Metro (5) v. KingCo (4)

Top qualifiers advance to the state tournament June 3-5 at UW Nordstrom Center.

– T.F. Smeeth

Rough start for track team

The Bainbridge High School track team got off to a rough start at the Metro League championships on Wednesday.

After the first day of events, most of the preliminary events, the boys team was in eighth place with just four points, while the girls squad sat in seventh with eight points.

Caroline Johnson scored the only points for the girls, as she finished second in the 3200 meter final with a time of 11:13.1.

On the boys side, Bevan Taylor scored two points when he finished seventh in the 1600 meter final, while Clif McKenzie scored two as he finished seventh in the triple jump final with a mark of 39 feet, 9 inches.

Another top boys finisher was Angelo Ritualo, who took fourth place in the 400 with a time of 51.6.

Top girls finishers include Alana MacWhorter and Michelle Bagget, who finished third and fifth in the 400 with times of 1:00.5 and 1:01.2, respectively.

Hillary Pritchett finished third in the 800 with a time of 2:23.9, while her twin sister Geneva Pritchett tied for fourth with a time of 2:26.5.

Brittany Belt finished fifth in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 17.3, while Tess Sadowsky and Vanessa Brewis-Condon finished fifth and seventh in the 300 meter hurdles with times of 51.5 and 52.37 respectively.

The second and final day was yesterday. The top seven in each event will move on to the SeaKing District 2 Meet next Wednesday at the SW Complex, where the top four in each event will move onto Star Track in Pasco on June 3-4.

– John Becerra, Jr.

Fastpitchers idled by rain, rain, rain

The Spartan fastpitch team will need Mother Nature’s cooperation to qualify for the district tournament.

After their Metro League tournament opener against Holy Names Wednesday was cancelled by rain, the teams tried again on Thursday at Lower Woodland Field, only to have cloudbursts halt the game in the second inning.

The Spartans had already scored two runs off of Cougar starter Megan Trudell and had the bases loaded with one out before the umpires got both squads off the field. They tried to wait out the rain, but the game was eventually suspended.

Bainbridge played a doubleheader yesterday at Denny Field. If they won against Holy Names, they were to stay on and play Ingraham, who defeated Eastside Catholic on Thursday. If they lost, they would walk over to Chief Sealth and play the Crusaders in a loser-out game.

The finals of the Metro tournament were pushed to Monday. If Bainbridge wins the first game of the doubleheader but loses against Ingraham, they would play in the third-place game at 3 p.m. If they lose against Holy Names, but defeat Eastside Catholic, they play for fifth place at 5:30 p.m.

Both games will be at Lower Woodland Field. The top seven teams will advance.

– John Becerra, Jr.

Boys LAX downs Roughriders 19-5

The boys lacrosse team put an exclamation point on their regular season, beating up the Roughriders 19-5 Wednesday in preparation for their first-round playoff game against Maple Valley last night.

Scoring 10 points on the evening, David Vander Hoek hit the Bainbridge record books, overshadowing a complete team performance with his 108 season points.

With 8:27 on the fourth-quarter clock he first tied, then 19 seconds later broke the Spartan career season record of 104 points held by Adam Smith.

Smith, who was among the alumni home from college and among the spectators, took the public address microphone to announce the new record to the enthusiastic crowd.

Vander Hoek capped the evening by finishing with three goals and seven assists to lead Bainbridge into the playoffs.

Bainbridge trimmed the Roosevelt squad 14-12 at the end of March, but used four hat tricks, including four goals and four assists by Willy Delius. Zach Smith led with seven ground balls, with Delius and vander Hoek trailing with six ground balls.

With a win yesterday, Bainbridge would face the winner of the Issaquah- Lakeside game at Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The Spartans lost to the Eagles 8-7 in April.

“The guys are doing all that we ask of them,” said a pleased coach Jack Visco. “Our defense is coming together and our attack is opening up good shots. It’s all that I can ask.”

Tickets to the May 28 state championship are now on sale for $10.

Admission includes all boys state championship games, including the 4 p.m. match Bainbridge is aiming for, as well as an exhibition match between Major League Lacrosse clubs from Baltimore and New Jersey at 7 p.m.

Sales help raise funds for the not-for-profit Bainbridge Lacrosse Club. Contact Bev Haley at 842-0915.

– T.F. Smeeth

Kickers bow out with 5-4 loss

A promising, and wildly entertaining, season was cut short Monday.

After taking Eastside Catholic to a 1-1 regulation tie in the first round of the tournament play, the Spartan boys soccer club dominated two scoreless overtimes but fell 5-4 in penalty kicks, ending their season. That made for a Lakeside-Eastside matchup in the Metro championships, leaving Bainbridge out.

“It was a tough loss,” coach Anh Tran said. “We realize that we were very close to making it to State. Only a PK shoot-out away.”

When a penalty kick was awarded 31 minutes into the match at Seattle Center’s Memorial Stadium, Zach Mallove blasted the ball into the left corner of the net.

Bainbridge, with three ties this season, was unable to hold the 1-0 halftime edge, allowing Alex Moskos in on a 44th minute pass by Joel Schilperoort.

Tran approved of the late-season push by his team – all but the unfortunate turn of events Monday.

“We couldn’t have positioned ourselves better for the chance to go to State than we had this year,” he said. “We believe that Eastside was our best match-up. Unfortunately, we were short.”

Finishing with an overall record of 9-4-4, Bainbridge was much improved from last year’s 2-9-3 finish. The Spartans tallied a total of 32 goals, compared to seven all of last year, and their first trip to the postseason since Metro reduced to six qualifiers.

“I couldn’t be more proud of how they played,” Tran said. “One reason why we were successful was our three leaders. John Grue, Zach Mallove and Jesse Burk-Rafel were great at keeping the team focused all year.”

Grue (with one goal) led the midfield, while Mallove led with seven goals up front, tying Burk-Rafel, whose specialty was linking up the team and finished with a team-leading seven assists.

Burk-Rafel was the spirit of this year’s Spartans. Before their last home game on senior night, along with their own families, each Spartan dedicated the game to Burk-Rafel’s mom, Noelle, who is battling cancer for the second time.

“It puts it all in perspective,” Burk-Rafel said. “It drives you. It drives you.”

Noelle braved the changing elements of spring to witness her son’s last prep school games, including the last one at Tukwila.

Sensing a lack of focus prior to their last regular season game against Eastside, Burk-Rafel called the team together for a lap around the Starfire Complex.

“That’s the kind of leader he is,” Tran said of Burk-Rafel, who joins Mallove and Amine Ramadan (six goals, three assists) as first team all-Metro selections. “He brings a depth of commitment and feeling to the game that is rare. He wasn’t satisfied with where their head was at. Jesse has an unusual drive.”

But Burk-Rafel joins the rest of the seniors to give accolades to contributions made by younger players on the squad who were key to the team’s progress.

Goalkeeper Alex Bolt capped a steady Spartan defense, registering four shutouts and stood out for Bainbridge in the overtime game Monday.

“If it wasn’t for Alex making several saves late in that game,” said Tran, “we wouldn’t have made it to PKs. Give him credit.”

Defenders Will O’Donnell, Zach Conner and Francis Waplinger also return next year, as do midfield general of the future Dylan Tucker-Gangnes, and freshman call-up Max Aussendorf.

Sophomore Conner joined two Spartan midfielders on the all-league honorable mention squad, senior Jordan Droppert (three goals, one assist) and freshman Tucker-Gangnes (two goals, two assists). Zach Tucker-Gangnes, the senior midfielder, graduates contributing two goals and an assist.

All Metro League honors included:

First team all-Metro Jesse Burk-Rafel (seven goals, eight assists), Zach Mallove (seven goals), Amine Ramadan (six goals, three assists)

Honorable mention were Dylan Tucker-Gangnes (two goals, two assists), Jordan Dropper (three goals, two assists) and Zach Conner (one assist).

– T.F. Smeeth

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