Sports Roundup -- Miller, Sparts show growth/Girls see win streak snapped/Grapplers split home contests

Miller, Sparts show growth

Basketball is a game in which hot and cold stretches decide who comes out on top.

Tuesday evening, it was the Bainbridge varsity boys basketball team that rode a hot second quarter stretch to defeat Chief Sealth 62-46.

“The whole game never really got into a flow,” head coach Scott Orness said. “We caught some streaks where we hit some in a row and they caught a few, but ours was a little bit bigger than theirs.”

Orness also said they missed too many shots in the third quarter, which is usually where they are their strongest.

Theo Miller scored 15 points and nabbed 15 rebounds, a good sign that he is nearly back to form after time lost to knee surgery. Miller helps Bainbridge go big at any time.

“It’s hard to sit around and watch your teammates play,” Orness said, noting that Miller’s struggled with the injury since last May. “But he’s worked hard, and he’s been at everything the team’s done. He’s been sitting on the bench with us during summer league games.

“He’s put a lot of energy and time in and now it’s his time to shine and help us out.”

Steven Gray scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Coby Gibler just missed out on a triple-double with his line of nine points, nine rebounds and eight blocks.

John Bruns had 10 points, while Austin Wood added seven rebounds.

Bainbridge played West Seattle yesterday. They travel to Nathan Hale on Tuesday, then return home to face sixth-ranked Seattle Prep at 8 p.m. on Friday.

Girls see win streak snapped

WEST SEATTLE – Bainbridge girls basketball coach Penny Gienger believes a little adversity will be good for her team.

“We have to learn how to deal with adversity and keep our poise,” Gienger said, after the Spartans’ first loss of the season Wednesday. “We did lose our poise, and that upset me a little bit.”

That wasn’t all they lost as they took a 61-26 shellacking from the number one ranked Chief Sealth Seahawks, snapping the Spartans’ 12-game winning streak.

Bainbridge, ranked third in the 3A state poll by, shot just 28 percent from the field.

The Seahawks didn’t do much better, but got most of their points from their post players: 6-3 Regina Rogers, who scored 20, and 6-4 Christina Nzekwe, who scored 11 and grabbed 15 rebounds.

“They were physical,” Gienger said. “But we couldn’t get a basket to go down. We couldn’t get anything to work for us.”

That summed up the entire night for Bainbridge, as they were held to just three points in the first quarter while the Seahawks went on an 11-0 run to start the game.

“It was a stab in the heart right off the bat,” Kaitlin Bailey said.

Brittany Gray was the lone scorer in the period, but she and the rest of the Spartans couldn’t overcome the Seahawks’ in-your- face defense. Also tough was the physical play of Rogers, who dominated in the paint by throwing elbows and bodying other players out of her way.

In the second, Gray and Allie Picha scored the first two buckets to close the gap to 15-8. That was as close as they got, as Sealth went on a 20-6 run to push the lead to 17 at halftime and essentially close the game out.

Bainbridge scored just 10 points in the second half.

Despite the blowout loss, Gienger told her team they’re still good – they just need to find a way to not let a poor performance mar an otherwise stellar season.

Bailey feels they’ll get over this adversity and get back on track.

“Being undefeated isn’t our goal for the season,” she said. “Our goal is getting better, and that game, once you step away from it, you can see what your weaknesses are against the best competition there is.”

Gray finished with 11 points, while Picha had nine.

The Spartans played West Seattle last night. They travel to Nathan Hale next Wednesday, then return home to face Seattle Prep at 6:15 p.m. next Friday.

Grapplers split home contests

The Bainbridge wrestling team got a chance to wrestle two home meets this week, but split the contests.

The Spartans lost 36-25 to Bishop Blanchet on Tuesday and defeated Lakeside 51-34 on Thursday.

Co-head coach Dan Pippinger said that’s what he expected out of it, noting that Blanchet has several wrestlers who have been to the Mat Classic, while Lakeside is a first-year program.

Pippinger also gave credit to 125-pound Patrick Macala, who defeated Chris Lipscomb of Blanchet by a 7-1 decision on Tuesday and Alexander Oki 11-4 on Thursday.

Macala scored a takedown in the first period, then used some nice moves in the second and third period, to score a three-point nearfall and put the match away.

“He’s a senior, so he’s supposed to be picking it up and he is,” Pippinger said. “That’s good for him.”

Macala’s win and Keith Robert’s victory by forefeit put the Spartans up early, but lost in the next two weight categories.

Peter Paskell and Matt Tetlow won their matches by pinfall, but the Spartans split their next three matches.

At 160 pounds, Brian Robert dominated his match with Matthew Reine and won by pinfall in the second period, but David Winship and Mason Remy lost by pinfall to put Lakeside up by one.

After splitting points at 215 on a double forefeit, Robert Ferguson scored a quick pinfall over Sam Shappiro in 41 seconds at 275 to give Bainbridge six crucial points. Eli Narte’s win by forefeit and Matt Ritualo’s pin of Jeremy Chang sealed the deal.

Robert said the performance of the younger guys is a huge boost to the team.

“A couple of kids have a lot of potential,” he said. “They’re working hard. Against Blanchet, our lightweights did well. They showed good technique.”

He’s not too happy about the two losses he suffered, but he’ll keep working to achieve a high performance level when State rolls around.

And he hopes Ian Brooks will be right there with him, as he is currently out with a knee injury.

“The only reason I’m good is because of my coaches and Ian,” Robert said.

Bainbridge hosts the Island Invitational Saturday, then travels to Eastside Catholic on Tuesday and Nathan Hale on Thursday. They host Sealth Jan. 24.

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