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Spartan guard Caitlyn Salo is brought down hard while driving to the basket late in the Spartan girls’ 61-40 win over Ingraham Tuesday. - JULIE BUSCH photo
Spartan guard Caitlyn Salo is brought down hard while driving to the basket late in the Spartan girls’ 61-40 win over Ingraham Tuesday.
— image credit: JULIE BUSCH photo

Spartans, Salo survive a clash with Ingraham, but fall to Sealth.

SEATTLE PACIFIC UNIVERSITY – When the Bainbridge girls basketball team lost to Chief Sealth in early January, Allie Picha and the rest of the team didn’t know how to handle it emotionally.

But time heals all wounds, and the Spartans will take their second place seeding into the district tournament after losing to the Seahawks again Thursday, 68-27, in the Metro tournament championship game at Brougham Pavillion.

Picha said the Spartans just wanted to relax on the court against Sealth, defending state champions and undefeated this year.

“We came out and said ‘Let’s have fun, do our best and leave it all on the floor,’” she said.

Bainbridge almost did that, as they used their defense in the first quarter to frustrate Sealth into missing some lay-ups.

But they couldn’t get going offensively, as Seahawks guard Nia Jackson pilfered the Spartans’ pockets with steals and scored eight points in the frame.

Brittany Gray and Lindsey Bratonia were the lone Spartan scorers in the quarter.

“We missed some easy stuff,” head coach Penny Gienger said. “Just because of the nerves and we get into an open lane and we miss it. That’s just (from) going into this game and going against athletes that are good.”

The Seahawks showed how good they were by holding the Spartans to just six points in the second quarter. Bratonia and Gray were again the lone scorers, with Gray hitting her first three-pointer on just her second attempt of the season.

“They did what I asked them,” Gienger said. “I thought our defense worked for a while and we made some people come down and try and score against us. We did what we could.”

It was all Sealth in the second half. Gray had eight points, while Megan Burris and Picha were the only other scorers. But Gienger felt their performance was better than their last showing.

“We did a lot better,” she said. “Last game (against Sealth) we were terrible. This time, I’m not saying we were great, but we at least played and we rebounded against them. We showed that they’re human and we’re human.”

Gray finished with 15 points, while Picha had six.

The Spartans played without starting guard Caitlyn Salo, who was hurt two days earlier against Ingraham as she drove to the hoop against three defenders, then fell hard to the court. Salo suffered a deep bruise to her hip, but should be back by next week, although not at 100 percent.

Against Ingraham, the Spartans had a better showing, albeit after a slow start.

Caitlyn Salo, Picha and Gray scored the first six points for Bainbridge, but Ingrham’s Sherika Pukett helped tie it at 12 after one quarter.

Picha took over the second quarter, scoring eight points in the period as they put Ingraham on the ropes, then put them down as Gray and Burris combined for 14 points in the third quarter.

Also in the third, Gray set a new record for most points in a freshman season (271), breaking the old record set by Britt Themann during the 1995-96 season.

She is the new record holder for most rebounds in her freshman season with 178, bettering the old record set by Alice Russell in the 2000-01 season.

The Spartans enter district tournament play next Friday at Bellevue Community College against an opponent yet to be determined.

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