The Bainbridge High varsity girls basketball team was unable to stop the scoring machine that was the Cleveland High Eagles during a lopsided home game Wednesday, Jan. 29.
The Spartans lost 71-25.
“I thought we fought them,” said Spartan Head Coach Nicole Hebner. “I don’t think we gave anything up. I think that mentally we stayed composed enough to stay in the game from start to finish.”
The Eagles pulled ahead early and didn’t let up, leading 62-12 by the end of the third quarter.
The game ground to a sudden halt when, late in the third quarter, BHS wing Julie Feikes suffered a head injury during a fall.
Though the Spartan senior did walk off the court and received a clean bill of health from athletic trainer Amanda Sageser, she spent the rest of the game on the bench.
“She had a concussion earlier in the year so we don’t know what’s going to happen there,” Hebner said. “She hit her head pretty hard.”
Hebner went on to say that it was an honest foul and obviously not the result of intentional roughness.
The fourth quarter proved a marked turnaround for the Spartans as the team seemed to get a second wind and brought their own score up to 25.
“I think that we decided that we could beat them,” Hebner said of the team’s renewed enthusiasm.
“It wasn’t having someone right in your face. I mean, they were still physical, but we decided to take the ball to the basket and that group of five kids worked pretty well together,” she said.
Impressive though the late-game rally was, it wasn’t enough to save the day.
“I think that games like what we play in the league show the kids that if we want to be able to compete with the teams in this league we’ve got to kind of get a basketball in our hands more than just the high school season,” Hebner explained. “These teams are playing year-round. We’re playing high school season. That’s really the difference. The Seattle schools can draw kids from all over Seattle, and we have kids from Bainbridge. So automatically we’re going to be at a disadvantage in that regard.
“But that’s [Cleveland] a good team,” the Spartan coach added. “That’s the top-ranked team in the state. They play year-round, they play together year-round.”
Hebner noted there were other areas in need of improvement moving into the end of the season.
“Our passing is not very good,” she said. “We have to take care of the basketball. We have to play with good fundamentals, especially against teams like that.”
Considering the season, past and future, Hebner said that the schedule of opponents had possibly worked against the Spartans in the long run.
“It seems that all of the not-as-talented teams were at the beginning and now it’s all the top-ranked teams all at the end,” she said. “I think that the kids, when we play against teams where the skills aren’t as good, we can get away with more. When we play against these teams that are in our face, we don’t necessarily know how to handle it.”