Not on Bainbridge Island.
The Bainbridge High varsity boys basketball team played a textbook game, maintaining court control and staying solidly ahead on the scoreboard, against the visiting Cleveland High Eagles Tuesday, Jan. 28.
The final score was 60-52.
BHS outscored Cleveland every quarter except the fourth, but by then it was too late for the visitors and the Spartans had cinched the win.
“I felt the guys really controlled the game from start to finish,” said Spartan Head Coach Scott Orness. “They played with great poise and just played unselfishly.”
Orness went on to praise BHS junior wing/post Oskar Dieterich specifically for his critical role in the victory.
“I thought Oskar was a real beast for the first half and set the tone for us,” Orness said of the 6-foot-9-inch Spartan powerhouse. “He’s got to be able to do that every game for the rest of the way out.”
Dieterich led the team’s offensive efforts and, along with junior guard Blake Swanson, scored 15 points total.
Orness said that given the skill and size of the competition in the league, Dieterich’s height is not the advantage most people believe it to be.
“There’s some big boys in the Metro League and he has to earn them every night,” he said. “I thought he did a really nice job of being aggressive to the hoop. Sometimes he has a tendency to shy away from the basket.”
In addition to Dieterich and Swanson’s 15 each, the Spartans had several other offensive weapons working hard against the Eagles.
Joey Blacker brought home nine points total, Trent Schulte scored eight and Ben Beatie ended the game with seven points.
Orness said that the game was a difficult one to predict with neither team being the obvious favorite.
“I think that both teams are playing really well right now,” he said. “Cleveland’s a nice ball club. Their coaches are doing a nice job of turning that program around and we felt fortunate to come out with the win.”
Looking ahead to the quickly approaching end of the season, Orness said that the team’s skill level is where it needs to be and the challenge now is to maintain.
“I think our O’Dea game on Friday when we won really lit a fire under us and let us know that it’s time to press to the playoffs,” he said. “At this time of the year, every team’s got to be playing their best basketball — or at least we do.”
The Spartans are currently listed at second place in the Metro’s Sound Division with an overall season record of 10-7 and a conference record of 6-6.
Rainier Beach is listed in first place with an overall record of 18-0.
Bainbridge returns home again to face Chief Sealth at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4.