It wasn’t looking good for the Spartans.
They were staring down the wrong end of a 10-8 first quarter at home against the visiting Mount Si Wildcats during the loser-out SeaKing 3A District game Saturday, Feb. 15.
The Bainbridge boys had come a long way, and they wanted to go further.
The Wildcats looked good, and they were coming on strong.
But with some big threes, a little luck and the support of the home town crowd, Bainbridge was able to even things up 25-25 by the end of the first half.
As the teams retired to their respective locker rooms an air of unease ran through the stands.
Could this be the end of the Spartan season?
Not so fast.
What followed halftime was a remedial lesson to the Wildcats from the Spartan school of positive thinking: a harsh reminder that nothing’s ever over until it’s over.
Coming back in the second half, Bainbridge had clearly decided they wanted to play some more basketball this year.
In the third quarter the Spartans outscored the Wildcats 14-8. In the fourth they commanded the court and again outperformed the visitors 23-14, to finish in front 62-47.
Spartan Head Coach Scott Orness said that the mid-game turnaround was exactly the kind of basketball the team needed to play to advance in the postseason.
“I don’t feel that we played a real good first half,” Orness said. “We didn’t execute. We didn’t do all of the little things that we need to do to be a good team; we took quick shots, we weren’t playing great defense.
“I thought, in the second half, the guys really made good adjustments. They played hard. They were getting all the loose balls,” he said. “We were doing all the little things to show that we’re the hardest-working team.”
The win, which followed a disappointing loss on the road to Seattle Prep last week, brought the Spartan postseason record to 2-1.
Orness said that the loss had been an especially disappointing one for the team, making this win all the more important.
“We go into every game looking to win,” he said. “We were pretty disappointed after that game. Maybe that [against Mount Si] was kind of a first half hangover after the Seattle Prep game. Our guys finally regrouped. I think that playoff basketball is a little bit different. Everybody brings their A game and we need to learn to do that if we’re going to survive.”
Bainbridge freshman guard/wing Lyle Terry, whose scoring ability has long been known to Spartan coaches and fans, gave one of the best performances of the season and led the team’s offensive efforts with 15 points.
One of only three starting freshman on the varsity team, Terry said that playing with the more experienced players is a great learning experience.
“I feel like it’s easy to get in the flow of this team,” Terry said. “They [the senior players] do a good job of teaching and are really helpful.”
Terry also admitted that the team had been lacking early in the game against the Wildcats.
“We didn’t play the first half to our usual potential,” he said.
Orness said that Terry would definitely be a Spartan hoopster to watch in future seasons.
“It’s great to see,” Orness said of Terry’s success. “That’s the perfect type of game where Lyle can really do us a lot of good on the offensive end. When he learns how to be a complete player he’s going to be pretty special. I thought he had a phenomenal game.”
BHS powerhouse junior wing/post Oskar Dieterich delivered 14 points in the game and senior guard Joey Blacker contributed 13.
Junior guard Blake Swanson rounded out the double-digit Spartan scoring efforts and finished the contest with 11.