Sports

Brittany Gray becomes Spartans’ all-time leading basketball scorer

BHS leading scorer Brittany Gray drills with teammates during practice recently. Gray’s career point total has reached 1,332 points, beating a 2004 record. -
BHS leading scorer Brittany Gray drills with teammates during practice recently. Gray’s career point total has reached 1,332 points, beating a 2004 record.
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Senior enjoyed the moment but keeps eye on team goals.

There was one bright spot in the Bainbridge girls’ basketball team’s 81-77 loss at Mercer Island last Friday: senior Brittany Gray became the school’s all-time leading scorer. Gray tallied 27 points to give her 1,332 points. She surpassed the 1,329 scored by Alice Russell, who graduated in 2004.

“I think it’s really cool and exciting,” she said.

Yet breaking Russell’s mark was not a goal for Gray, who only became aware of how close she was a few days earlier. She had already established a new school standard for rebounds last year, which, along with her 520 points (an average of nearly 19), were good reasons why she was named the Metro League’s Player of the Year as a junior. She scored 20 or more points in 14 of the Spartans’ 28 games, with a high of 34 against Bishop Blanchet.

With the help of a supporting cast that includes three other seniors – Kirsten Michael, Jesse Vincent and Anna Wood–Gray could surpass Sharon Moyle’s single-season high of 576 points, set in the 1979-1980 season.

But Gray has other aspirations.

“My only goal is to help my team get to state,” she said.

The goal is not surprising since Gray’s basketball career began when she was five.

“My brother (Steven) and dad both played, and that made me want to play,” she said. Steven, a former Bainbridge all-state guard, is currently a sophomore at Gonzaga and an integral part of the undefeated Bulldogs’ ascent to No. 4 in national rankings.

Since then, she’s had virtually a one-track mind when it comes to athletics. She tried volleyball in middle school, but didn’t like it.

By that time, her family had made the decision to move from the Chimacum area to Bainbridge. “They felt that Bainbridge schools were really good and would prepare my brother and me for college. They decided to wait until I entered high school before moving,” she explained.

It quickly became apparent that she was an extraordinary talent as she racked up significant playing time as a freshman. By then her brother had committed to Gonzaga, and at the end of her sophomore year Gray decided to go there as well. She recently signed a national letter of intent.

Steven’s being there was “not an influence at all,” she said. “It’s more of a coincidence. I love the campus and think I’ll fit in well.”

One area where she anticipates fitting in well is in the McCarthey Athletic Center, the home court of the Bulldogs. To do so, she’s had to modify her game by becoming more of a perimeter player rather than the purely post-up player that has characterized her Spartan career to date.

On the Gonzaga Web site, coach Kelly Graves, who has quietly raised the Zags to increasing national prominence, said: “(Gray’s) not the biggest or quickest player but she just knows how to get the job done at a high level. She’s very strong and has an uncanny ability to use her body, especially inside. She’s certainly one of the best rebounders the state has ever seen and I am confident that she will continue to be a great rebounder here.”

In the meantime, there’s a final season of high school basketball as Gray seeks to realize her – and her team’s – goal of getting to the state 3A basketball tournament. And once there, to come home with a trophy. That would be a perfect going-away gift for one of the most talented players in the history of Spartan athletics.

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