Henderson named Kitsap County's top coach

Bainbridge High School's Steve Henderson has been named Coach of the Year as part of the 2008-09 All-Kitsap County Boys Basketball Team compiled by the sports writers for the Bremerton Patriot, Central Kitsap Reporter, North Kitsap Herald and Port Orchard Independent.

Candidates for the team were nominated by the writers for their respective areas and were then voted on by the writers, with the top vote-getters making the starting lineup. A Coach of the Year, bench and honorable mentions also were selected. The team includes the best players from area schools who not only performed well individually, but played a role in the success of their teams as well.

Beside Henderson, honors went to Spartans Ryan Burris and Ben Eisenhardt as "bench" players, and honorable mention to Will DiIorio.

The first-team players were: North Kitsap's Taylor Hoffer and Kyle Erickson; South Kitsap's Mike Longmire, Central Kitsap's Brandon Durham, and Klahowya's Andre Moore Jr.

Following are capsules describing the work of Henderson and the three Spartans honored.

Coach of the Year — Steve Henderson, Bainbridge High School: Henderson stepped in this season for now-departed Scott Orness, who resigned last spring, to guide the Spartans to a 14-6 regular-season record (11-4 league) and a share of the Metro League Sound Division regular-season championship. With upset victories against Rainier Beach (15-8) as well as Franklin (22-1) during the regular season, the Spartans emerged as a legitimate postseason threat. But the team stumbled in postseason play, dropping four consecutive games to end the season shy of the state tournament. A surprising 61-51 loss at home against Cleveland (8-15) in the Class 3A Sea-King District Tournament ended the Spartans’ season. Henderson coached at East Valley High School in Spokane, his alma mater, from 1999 to 2007 before taking the helm at Bainbridge. He graduated from East Valley in 1999, becoming an assistant coach on East Valley’s varsity team shortly thereafter.

G — Ryan Burris, junior, Bainbridge: A strong shooter and his team’s leading scorer, Burris averaged 12.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. The 6-4 guard also helped lead Bainbridge to victory over top teams Franklin and Rainier Beach, scoring 16 and 21, respectively, in those games.

C — Ben Eisenhardt, senior, Bainbridge: Eisenhardt, 6-10, was the centerpiece of a Spartan team that finished 11-4 in the Metro League, posting big numbers when it counted. Averaging 12.3 points and 7.0 rebounds, Eisenhardt contributed 25 points in a Jan. 27 win against Franklin, handing the No. 1 Quakers their only loss of the season.

F – Will DiIorio, junior, Bainbridge: While he was Bainbridge’s third-leading scorer with 11.9 points per game, DiIorio also was unselfish, averaging 3.1 assists. The 6-3 junior pulled down 6.1 rebounds per contest, making him a threat at both ends of the floor.

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