“Another day, another hoops win over Eagles”

"Believe it or not, the most stirring moment in the Bainbridge High School girls’ basketball team’s 80-35 win over Klahowya Tuesday night came in the contest’s final minutes.That’s when Alexis Kimball, the Spartans’ 6-1 junior, shrugged off her warmup jacket and stepped onto the floor for her first live-game action since suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in her knee just five months earlier."

  • Monday, December 13, 1999 1:00pm
  • Sports

“Believe it or not, the most stirring moment in the Bainbridge High School girls’ basketball team’s 80-35 win over Klahowya Tuesday night came in the contest’s final minutes.That’s when Alexis Kimball, the Spartans’ 6-1 junior, shrugged off her warmup jacket and stepped onto the floor for her first live-game action since suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in her knee just five months earlier.There was no denying that she looked overeager and awkward in her three-plus minutes of play – flubbing an easy layup here, airballing a three-point attempt there – but there was also no denying that it was heartening to everyone present at the Woodward Middle School gym to see one of the defending state 3A champions’ top players back in action.Kimball, who suffered the injury in a late May developmental-league basketball game, had accelerated a remarkable rehabiliation schedule with a state-level performance this fall on the Spartan swim team. She received clearance to play from her physician earlier Tuesday, and Gienger said she sees no need to ease her back into playing time – she’ll be back at full strength.“My team’s playing good, and I’m especially pleased with my younger players, but obviously Alexis gives us another dimension on the floor,” said Bainbridge coach Penny Gienger, who earlier had said that the Spartans would have won their season opener last week against Lakeside with a healthy Kimball in the lineup.“She has the outside shot, she picks up our defense, hopefully she’ll get a lot of rebounds and she’ll take our jump-balls for us,” Gienger added.Otherwise, there was little significance to the Spartans’ first win of the season in its Olympic League opener against Klahowya, the third-year 2A school that barely fielded enough players to put together a team.Kim Beemer scored 15 points, pulled down nine rebounds and blocked three shots to pace Bainbridge, which at various times held leads of 24-2 and 69-22.Emily Pierce rebounded from a smacked nose in the season opener to contribute 13 points, eight rebounds and five steals, and Nicole Hebner also finished in double figures with 10 points and five steals. Caiti Kruse led Bainbridge, which tagged the eagles for 38 total turnovers, with six steals. Kimball finished with three points.“Our practices are a lot better than that game,” Gienger said. “Basically, it’s a chance to get everyone in uniforms and run around and play and have fun. I can’t say I learned a lot from watching the tape.”Bainbridge, which hosted Sequim Friday, next plays at Port Angeles Tuesday – as does coach Korrie Beemer’s junior-varsity team, which did not play Tuesday.”

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