Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review - Spartan senior, co-captain Spencer Nicholas fights through a Nathan Hale defender Friday.

Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review - Spartan senior, co-captain Spencer Nicholas fights through a Nathan Hale defender Friday.

Bainbridge boys best Raiders 57-46

It was like a terrible trailer for a great movie.

The first few minutes were brutal, but then the Bainbridge High varsity boys basketball team came through Friday, Jan. 18, sending the Nathan Hale Raiders packing as the Spartans scored a 57-46 win.

The victory bumped the Spartans’ overall season record to 7-11 (3-10 in conference; they are ranked in the bottom spot of the Metro Mountain Division) and ended at last the island squad’s latest multi-game losing streak, a four-game slump that began Jan. 5.

Against Nathan Hale, the Spartans fell behind initially, battling back to trail 10-5 with about four minutes left in the first quarter. They began the second down 15-11, but finally hot on the heels of the guests.

The Spartans pulled ahead for the first time, 16-15, with about 6:30 left in the half and were ahead by a bucket, 25-23, at the buzzer.

They maintained the lead throughout the second half, the final quarter beginning with the Spartans still slightly ahead, 45-32.

Though the first and final moments were not great, BHS Head Coach Steve Haizlip said it was on the whole one of the best team performances of the year — and against an evenly-matched opponent.

“This was a more complete game for us,” he said. “I think it was a little sloppy at the end, didn’t make our free throws, but overall it was, I think, solid.

“It feels good to win,” he added. “They hit a couple of tough shots and we weren’t as focused as possible. That’s been our biggest issue, and honestly we have started games well, it’s been the finishing. So [tonight] was the reverse effect, but they responded.”

Nathan Hale (3-15) is, as is so often the case in Metro, better than their record, the coach said.

“I told them: Don’t look at the record because that doesn’t mean anything,” Haizlip said of the BHS squad’s pregame prep. “They have great players … So do we, and that’s what I keep telling them.”

It’s been a year of ups and downs for the BHS team, with a three-game winning streak between Dec. 27 and Jan. 4 being the so far the huge highlight of the season.

But the island team also is better, the coach said, than the numbers would seem to indicate.

“We’ve had six losses when we were tied with a minute to go,” he said. “We’re a good team. We just haven’t been able to finish. We did it tonight. We now have to build off this.”

Two games remain on the regular schedule: on the road Friday, Jan. 25 against Ingraham (10-6), and at home for Senior Night at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1 to play Eastside Catholic (16-0).

“What we want to be doing is playing our best basketball toward the end,” Haizlip said. “We’re going to go into the Metro playoffs no matter what happens with these last two games.

“What we want to do in these last two games, win or lose, we need to be able to come back in and say, ‘We played Bainbridge basketball.’ If we played Bainbridge basketball and we come up short, in my opinion as long as we’re moving in that positive direction we’ll build.”

Tactics-wise, Haizlip said his biggest concern in the final weeks of the season is consistency.

“That has been our biggest thing,” he said. “[Against Lakeside on Tuesday] we didn’t finish very well, I think it carried over a little bit to the beginning of today.”

More in Sports

Last go round: Results from the year’s final Kiwanis All-Comers track meet

Aug. 12 Kiwanis All-Comers Track Meet Results *Stats courtesy of Paul Benton.… Continue reading

The finish line: Year’s last All-Comers Track Meet is a fun, fast finale

Stretch it out, gang, that’s the end. Don’t forget to hydrate. More… Continue reading

BIFC nabs eight championships at Redmond tourney

Bainbridge Island Football Club recently returned from Redmond with eight championships and… Continue reading

Senior sluggers battle Bremerton

The Bainbridge Park and Rec Senior Softball team played the Bremerton Senior… Continue reading

As new NHL team labors over identity, Everett Silvertips recollect process

Sometime between now and Christmas the NHL Seattle expansion franchise is expected… Continue reading

Who should be the Seahawks’ backup quarterback?

The Seattle Seahawks didn’t have a lot of questions surrounding the team… Continue reading

Penultimate Kiwanis community track meet sees slew of close races

The suspense was terrific. If you like close races, you would have… Continue reading

Liberman places at diving championships

Bainbridge Island Diving Club team member Kiernan Liberman qualified for and competed… Continue reading

Playoffs continue for softball teams

The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in men’s recreation softball both… Continue reading

Another speedy installment: Results from the July 29 Kiwanis All-Comers Track Meet

All-Comers July 29 Results * Results courtesy of Paul Benton, Kiwanis Club… Continue reading