Ask any athlete, there’s no such thing as an easy win.
Except for the Spartans’ 61-22 victory against Chief Sealth last Friday. That one looked pretty easy.
The Bainbridge High School varsity girls basketball team cruised to a breezy “W” Friday, Jan. 4, handily besting the visiting Seahawks to up their overall season record to 5-8 (2-6 in conference).
The island squad is in sixth place in the Metro Mountain division, with Seattle Prep in the top spot (7-1 in conference).
After scoring first, almost immediately, the Spartans stayed solidly ahead throughout the night, including capping the first quarter up 30-0.
In the second, the visitors managed a slight response, finally getting on the board with about six minutes left in the half. But the third quarter began with the Spartans still way out in front: 45-8. And things didn’t get much better for the Seahawks from there.
All in all, there wasn’t much to say, according to BHS Head Coach Karen Byers — and that’s saying something.
The Spartans have routinely struggled to come out strong this season and, plagued by lackluster openers, have thus often found themselves barely bested in matches the coach said they might otherwise have likely won. The game against Chief Sealth, who Byers said the Spartans fully expected to beat, was a rare opportunity for a less stressful, real world learning experience.
“We knew this would be one that would be an easy win for us, so we looked forward to that,” the coach said. “We’ve been really focusing on coming out strong. [In] our Kingston game (a 60-54 win on Dec. 29) we didn’t come out very strong, and that made me a little worried for our tougher Metro opponents. So, even though this was a team that was easier to beat, we still got to practice that we’re going to come out ready to play, we’re going to execute our offense and we’re going to follow these rules to get us ready.
“Now the challenge is: Can we do that with teams that are bigger, faster, stronger?”
With six games remaining on the regular season schedule — including outings against Lakeside, Nathan Hale and Eastside Catholic, among others — the Spartans will soon get the chance to find out.
Whoever they face, however, the Spartans will be looking to set an aggressive tone as early as possible.
“We’ve had many games where we’ve kind of waited until the second half to really kind of show,” Byers said. “And I’ve talked to the girls about being assertive in the first and really setting the tone.”
The coach said she’d gone so far as change up the order of drills being done in practice to encourage a more explosive early performance.
In light of several close losses, and two three-game slumps so far this year, the coach said the team was eager to go out on a high note, and with the interruption of the holiday break behind them, and the confidence booster that was the CS win, there was no reason they should be disappointed come Senior Night.
“Honestly, I thought we would be on top of a few of those really close games that we lost,” Byers said. “I thought we would edge it out and be on top, but it didn’t go that way and we’ve just used those as learning tools now.”
The Spartans will host Ballard at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, and then play at home against at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, against Lakeside.