EAST BREMERTON — There was perhaps an element of impatience in Olivia Wikstrom’s game. Four minutes into the contest, her team had not yet recorded a field goal. But Bainbridge’s 5-foot-11 sophomore guard finally seized upon an opening in the Olympic defense and took the ball to the basket with authority.
“She likes to score and she does it well,” Bainbridge head coach Henry Guterson said.
And score she did, lighting up the board with a game-high 21 points and sparking the Spartans to a 56-43 victory over Olympic on Dec. 5 — their first win of the year.
“It always feels good to get the first win of the season,” Guterson said. “Sometimes, if you start losing 3, 4, 5, in a row, it gets to be mental. We played really well tonight, really hard. We wanted it.”
Both teams started slow from the field; only foul shots by Anna Kozlosky and Kendall Havill for Bainbridge and Kiki Mitchell for Olympic (1-2) provided the game’s early points.
Then Wikstrom took over, driving the lane for a nice layup to put her team ahead 6-2. On Olympic’s next possession, Wikstrom came up with a steal and scored on the fastbreak and the subsequent foul shot. Her pull-up jumper with 2:50 left in the first gave Bainbridge an 11-2 edge, and the Trojans would never quite recover.
Wikstrom had some help from the sophomore guard Havill, who added 15 points for the Spartans and freshman guard/post Kozlosky, who chipped in 14. Both were effective scorers from both the outside and the inside as they took advantage of an Olympic defense which had a tough time early on with Bainbridge’s ball movement.
The Trojans offense had occasionally flourishes of terrific play in the first half, but could not put together a long run to get back into the game. While they created plenty of chances, the shots were not dropping into the basket.
“We manufactured good shots in the first half,” Olympic head coach Bryan Hanley said. “Our defense was a little sketchy, we gave up some easy points, but we’ve done that in all our games thus far. We just have to start hitting our shots. I thought the shots were rushed.”
Olympic opened the second quarter with a jumper from Mitchell and a layup by freshman Jakyiiah Willis, but Wikstrom broke their moment, finishing an easy layup off a steal by Havill.
Similarly, a field goal to open the second half by Olympic’s Zoie Matheny was quickly answered by three more baskets from Wikstrom. After drilling a 3-pointer from the left baseline, Wikstrom gave her team a 39-17 lead.
“We put together some great stretches over our first two games, but tonight I thought we put together full game,” Guterson said.
The Trojans continued to put on pressure into the fourth quarter, and the Spartans certainly were not taking their foot off the gas pedal despite having a comfortable lead. A 9-3 run in the third quarter was propelled by better defensive anticipation, which led to a couple of turnovers.
Olympic also closed the game with a 12-2 run behind six points from Willis. The Trojans also received strong play from promising 6-foot-1 post Aaliyah Williams, who was able to use her size and strength to give her team a foothold under the basket as a rebounder and scorer.
“I’m disappointed in the outcome, but I’m not disappointed in the girls, they were great,” Hanley said.
Bainbridge 56, Olympic 43
Bainbridge 19 13 15 9
Olympic 4 11 14 14
Bainbridge (56) — Wikstrom 21, Havill 15, Kozlosky 14, Carson 4, Ditmore 2
Olympic (43) — K. Mitchell 11, Willis 8, Williams 8, Triggs 7, Matheny 6, A. Mitchell 3,
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at email@example.com.