The Bainbridge High girls varsity basketball team early season record stands at 1-1 after a disappointing loss at the first home game of the season to the Kingston High Buccaneers Thursday, Dec. 5.
The final score was 52-41 Kingston.
The loss was unexpected, as the team began the season with a very strong victory on the road against Bremerton High Monday, Dec. 2 with a resounding final score of 48-24.
Things did not come together as well at home.
“We’ve got to learn how to play together,” said Spartan Head Coach Nicole Hebner. “Tonight, I don’t think we did that as well as we have been.”
Kingston pulled ahead early in the first quarter and was leading comfortably until the middle of the second quarter, when a frantic series of scoring back and forth evened up the points.
The Buccaneer lead shrank dramatically and the score was 27-21 Kingston at the end of the first half.
The second quarter saw the Buccaneers dominate the court offensively and the Spartans were unable to gain back the lost ground.
“The good thing for us is that it’s early in the season,” Hebner said. “We’ve got a good group of kids that wants to learn and wants to get better. We’re very inexperienced, I would say, varsity-minute wise. We’ve got younger kids stepping up and making great plays, and we’re just going to get better and better.”
Hebner said that the success of the team this season, lacking an obvious leader, will depend on their ability to integrate every player’s individual strengths.
“I think our biggest strength is that we have to play as a team,” she said. “We don’t have superstar athletes — we have good athletes, don’t get me wrong — but we don’t have any superstar basketball players, so we’ve got to learn how to play together.”
Hebner advises the players not to get discouraged by the loss, and instead focus on the next game.
“You can learn something from every single game that you play in regardless of the outcome,” she said. “I think that from a win-loss perspective, we need to learn to handle our defeats as we handle our victories.”
“Basketball is going to be a game of mistakes. Mistakes are going to happen,” she said. “You’re going to miss a shot, you’re going to make turnovers, that’s just basketball. How you get through those mistakes is what tests your true character.”