The Spartans had been cold from the floor in the previous two games heading into Tuesday night’s matchup against Central Kitsap. But the lights of Paski Gym must have warmed them up as they had a banner night from the field.
Bainbridge hit an astounding 14 3-pointers on 27 attempts as they routed the Cougars 78-46. The top-notch shooting performance bodes well for the team as it heads into the meatiest part of its schedule. BHS had an away game at Port Angeles Thursday, followed by a Friday night matchup at Kingston and then a Tuesday home game against North Kitsap, the defending 2A state champions.
Junior guard Cliff Hennessey was the top rain-maker, knocking down seven of his nine 3-point attempts on the way to a game-high 24 points.
“I told them before this game that we’re about to break out, and they did,” coach Steven Haizlip said.
The Spartans could have easily pressed after missing three of their first four shots, but the players stayed calm on the floor. After an early steal, point guard Jacob Kirsch slowed down the offense, and they ended up making four passes, working to get an easy layup.
“They are an extremely composed team,” Haizlip said. “I don’t panic with them, ever. And they don’t panic. They believe in themselve,s and they know they’re going to right the ship at some point.”
Kirsch sparked the team’s first run, hitting an early 3-pointer and picking up a couple of tough baskets on drives to the hoop. That opened up the floor for the rest of the team as Hennessey converted four 3-pointers, and Andrew Ward posted a pair of field goals to give Bainbridge a 20-5 lead after one quarter.
The offense never really slowed down. In the second quarter, Alan Ulin made a sneaky bounce pass to a wide-open Ward for a layup to increase the lead to 48-27. On the next possession, Hennessey came up with a steal and made a nice pass to Kirsch, who converted the breakaway layup.
The Spartans were equally tenacious on defense as they held a talented Central Kitsap squad to just 20 points in the first half. And the Cougars did not find much more room in the second half, even as the game appeared to be out of reach.
“That’s our bread and butter,” Haizlip said. “These guys just grind. That’s what leads to our offense.”
Everett Moore came off the bench and hit three of his five 3-point attempts, including two in the fourth quarter, to finish with 11 points. Ward, who was the recipient of more than a few passes in the paint, also snuck outside to hit two 3’s in his 16-point performance.
Hennessey completed his night with one more 3-pointer in both the third and the fourth quarters, but the buckets continued to fall from the outside even as the starters left the game. The last 3-pointer came courtesy of junior Braydon Morgan.
Bainbridge 78, Central Kitsap 46
CK 5 15 18 8 — 46
BI 23 18 21 16 — 78
Central Kitsap (46) — M. Green 15, Johnson 13, Strickland 5, B. Davis 5, Strickland 5, Massey 4, Searer 4.