Wrestling coach Steve Hohl grimaced when he saw the results of the random draw to determine the opening weight for Friday’s match against visiting Eastside Catholic, a team that – like the Spartans – had easily won its first two Metro League matches.
Seattle Prep won seven of eleven events to eke out an 86-84 win against the Bainbridge/Ingraham boys swim team on Friday at the Ray Williamson pool. The Prep girls won ten events and swept seven as they swamped the Ingraham girls 134-29.
The fun is over. Now the games begin.
A quirk of scheduling presented the girls basketball team with a succession of teams whose combined season record is 1-14 as the Spartans jumped out to a quick 4-0 start.
At Nathan Hale on Tuesday, the boys’ basketball team put together the perfect antidote to their fourth quarter problems the previous weekend, in which North Mason and West Seattle had broken open close games to win by an average of 12 points.
The Spartans opened up a 33-13 halftime lead against the Raiders and extended the margin to 29 points after three quarters en route to a 57-34 win to even their Metro League record at 1-1.
The venues for the boys’ basketball team on Friday and Saturday were different, but coach Scott Orness’s verdict was the same for both games: “We played well but we couldn’t execute at crunch time,” he said.
“Not being able to handle pressure was our downfall.”
Despite holding narrow halftime leads in both games, the Spartans lost at home to West Seattle 66-55 on Friday, then dropped Saturday’s game at North Mason 59-46.
The Bainbridge gymnasts opened the season by overwhelming Nathan Hale by a score of 163.85 to 131.95 on Friday afternoon at the Raiders’ gym.
The Spartans swept the top four spots in all-around competition in addition to placing one through six in bars, vault and beam. Bainbridge also had the top four scores in floor exercise.
It took about 20 seconds to remove any suspense about the outcome of Friday’s girls basketball season opener against West Seattle.
Alice Russell scored on a two-foot bank shot just 10 seconds into the game. Smothering Spartan full-court pressure forced a quick turnover, then Russell converted an inbounds pass into a basket and a free throw at the 7:40 mark.
Spartan hoopster Teddy Picha may not have made the biggest play in Tuesday’s season-opening 61-49 win over visiting North Kitsap. But he definitely made the smartest.
With just over two minutes left in the first half, Bainbridge was struggling. The Spartans had given up 12 straight points as a ten-point lead turned into a two-point deficit in just over four minutes. They’d committed several turnovers in that span, and another seemed imminent as an errant pass sailed backward over the center line.
During a break in the incessant late November rain, newly appointed baseball coach Jayson Gore surveyed the puddled infield from the shelter of the third base dugout.
“All I want to do is coach baseball,” he said, visions of Spartans circling the bases filling his mind.
This year’s switch to the Metro League has at least two benefits for the gymnastics team. No more long bus rides to Port Angeles. And no more snubs at the Metro League Tournament awards ceremony.
The first is obvious. The second requires a bit of explanation.
There can be little doubt that the girls’ basketball team won’t have another 15-1 league season as it moves from the Olympic League to Metro.
For one thing, Metro is unquestionably the toughest 3A league in the state. Four Metro teams went to state last year, and all four placed in the top eight.
New boys basketball coach Scott Orness knows what’s ahead for his team.
“Metro is possibly the toughest league in the state in basketball,” he said. “But I see it as an opportunity, not something to dread.
“With the quality of the players coming back and our senior leadership, I can see great things for this team.”