The Bainbridge girls basketball team kept its historic season alive with a 45-38 win against the Heritage Timberwolves Feb. 8 in Olympia, winning its first playoff game in four seasons.
“I lost my voice out there because it was crazy,” coach Zach Burnham said. “The girls came together and faced adversity as such a young team and got their first playoff game and win.”
The Spartans trailed early when 6-foot-1 senior Keanna Salavea dominated in the paint and gave the Timberwolves an 8-5 lead. However, an early timeout flipped the momentum.
“Those first two plays by [Salavea] had me nervous,” Burnham said. “I automatically switched to a zone. We got a lot of deflections that led to transitions that we capitalized on.”
Ghadir Ramadan began to shut down the interior with help from her teammates in the zone defense. “We have Maia [Greiwe] and I and a lot of strong players on our team that we can box out people in the paint,” Ramadan said.
On the other hand, Bella Ramirez took the offense into her own hands. She scored 11 of the 15 points in the first quarter and ended the game with 20 points. “We need the ball in her hands, and the team stepped up for her so she can do Bella things out there,” Burnham said.
After trailing 18-15 in the first quarter, the Spartan offense began to click. Carlyn Moore, Greiwe and Elsa Cajune sparked a 15-2 run in the second quarter to give the Spartans a 30-20 lead at halftime.
The second half slowed down as each team only scored 11 points in the third quarter. The Spartans saw their lead slip away in the final minutes as Heritage’s Mariah Bibens slimmed the margin to 43-38. Yet, the Spartan defense stepped up a few more times and led to the final free throws to capture the victory.
“We had a lot of effort on the defensive side of the ball too. The zone really helped against them,” Ramirez said.
The Spartans will play Silas on the road Feb. 10 after winning the play-in playoff game.“I’m so proud of this team because in my four years, I have never been to the playoffs and never got to experience it,” Ramadan said.