The Bainbridge boys basketball team showed its defense can win games too, defeating the Bremerton Knights 60-33 Jan. 27.
“They are playing good defense right now,” coach Steve Haizlip said. “They are buying in, and it’s been a testament to them.”
The Spartan defense forced several turnovers early, turning them into points. Four of the five scored the first five buckets to give Bainbridge an 11-2 lead. Cooper Benjamin started the flurry with a layup and three-pointer.
Bremerton responded to make it 11-8. Samuel Tucker nailed a three-pointer, and Trenton Bulmer made his free throws. However, Bainbridge recaptured an 18-8 lead at the end of the quarter.
Defense led to quick scoring runs. “It was within the flow of the game,” Haizlip said. “I want to be disciplined and patient but at the same time, I give the guys freedom if they are feeling it. They are the ones playing the game so if they are open, knock it down.”
Sam Nylund led the second-quarter scoring for the Spartans with seven points, while Bremerton’s Dyon Sellers made a couple of contact layups. But the Spartans continued to advance with a 33-16 lead at halftime.
The Spartans third quarter was its best defensive performance yet, allowing one basket in the eight-minute span. On the other hand, Nylund continued to make his shots, adding eight points to his total.
Both squads pushed the tempo in the fourth quarter. “For us, our transition needs to get better,” Haizlip said. “Out of their 33 points, maybe 10 came from transition. Man-to-man they are solid. We are going to stick with what’s working.”
The Spartans ended the game on a 14-9 run. Nylund led the Spartans with 18 points, while Tucker had 11 for the Knights.