Knights knock Spartans out of playoff contention

The Bremerton boys basketball team slimmed down Bainbridge’s chances to reach the postseason to nearly impossible after defeating the Spartans 66-48 Jan. 30.

“They are a well-coached team,” Bremerton coach Miah Davis said. “It was very important because the playoffs started today. Our approach was how are we going to go out for a playoff game.”

Bainbridge coach Will Ferris said, “There is nothing to say after the game; everyone is emotionally tired. We made a lot of uncharacteristic turnovers in the second half that I never see in practice so it’s shocking in the game.”

Bainbridge has two more games against North Mason and Olympic. The Spartans last shot to finish in the top three in the Olympic League and reach the playoffs is if Port Angeles loses all three of its remaining games against Kingston, Sequim and Bremerton. In addition, the Spartans can tie Bremerton for third if the Knights lose out against North Kitsap, Kingston and Port Angeles.

“It’s hard because I have never been in that spot,” Ferris said. “As a competitor, the outcomes matter but in my heart, the kids have grown emotionally and mentally. To me, that is bigger than basketball.”

Bainbridge had an early 21-15 lead after the first quarter. Sam Nylund led the charge while Bremerton fell into foul trouble early. In the second quarter, Bainbridge held a 35-32 lead after Bremerton committed 11 fouls.

“It was uncharacteristic but I told them we have to play more aggressive,” Davis said.

In the second half, Knight Trneton Bulmer dominated offensively. Bulmer scored the first eight points before Nylund stopped the streak. However, Bulmer continued to rally for 17 of his 19 points in the second half.

“I knew we got the type of team where the next guy can step up,” Davis said. “It’s just a matter of which game it would be. This is a testament to their hard work.”

Ferris said: “Their adjustment in the second half was just the best I have seen all year. They had back cuts for Bulmer, and I was going to steal that play for sure. When you make adjustments like that, it’s all hats off for them.”

Dyon Sellers scored six free throws to seal the game.

“Whatever we have done this far, we have to hit the rest button so we are a different team,” Davis said. “I want them to be like me, very passionate.”

Knight Jalen Davis dribbles down court toward Spartan Calum McCarter.

Knight Jalen Davis dribbles down court toward Spartan Calum McCarter.