Sparts quell the Vikings

"POULSBO - There have been a lot of firsts for the North Kitsap High School girls' basketball team this year. First win. First loss. And now they can reluctantly chalk up another: first blowout. The Vikings fell to the Bainbridge Island Spartans Friday, 65-30. "

“POULSBO – There have been a lot of firsts for the North Kitsap High School girls’ basketball team this year. First win. First loss. And now they can reluctantly chalk up another: first blowout. The Vikings fell to the Bainbridge Island Spartans Friday, 65-30. North Kitsap coach Dan Weedin later said that Bainbridge was the biggest team the Vikings have seen all season, and in the first half they used that size to run up an early lead on North Kitsap. Ninth-grade forward Alice Russell, who stands 6’0, showed her skills early as she loped a perfect pass to 5’10 forward Emily Pierce. Pierce hit a layup inside, which was followed the next time down the court by a Fab Rezayat three-pointer. Mari McKinstry answered with a three-pointer for North Kitsap, but Bainbridge did too much damage inside for the Vikings to answer. Pierce scored inside. Pierce scored inside again. Then guard Christine Schwager dove to the floor to steal a ball from the Vikings and from her knees pushed a pass to Pierce, who scored inside yet again. The Viking scored only 5 points in the first quarter, and when that quarter ended Bainbridge Island held a 17-5 lead. While Bainbridge stretched that lead in the second quarter, North went on a short run of their own as McKinstry got a jumper to roll in, then fed Lindsey Ross for a layup inside, which was followed by a Megan Curfman jumper. Bainbridge held a 30-13 lead at the half, and North struggled to close that lead. McKinstry hit another jumper, then a three, with Shennell Harris adding a step-back jumper, and Bainbridge’s lead was briefly down to 10 points. But when North’s bigger players collapsed on Pierce and Russell inside, Bainbridge countered by bombing the Vikings out of the game from the outside. Guard Morgan Zajonc hit a three-pointer, followed by a Jenny Maurer jumper, followed by a Zajonc jumper. Bainbridge’s lead was 20 points at the end of the third, and at the end of the game they won by 65-30. Bainbridge coach Penny Gienger said she was proud of the total team effort, especially the defense. We’re trying to get our defense where we can play with the bigwigs, Gienger said, referring to the tougher competition the Spartans will likely face in the postseason. I think we have a good defense. North Kitsap coach Dan Weedin’s assessment of the game was more technical: They kicked our butts, he said. Weedin said, We played our poorest game of the year. We didn’t shoot well, we were a step behind on defense. He said that Bainbridge’s man-to-man defense took the usually high-scoring Vikings out of their rhythm … and the Vikings didn’t have much luck, either. It seemed like every ball found a way to jump out, he said. While the Bainbridge Island took the Vikings out of their offensive rhythm, the Spartans had a great offensive game, Weedin said. But the Vikings will bounce back, he promised. We’re a good team, he said. We didn’t show it tonight, but we will again. “

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