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The Spartans beat fellow 3A counterpart 67-30 to claim fourth straight victory

SILVERDALE — Ever since the Bainbridge girls basketball team lost to Roosevelt, 49-41 on Dec. 13, the Spartans have been on an offensive tear. 

Bainbridge handled Cleveland 57-26, demolished West Seattle 74-44 and beat Kingston 77-55. Friday, the Spartans (5-4 overall) added Central Kitsap to that list, beating the Cougars 67-30 in a non-league game at Central Kitsap High School.

Bainbridge coach Karen Byers admitted to some nervousness for her team coming off a major holiday but said the goal was to go to CK and earn the win, which the Spartans accomplished, she said.

Bainbridge’s Ellie Woolever shoots against the defense of Central Kitsap’s Lecia Sincere (5) and Hailey Carroll (15) in a non-league girls basketball game at Central Kitsap High School in Silverdale Dec. 27, 2019. Bainbridge won 67-30. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

And while the offense is getting plenty of attention — Northern Colorado recruit Olivia Wikstrom led Bainbridge with 25 points — it’s the defense that has Byers’ attention.

“We’re really focusing on defensive drills at our practices,” she said. “Just trying to play as a team, see where the gaps are and hitting our shooters.” 

The plan worked as junior wing Anna Kozlosky contributed 17 points, including three 3-pointers, and Ana Byers, a sophomore wing, added 11 points.

“I think we did a good job considering we just came back from Christmas,” Wikstrom said. “We did a good job moving the ball and I think we’ve just been getting better every game (that) has gone on. Knowing what everyone on the team can do to help the team win and everyone’s like fulfilling their role and knowing what they can do and not do too much.”

Bainbridge jumped out to a 15-6 lead after one quarter, but didn’t really pull away until the second quarter as Kozlosky hit back-to-back three-pointers and Ana Byers added two more 3s for a 38-14 lead. 

Central Kitsap coach Scott Neumann said the biggest challenge for the Cougars has been getting their shots to go in. That disadvantage led to the disparagement in scoring.

Bainbridge guard Olivia Wikstrom shoots during the first half against Central Kitsap’s Po’no Fuiava in a non-league girls basketball game at Central Kitsap High School in Silverdale Dec. 27, 2019. Bainbridge won 67-30. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

“Tonight, the execution I thought was really good after the first couple minutes,” he said. “We got off to a bad start and into a bit of a hole, but our execution was really good in the half-court offense and we pushed the ball pretty well. We were 1-for-16 from 3-pointers and a lot of missed layups coming out of the press break.

“It really just boils down to making some shots.”

The Cougars had strong play again from sophomore forward Amaya Saunders, who 10 points and junior wing Po’no Fuiava finished with seven points.

“That’s been our struggle all year,” Neumann said of the offense. “We haven’t figured out how to put the ball in the net often, especially when other teams are lighting it up. They have some shooters out there.”

Central Kitsap (3-6 overall) will have a week’s worth of practice before they host Kingston in a non-league doubleheader with the boys teams Jan. 6. Then it’s back to South Sound Conference action with a game at Peninsula Jan. 8. 

Bainbridge’s Ana Byers drives against the defense of Charlize Katz in a non-league girls basketball game at Central Kitsap High School in Silverdale Dec. 27, 2019. Bainbridge won 67-30. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

Bainbridge (3-2 Metro) also has a week to prepare for an away game at Seattle Prep (4-4, 4-1) as they return to Metro League play. 

What does Byers hope to see out of her team the rest of the season?

“I would love to see more cohesiveness,” she said. “Just continue to see where our people are, trusting us as a team.”

Wikstrom knows how competitive the Metro League is, and how close the district-qualifying Spartans were to regionals last season.

“We were so close last year and I just think we can make something happen,” she said. “It’s not going to be easy, but we have a special team and we have pieces and work as a team. I think we can go far.”

Bainbridge's Ana Byers drives against the defense of Charlize Katz in a non-league girls basketball game at Central Kitsap High School in Silverdale Dec. 27, 2019. Bainbridge won 67-30. (Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

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