To fully understand the scope of how far Bainbridge has come this season, you have to start with a December game at Rainier Beach.
Rainier Beach 84, Bainbridge 39.
“We couldn’t even get the ball past halfcourt,” Bainbridge senior Paul Weese said. “It was ugly.”
But that day, the Spartans said, made the rest of the season happen. Bainbridge began growing up that night in Seward Park, learning how the play together. And since then, the Spartans have done the near impossible for a Bainbridge team: beat Franklin, O’Dea and Rainier Beach in the same season.
They completed the trifecta with a 55-52 overtime win against Rainier Beach last night, finishing the win off with Will DiIorio’s NBA three-pointer with 2.5 seconds left. To get there, they had to keep climbing back in the second half, even when Beach went up eight to close the third quarter. A month ago, coach Steve Henderson said, the Spartans probably would have folded.
Instead, they set up two dramatic game-tying three-pointers by Weese, the same guy whose three-pointer beat Franklin last week. And the Spartans have tied Rainier Beach for the Metro Sound division lead, and should the two teams win out this week, they’ll play a tie-breaker for the division championship. There’s a lot riding on that: the winner would get No. 10 Seattle Prep in the Metro tournament. The loser gets No. 2 Franklin.
These will be two extremely tiring days for Rainier Beach, which didn’t get home from Bainbridge until after midnight and then got up for an 8 a.m. flight to Los Angeles today. In a few minutes, the Vikings will be tipping off against Westchester, one of Los Angeles’ best teams. “And they lost last night,” said Beach coach Mike Bethea, who couldn’t help laughing about it last night on the 11:35 p.m. ferry back to Seattle. “They’re going to be angry.”
Another fight, another called game. Two incidents in two weeks in the KingCo 4A conference has resulted in games suspended in the fourth quarter. Last night was undoubtedly the worst: a Redmond fan came charging out of the stands and hit Garfield senior De’Andre Taylor in the face. Some players then joined the mess, and eight Garfield players were ejected.
The fan was arrested, the game was suspended with the Bulldogs ahead 50-33, but Garfield might end up the loser no matter how the game is completed. With eight players ejected for leaving the bench — if the ejections hold up — the Bulldogs would have to play Tuesday’s senior night game against Eastlake without them.
The leaving-your-seat rule’s a tough one. It has great intentions, but boy is it hard to ask a kid to stay still while one of his teammates is sucker-punched by a fan on the road.
Back to basketball news, Federal Way scored 103 points in a win against Tahoma, Eisenhower stayed undefeated with a 64-61 win against Eastmont, and Lake Stevens came one game closer to winning the SPSL North with a win against Snohomish.