By LUCIANO MARANO and KIPP ROBERTSON
BAINBRIDGE — The game against the Bainbridge Spartans made for a rough start to the season for the North Kitsap Vikings, Dec. 3.
The Spartans defeated the Vikings 79-45 at Bainbridge High School in the non-conference game.
Viking head coach Dan Rosenberg was pleased his team kept the Spartans from reaching triple digits.
"With the limited number of players we had, we were pleased to not lose 100-40," Rosenberg wrote to the Herald. "The guys played hard, never gave up, and look forward to our home opener with North Mason Friday."
The Vikings were down three players before the game started. Calvin Dennis and Jarrod Felix are expected to return for the home game against the North Mason Bulldogs at 7 p.m., Dec. 6. Cooper Lindsey, a guard, has a broken wrist and is expected back on the court in January.
The Spartans jumped in for an early lead in the first quarter and led 38-17 at the half.The Bainbridge team maintained a lead, despite a late third-quarter scoring surge by North Kitsap. North Kitsap's Ethan Graebner left the game with a broken nose in the third — he is expected back soon.
The Spartans pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Spartan Head Coach Scott Orness said that he was very happy with the way the team is shaping up this year.
"I felt we were the aggressors from the tip," he said. "We have great depth this year. When the guys give a good hard three or five minutes, good things happen."
He said rebounding is an area in need of further development if the team hopes to remain competitive.
"Rebounding was a big issue this year," he said. "We need to tighten up on preventing penetration. North Kitsap did a good job of pointing that out as one of our weaknesses."
According to Rosenberg, the Spartans had 45 rebounds to the Vikings' 18. The Vikings shot 17 for 51 from the field, and three for nine from the foul line. The Vikings forced three turnovers.
"Bainbridge is a great, fundamentally sound and well coached team that should do very well this year — and next — and is arguably the best team we will see all year," Rosenberg wrote to the Herald.
Though the Vikings will be slightly short-handed against the Bulldogs, Rosenberg said the Vikings are looking forward to the game against the Bulldogs.
Bucs lose to Puyallup
It was just as difficult a night for the Kingston Buccaneers Dec. 3 when they went head-to-head with Puyallup.
The Bucs lost 80-41 on the road.
The non-conference game was the first under Kingston's new head coach Ben Wisniewski, who began coaching just over two weeks ago.
The Bucs are scheduled to travel to Bremerton to play the Bremerton Knights at 7 p.m., Dec. 6.