Spirit wins Presidents Day tournament

Spirit basketball The 9th grade Spirit girls basketball team won the championship in the Presidents Day Tournament in Port Angeles Feb. 16-18. Spirit girls finished with a 3 and 1 record.
   Tournament highlights:
   Spirit 51, Port Angeles 70: Spirit never recovered from a 25-point Pt. Angeles explosion in the first quarter. Spirit was led by Beth Grove with 16 points and Rachel Laitala, 12.
   Spirit 50, Seattle Magic 41: Spirit bounced back from their first round loss and handled a tough Magic club. Grove grabbed 12 rebounds while Laitala took scoring honors with 13 points, which included three 3-point baskets. Lindsay Brown and Deanna O'Hara each tallied 11, while Jessica Morris ended with six steals.
   Spirit 48, Port Angeles 46: In a rematch of the opening round, Spirit went into a zone defense to upset the more experienced and bigger Port Angeles team. Spirit trailed by 11 points with two minutes to go in the third quarter, but four hoops in a row by Brown, Morris, Laitala, and Grove brought them to a tie with one minute to go. Laitala stole the inbounds pass with three seconds left to ice the victory. Spirit was led by Brown's 18 points (9 for 12 shooting) and Groves with 16 (6 for 9 shooting). Grove also picked off 22 rebounds.
   Spirit 51, Central Kitsap 47: Spirit ended up on top in a see-saw battle for the championship. Deanna O'hara hit two free throws with under a minute to play to clinch the win. Spirit was led by Grove, who scored 14 while pulling down 22 boards. Laitala added 11 more in the key victory. while Brown dished off five assists.
   Spirit's current season record is 22 wins with only seven losses. This was the eighth tournament championship for the team since the girls began playing together in the 6th grade. All of them will be attending Woodinville High School next fall.