BELLEVUE MEN COMPLETE SEASON 3RD IN NORTH; TOURNAMENT BOUND
The Bellevue College men's basketball team completed their final week of North region regular season play on Saturday, Feb. 25. Going into the week the Bulldogs needed two wins to secure their spot in the NWAACC tournament in Tri-Cities. Bellevue opened the week on Monday, Feb. 20, with a home game against Everett Community College. Everett came out hot to start the game taking an early eight-point lead behind great outside shooting. However, the Bulldogs were able to finish the first half on a 16-0 run closing the half with a nine point lead at 40-31. In the second half, Bellevue was able to cruise to victory behind the double-double performance of sophomore Jon Humphrie. Humphrie scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in leading the Bulldogs to a 90-73 victory. Bellevue also got big performances from Rex Nelson and Keaton Hayenga. Nelson scored 21 points on 71% shooting and added seven rebounds. Hayenga matched Humphrie with 22 points of his own on 67% shooting while also going 10-for-10 from the free throw line.
Next up for the Bulldogs was sophomore night and a visit from the Dolphins of Shoreline Community College. Sophomores Nelson, Humphrie, Eric Turner, Laszlo Miller, and Dallas Searles were honored before the game for their contributions to the Bellevue program. The sophomores started the game and helped Bellevue jump out to an early 20-point lead that they would never relinquish. All ten Bulldogs who suited for the game scored and behind this team effort Bellevue came away with a huge 116-85 victory securing a place in the NWAACC Tournament for the eighth consecutive year.
Bellevue had five players score in double figures against the Dolphins, led once again by Humphrie. Playing in his final home game as a Bulldog, Humphrie turned in one of his best all around performances with 27 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Hayenga scored 16 points and added eight rebounds in only 20 minutes of play. Freshman Dallas Smith came off the bench to score 14 points. Nelson scored 14 and pulled down six rebounds, while Turner rounded out the double-digit scorers with 13 points. Alec Wilson scored eight points and led the team with eight assists.
With a playoff spot secure, all that was left for the Bulldogs was a trip to Port Angeles on Saturday, Feb. 25, to play the Pirates of Peninsula College to determine which team would be the second seed out of the North region in the NWAACC Tournament. Bellevue came out ready to play early and behind their 50% shooting and stingy defense took a 37-29 lead into half time. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs gave away an early 8-2 run in the second half and never matched their defensive intensity from the first half. What was once a comfortable lead for the Bulldogs turned into a back and forth game with multiple ties and lead changes. In the end, the Bulldogs lost to Peninsula due to a 12-point advantage from the three point line and a four-point advantage for the Pirates from the free throw line. Bellevue fell 86-84 and would have to settle for the third seed in the NWAACC tournament.
Bellevue was led in scoring by Humphrie who had 16 points, while Hayenga scored 15 to go along with his six rebounds; Nelson scored 14, with nine assists; Miller scored 12 points, all in the first half, and Andrew Squiers contributed 11 points in addition to holding the second-leading scorer in the NWAACC to 10 points on 27% shooting. The Bulldogs close out the regular season standings at 11-5, and 21-5 overall.
Bellevue travels to Tri-Cities for the NWAACC Tournament this week and will take on the second seed from the South region, the Chemeketa Community College Storm (11-3, 19-7) at 12 p.m. on Saturday, March 3. Bellevue is looking to continue their NWAACC record streak of placing in the NWAACC tourney seven straight years.
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