2003-04 Season in Review
The 2003-04 season was one of many learning experiences for both the players and coaching staff. The team had only one player returning from the previous season and had 11 new faces on the roster along with a new coaching staff. With this inexperience the Helmsmen battled through a rough start to the season with a strong finish and an opportunity to make the playoffs with a tie breaker game in the Northern Division.
Bellevue started the season with seven of their first nine games on the road and for a young team it was a tough way to get started. They had a number of those nine games with in reach, but could not convert on some opportunities and finished with a 2-7 non conference record heading into their first league games.
The first league game came on December 18th at home against Skagit where they fell (73-80) in a closely fought game throughout. The next game was another league game at Olympic where Bellevue struggled all night converting on some great opportunities and ended with a (49-68) lose.
After the first two league games Bellevue went into the holiday break with only one game on their schedule at Centralia College on December 23rd before they would return to league play again on January 3rd. The Centralia game ended in another close fought game, that they just could not finish down the stretch and suffered a (69-74) lose.
The new year brought a fresh start for Bellevue to get things turned around with the rest of the season containing all league games. The first test of the new year was at home against Seattle and it was a rough start to the new year in a (61-91) lose. After the tough lose to Seattle, they bounced back to earn their first league victory (77-65) against Whatcom at home. With there first league victory, Bellevue then ran into three tough loses at Edmonds (70-76), at Everett (70-74) and at home against Peninsula (81-83). All three of those games where games in which Bellevue had chances to win, but just could not finish in any of the three. Bellevue then went to Shoreline to their first league road win (76-71). After another good win they ran into two tough loses at Skagit (85-91 in overtime) and at home to Olympic (79-84). At this point in the season Bellevue was sitting at (2-8) in league play and a last place tie in the league. It was at this point that all the close games and inexperienced turned around in the favor of the Helmsmen. The next league game was at Seattle, to whom they suffered their worst league lose, and the Helmsmen redeemed themselves with a very hard fought road win (82-81 in overtime). They then went up to Whatcom and took advantage of a very hot shooting second half to gain another road win (83-76). With two straight league wins and a chance to make some head way in the league standings they took on Edmonds at home, but suffered another close loss (83-88). This would end up being the last regular season lose for the Helmsmen as they played Everett at home and got a good win (82-76). They then went on the road for their next game to Peninsula, who was undefeated and looking to clinch, the division championship, and earned a solid victory (88-84). The win at Peninsula put Bellevue in a position to gain a tie for the fourth and final playoff spot with a win in their last regular season game against Shoreline at home and they took advantage of the opportunity by getting a (88-87) victory.
Bellevue ended their regular season with five wins in their last six games and a 7-9 league record, which was good enough for a three way tie and a mini playoff with Everett and Skagit. Bellevue drew Everett in the first game of the two game mini playoff and that is where it came to a tough end for the Helmsmen in a (61-63) lose at Everett in a game that saw the early frustrations of not being able to convert at the end of the games come back and haunt them again.
Bellevue ended the season with a 9-18
record and a vision of what is to come the following years as the
Helmsmen saw what could be at the end of the season when things
started to click for them and they were playing some great basketball.
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