BELLEVUE WOMEN TOP NORTH DIVISION
January 24, 2011
Bellevue College women’s basketball continued their winning streak last week. Wednesday, Jan. 19, the North Seattle Storm came to Bellevue College to challenge the Bulldogs. “North Seattle is always tough,” said Bellevue women’s head coach Brent Hermanson. “Many of the players are friends and have grown up playing basketball together, so there is a lot of pride on the line.”
In the first half Bellevue jumped out to a commanding lead, going in at half time up by 23 points, 37-14. Hermanson was “pleased with our effort in the first half, especially after a huge win against Skagit, it would be easy to have a letdown.” In the second half it was much closer, but Bellevue was able to hold their early lead and notch the victory 62-36. The Bulldogs were led by Sanda Milovic who posted a double-double leading the team with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman Kelsey Sparks contributed 12 boards, with 7 rebounds, followed up by Kelly Sutherland with 10 and 6. Also hammering on the rebound scale was A. C. DenHartog with 11. “At the beginning of this season, the team set defensive goals for points allowed for each game,” said Hermanson, “and anytime we can keep opponents under 50, we like our chances to come out on top.”
On Saturday, Jan. 22, the Bulldogs traveled to Bellingham to take on the Whatcom Orcas. Both teams were undefeated in the North Division, and it was going to be a tremendous test for the Bulldogs. “Whatcom is an extremely tough to place to play as they have great fan support and always give visiting teams a rough time on their home court,” said Hermanson. The game was close throughout, but despite foul trouble the Bulldogs were able to take a small lead at the end of the first half 34-29 due to the efforts of sophomores Kirsten Michael and Olivia Lewis who had to play against bigger players and “were phenomenal,” according to Hermanson.
In the second half, as expected, the Orcas came out firing, and Bellevue found itself down 10 points with only five minutes to play. “It was amazing, we stayed calm, got critical stops and were able to chip away at the lead,” said Hermanson. With less than a minute to play, the Orcas led 64-63, and neither team was able to score, but with 20 seconds left on the clock, Bellevue freshman Briana Shannon stole the ball from Whatcom’s Alicia Valentine to give the Bulldogs a chance to get the win.
Shannon drew three defenders, then quickly passed the ball to Sparks to knock in a 3-pointer, giving the Bulldogs a two point advantage with 11 seconds left. Shannon continued to apply pressure to Valentine all the way up the court and, as Valentine took the last shot, Bellevue’s Sparks grabbed the rebound, securing the 66-64 win for the Bulldogs - and first place in the North Division. DenHartog led the scoring for the Bulldogs with 13 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Sparks and Sutherland with 12 each, and Milovic’s 11.
Next up, the Bulldogs (6-0 league, 13-3 season) travel to Everett (4-2, 8-7) on Wednesday, Jan. 26, game time 5 p.m. Then, Saturday, Jan. 29, Bellevue hosts the women from Edmonds (3-3, 7-7) at 4 p.m.