BC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL FINISHES TOUGH WEEK OF GAMES
As a result of snow cancellations and reschedules the third week in January, the Bellevue College Bulldogs women’s basketball team found themselves faced with playing four games in seven days, a tough week of basketball for any team. Last Saturday they started the stretch with a win over the Trojans of Everett 73-44 at Everett, but that game just started a stretch of games that won’t end until Wednesday February 1st.
On Monday, Jan. 23, the Bulldogs hosted the Orcas of Whatcom College. Both teams were in the hunt for a top four spot in the North and had extremely competitive battles last season, with the Bulldogs winning on a last-second shot during league play and by a single point at the 2011 NWAACC tournament. Monday’s game started off well for the Bulldogs, getting out to an early lead, but the Orcas battled the entire first half and were able to close to within two, making it 37-35 at the break. “At half time we talked about a lot about our defense, and how much effort we were putting into that end of the floor,” said Coach Brent Hermanson. In the second half, the Bulldogs showed they had clearly heard the message and jumped out on the Orcas, holding them to three field goals for the half and 12 free throws for a total of 18 points. Bellevue finished the game with a 79-53 victory. The Bulldogs shot 56.3% in the second half and 100% from the line. Kelsey Sparks led Bellevue in scoring with 19 points, Brittany Barrington added 17, and Sanda Milovic contributed 11. “It was an important win for us at home and to continue to stay tied with Peninsula for second place,” said coach Hermanson.
Next up for Bellevue were the Dolphins of Shoreline Community College on Weds., Jan. 25. Traveling to Shoreline, the Bulldogs were looking to continue their winning streak and maintain their standing in the North Division. The game started out well for the Bulldogs, with a strong defense and hot shooting again the story. The Bulldogs went 15/27 in the first half from the field for 55.6% and 100% from the line, taking a 32-20 lead into the second half. Returning to the court, it was more of the same, although cooling off slightly, the Bulldogs were still shooting a high percentage from the field, and were able to hold their opponent to a mere 25 points for the half. “Anytime you can keep your opponent under 50 on the road, and shoot a high percentage, the final result will generally take care of itself,” said coach Hermanson. “The most impressive part of the game was how we shared the ball, with assists on 17 of our 28 field goals.” Final score was Bellevue 67, Shoreline 45, extending the Bulldogs’ record to 5-1 in league play maintaining their tie with Peninsula, preparing for a tough match up on Saturday at BC. Milovic led Bellevue’s scoring with 22 points on 10-16 shooting and six rebounds, Sparks netted 12, and Anna Hobby would contribute 9.
The final game of the week, Bellevue hosted the Peninsula College Pirates on Saturday, Jan. 28. The teams came into the game tied for second in the North Division both 5-1, each looking to seize the advantage in the standings. The Bulldogs got off to a blazing start and dominated all phases of the game in the first half, heading into the locker room with a stunning 42-17 lead, holding the Pirates to 14.3% shooting on 6/42. Unfortunately, in the second half, the Bulldogs came out flat, but the Pirates were ready to get back into the game. It was the Bulldogs that couldn’t find the bottom of the net shooting 14.8% while the Pirates scotched the Bulldogs and were able to tie the game at 59-59, and send it into extra time. Coach Hermanson said, “I’m not really sure why we stopped doing the things we were doing in the first half, but for some reason, we lost our momentum and stopped playing as a team.”
In overtime, Bellevue quickly re-grouped and was able to outscore the Pirates 13-2 to take a hard-earned 72-61 victory, and control of second place in the division. Rebounds were a large part of the success for the Bulldogs with Barrington pulling in 15, plus scoring nine points, TyShana Burgess enjoyed a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, Milovic netted 18 points and 9 rebounds, and Sparks scored 16 points with 8 rebounds. “At the end of the day, a win is a win, but it certainly didn’t go down the way we wanted,” said Hermanson.
Bellevue’s (6-1, 14-4) tough stretch of games concludes with hosting with the Edmonds Titans (0-6, 0-14) on January 30, at 5:30 p.m. followed by the Olympic Rangers (0-5, 0-12) on February 1, also at 5:30 p.m. Both games will be at home and both games are critical for Bellevue to continue to hold second place in the North. When asked, coach Hermanson added the following, “For all the turmoil we’ve had this year, we’ve had success and we need to continue to build on that success, as we finish the first half of the league season and prepare for the second half.”
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