BC MEN HOST NORTH REGION CROSSOVER
Bellevue College men’s basketball hosted the annual North Region Crossover Tournament over three days the weekend of December 14-16. Bellevue welcomed seven teams spread out over the four regions of the NWAACC. The tournament featured six teams that qualified for last year’s NWAACC championships and two region champions from the 2011-2012 season. Bellevue College opened with a matchup against Columbia Basin College out of the East Region on Friday. The Bulldogs jumped off to an early double digit lead and never looked back on their home floor. Bellevue was able to hold Columbia Basin to just 45% shooting and also hit seven more three-point shots than the Hawks. The Bulldogs dominated the glass in route to a 42-26 rebounding advantage and gave Bellevue the win 92-67. All 11 Bellevue players scored in the contest, led by Marcus Tibbs with 23 points. In his first game back with Bellevue since the 2010 season, Tibbs also grabbed seven rebounds. Bellevue’s Andrew Squiers added 17 points and three steals while freshman Reggie Clinton hit four three-pointers on his way to 15 points.
In the semi-final game on Saturday, Bellevue took on the Pierce College Raiders. This was a rematch of the championship game of the Pierce College Thanksgiving Tournament that Pierce won by a final score of 93-66. This time around, two defensive teams put on a clinic in forcing turnovers as Bellevue and Pierce combined to give the ball away 39 times. Neither team shot well, however, and the game was won at the free-throw line as Bellevue knocked down 16 of 20 foul shots, and Pierce was able to shoot only eight of 17. Bellevue was able to do just enough to pull out a 69-63 victory and advance to the championship game against North Region rival Whatcom Community College. The Bulldogs were led in scoring and rebounding by Squiers who poured in 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Bellevue got a lift off the bench from freshman AJ Holloway who scored 16 points and pitched in five rebounds of his own. Tibbs played a great floor game as the Bulldog point guard, scoring 13 points, dishing three assists and adding four steals. Tyler Stracener added eight points and five rebounds.
In the championship game on Sunday, Dec. 16, the Bulldogs took on the Orcas from Whatcom Community College. Whatcom took an early lead in the game and, unfortunately, Bellevue was unable to match the high scoring Whatcom offense and trailed 46-36 going into the second half. Whatcom was able to hold the Bulldogs to just 38% shooting from the field and 36% from three-point range which eventually led to Bellevue's demise. Whatcom shot 50% from the field on the game and made more free-throws than the Bulldogs attempted, leading to an 85-72 final score. In the losing effort Bellevue was led by All-Tournament Team selection Tibbs and his 35 points and seven rebounds. Squiers and Clinton rounded out the double-digit scoring with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Bellevue (7-3) next travels to Yakima Valley Community College to take on the NWAACC Alaska Airlines Coaches Poll number-one ranked Yaks. Game time on Thursday, Dec. 20, is 4:00 p.m. The Bulldogs’ final home game prior to beginning league play in January is Saturday, Dec. 29, at 7:00 p.m. against Highline Community College.
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