BELLEVUE WOMEN WRAP UP REGULAR SEASON WITH TWO WINS; TIE FOR 2ND PLACE IN NORTH DIVISION
Bellevue women’s basketball closed out the regular season with two wins for a 13-3 league record, 20-6 for the overall season, putting them in a tie for second place with Whatcom in the North Division. For the sixth consecutive year, three under the leadership of head coach Brent Hermanson, the Bulldogs are packing their bags for the road trip to the NWAACC Basketball Championship Tournament at Toyota Center in Kennewick, March 5-8.
In the next-to-last game in the regular season, on Wednesday, Feb. 23, it was a toss-up with Mother Nature over who would prevail in the early evening hours. However, the teams were able to squeeze in the games before the snow began flying in earnest. The Bulldogs hosted the Everett Trojans with the teams trading baskets in the first half and neither with a clear advantage. By halftime, the Trojans entered the locker room with a two-point lead. “Every game against Everett is a battle for us, the teams just really go hard against each other,” said Hermanson.
The second half was no different; the game remained close the entire way. The Bulldogs leaned hard on sophomore Kelly Sutherland throughout the game, and she came through big, going 9-13 from the field, 10-13 from the line for 28 points, pulled down 10 rebounds, took two charges, and dished out four assists paired with two steals, in 39 minutes. “It was great to see Kelly really step up on a night we needed her, and it was sophomore night too,” said Hermanson. Wednesday was a night to honor the Bulldogs’ four sophomores Sutherland, Olivia Lewis, Kirsten Michael, and Phyllea Francis. “It’s always hard to say goodbye to your sophomores, making it a very emotional night for the coaching staff and the team, which may have impacted our play,” said Hermanson. With the win, the Bulldogs were assured a finish no worse than third in the North Division with Edmonds left to play.
On Saturday, Feb. 26, the Bulldogs traveled to take on Edmonds, which turned out to be sophomore night for the Tritons. The Bulldogs still had a chance to move up in the division with a win and a loss by Whatcom. Bellevue started slow and couldn’t get much going in the first half. They found themselves down 39-28 going into the locker room at half time, with little, if any, signs of life. In the second half, it was really no different as the Bulldogs trailed 46-30 with 12 minutes to play. “We were on life support, the team had flat-lined and we needed someone to jump start us badly,” said BC assistant coach Carly Fromdahl. That spark finally came in the form of freshman guards Briana Shannon and Kelsey Sparks, along with sophomores Sutherland and Francis. Shannon and Sparks pressured the Triton guards all over the floor, while Sutherland and Francis physically pushed Edmonds around the court. “It was great to see us get after them at the defensive end of the floor,” said coach Fromdahl. Then Bulldog freshman Sanda Milovic got into the act and started knocking down shots and harassing shooters on the perimeter. At the buzzer, the Bulldogs had held Edmonds to 15 points in the second half while scoring 31 and finished off the Tritons 59-54. A.C. DenHartog led scoring for Bellevue with 16 points and seven rebounds, followed by Milovic’s 12 points and four rebounds.
Next up, the NWAACC Basketball Championships. Bellevue women will take on Yakima Valley (10-4, 19-7; second in East Division) at 10 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at the Toyota Center, Kennewick. Follow the action at the NWAACC website http://nwaacc.org and select the NWAACC 2011 Basketball Championships button on the right of your screen.
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