Bellevue 70, Lower Columbia 62
NWAC Elite 8 – Friday, March 9
Brenda Akoto posted a double-double for Bellevue scoring 22 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Twin sister Melinda Akoto also grabbed 11 rebounds to go with her 9 points. For Lower Columbia Cherita Daugherty also finished with a 17-point 12-rebound double-double.
Led by the hot shooting of Sierra Cole, Bellevue jumped out to an early 8 point lead after one quarter. The Bulldogs continued to build on their lead with great inside play by the Akoto twins who kept possessions alive with active rebounding. Meanwhile, the Red Devils struggled to get any offense going, ending the half shooting only 27% from the floor (2-12 from 3).
The Devils came out in the second half with offensive pressure on Bellevue attacking the rim to cut the lead to 15 after 3.
Shanay Dotson netted 8 of the 21 3rd quarter points for the Red Devils after starting scoreless in the first half. Melinda Akoto crafted a perfect shooting quarter going 4-4 from the field for 9 points. Daugherty hit a last second 3 to finish up a positive quarter. They would get the lead down to 8 but it was too much Bulldog offensive efficiency to handle.
During a key possession with 1:30 to go, LCC seemed on the verge of a turnover but a rushed Kassin Hopkins 3 would find its mark with less than a second on the shot clock to push the lead out of reach back to 11.
Molly Dixon held steady at the point with 6 points in the quarter including 2 clutch free throws late. A desperation 3 by Kenya Lorton at the buzzer shrunk the final margin to 70-62 Bellevue.
The Bulldogs (21-8) move on to face Umpqua in the Final Four next weekend right back here at Everett. Umpqua won the previous matchup 87-79 at Bellevue on December 2nd. Lower Columbia finishes the season with a 23-9 record.
– story by NWAC Sports Information
Post-Game Video Interview – Molly Dixon, Brenda Akoto
Elite 8 Photos – by Tracy Swisher, NWAC Sports Information
Bellevue 61, Mt. Hood 57
NWAC Sweet 16, Thursday, March 8
Bellevue’s Molly Dixon sank two free throws with 3.1 seconds left to clinch the win as the seventh-ranked Bulldogs downed Mt. Hood 61-57 in Game 4 of the 2018 NWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament.
Bellevue, 21-8, will meet Lower Columbia Friday at 4 p.m. in the quarterfinals. Mt. Hood ended its season with a record of 12-15.
In a closely contested first half, both teams led by six points at one time, but neither could forge a larger lead than that. Mt. Hood led by six at 10-4 with 4:41 left in the first quarter before Bellevue rallied for a 15-12 lead after one. In the second quarter, Bellevue forged a six-point lead at 21-15.
The Bulldogs led 29-24 at half.
The Bulldogs stretched their lead to 40-31 with 4:38 left on a 3-pointer by Kassin Hopkins, but shortly thereafter she picked up her fourth foul and went to the bench. And the Saints made their move, cutting the deficit to 44-41 at the end of three quarters.
Bellevue increased its lead 48-41, but the Saints battled back once again and cut the lead to one point on two occasions, but they could never take the lead. Their best chance came with 53 seconds left when they trailed 59-57, but a traveling violation turned the ball over to Bellevue. The Bulldogs missed a shot but got the offensive rebound and drew two fouls, the last with 3.1 seconds left.
Then Dixon made both free throws to ice the win.
Brenda Akoto had a monster fourth quarter for Bellevue, scoring 10 of her game-high 20 points. Joining her in double figures were Hopkins with 11 and Dixon with 10 points.
Courtney Jackson came off the bench to score 17 points for Mt. Hood, McKenzie Long added 12 and Rachel Watson scored 11.
– story by NWAC Sports Information
Post-Game Video Interview – Kassin Hopkins, Brenda Akoto
Sweet 16 Photos – by Tracy Swisher, NWAC Sports Information
Last Updated March 10, 2018