In a hotly-contested battle between two local rivals, the Bellevue Bulldogs upended their nemesis just down the road on I-5, defeating the Highline Thunderbirds 90-84 tonight at Courter Family Athletic Pavilion.
In the first half, Highline came out hot out of the gate, as the T-Birds jumped out to an early 17-7 lead just five minutes into the game. Bellevue would not allow Highline to continue extending the lead, and flipped the momentum early enough to avoid a blowout. The ‘dogs’ tenacity was so much of a game-flipper, they even managed to take a lead for the first time at the 5:25 mark as Ting-Jhao Jian nailed a jumper to put BC up 33-31. The bucket by Jian was a pivotal one not only for the team but for Jian, who has been Bellevue’s top scorer all season long but was silenced a few nights ago in their last game against Elite Prep. Jian would finish the night with team-highs of 17 points and eight assists. The guard continues to be one of Bellevue’ most complete players contributing in multiple dimensions all season long.
In the second half, the game continued to be a back and forth battle with multiple lead exchanges. With both teams sporting outstanding records entering the game (Highline 8-1, Bellevue 7-4), it was evident how competitive BC’s final pre-season game was. The Bulldogs then stretched their lead to a maximum as Parker Manalo’s three-pointer at the 5:09 mark gave Bellevue a 13 point lead at 80-67. After a Highline timeout, the Bulldogs gave the T-Birds no momentum all, keeping the lead in double-digits until nearly 2:00 were left in the game. Although Highline managed to trim the lead to six at the buzzer on a three-pointer by Coby Myles, the game was in Bellevue’s control down the stretch.
Curtis Walker continues his major contributions he has been delivering since the second week by scoring 15 points right behind Jian and also had a team-high nine rebounds. Malik Sanchez and Manalo added 14 points respectively while Emmanuel Siale chipped in 11 in his second game of the year for Bellevue. The Bulldogs are showing their depth and momentum at the right time as they end pre-season play with an 8-4 record. Bellevue opens up North Region play this Wednesday January 9 in a 7:00 matchup at Peninsula.
Last Updated January 5, 2019