BELLEVUE WOMEN HOST 2012 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CLASSIC
On Friday, Nov. 30, the Bellevue women’s basketball team returned to the court coming off a disappointing performance in their recent tournament at Everett. “The team was really ready to get back on the floor after our last two performances,” said head coach Brent Hermanson. This year’s three-day Bellevue Women’s Basketball Classic featured seven NWAACC teams (Umpqua, Mt. Hood, Green River, Highline, Big Bend, Skagit, Bellevue) and one non-conference team (Northwest Indian College).
First up for the Bulldogs was Northwest Indian College on Friday evening. The Bulldogs came out with a sense of purpose at the defensive end and by half time it was obvious that the lessons learned during the Everett tournament were clear. Bellevue led at the half 39-8, dominating play at both ends of the floor. In the second half, the Bulldogs extended their lead and finished the game with an 85-22 victory. For the Bulldogs all players saw action and contributed offensively, with four players in double figures: Tayler Flemming with 11 points, and Kaitlynn Bunger, Maddison Rankin and Julianne Gere contributing ten each. Bellevue shot 53.5% from the field for the game and 83.3% from the free throw line to get their record back to even at 2-2.
On Saturday, Dec. 1, the Bulldogs faced the Highline Thunderbirds from the West Division in NWAACC. Highline had defeated Mt. Hood in their first round, and gave the Bulldogs a tough test. The game started off poorly for the Bulldogs trailing 11-1. The difference was that the Bulldogs really dug in on defense and used their defensive effort to create easy opportunities at the offensive end. Despite the early deficit, the Bulldogs led at the half 30-21. When the teams took the court in the second half, they began by trading baskets, each scoring 33, but Highline was not able to close the scoring deficit, giving the Bulldogs their second win of the tournament 63-54. “We talk about holding teams to 54 or less as a defensive goal, and I think now the ladies understand the level of effort required to keep good teams to that number,” said Hermanson. For the Bulldogs, balanced scoring was again the theme with Demarea Caples contributing 11, Airashay Rogers and Brenna Anderson each adding ten. Chanel Cambronero led the team in steals with three, and Rogers led the team with four assists.
Sunday saw the Bulldogs up against North Division rival Skagit Valley for the Tournament Championship. Skagit had defeated Umpqua in their semi-final game, making it an all-North Division final. The Bulldogs came out ready to work right from the opening tip. “Our defensive effort all weekend was excellent, but in this game it was particularly impressive,” said Hermanson. Bellevue held the Skagit Cardinals to a mere 13 points at the half, leading 25-13. “Skagit has three really good scorers averaging nearly 20 points a game, so for us to hold them to 13 says a lot for the effort on the defensive end,” Hermanson said. In the second half, the Bulldogs extended their lead and claimed the championship game 63-32. Each of the Bellevue women saw action in the game and contributed offensively. The Bulldogs were led in scoring with 15 points from Rogers, ten from Jori Hall, eight by Caples, and seven from Flemming. Alexis Berrysmith led the team on the boards with seven, and Cambronero once again led in steals and assists.
The 2012 Bellevue College Women’s Classic trophy race ended as follows:
Next up for the Bulldogs (4-2) is the NWAACC Crossover Tournament hosted by Lane in Eugene, Oregon, Dec. 14-16. The Bulldogs first round opponent will be Linn-Benton at 1:00 p.m., Dec. 14 in Eugene.
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