The sixth-ranked Bellevue College men’s basketball team took to the road last week with two trips in the NWAACC North region. On Wednesday, Feb. 15, Bellevue travelled to number one Whatcom Community College to take on the Orcas. Whatcom jumped out to an early eight-point lead, but the Bulldogs quickly responded and took a 38-37 lead into the locker room at half time. Bellevue’s stingy first half defense quickly disappeared in the second half as the Bulldogs allowed 60% shooting in the last stanza. This coupled with Whatcom’s nine-point advantage from the three -point line led to Bellevue’s demise. Whatcom earned an 85-74 victory ending Bellevue’s outside chance at back-to-back North region titles.
The Bulldogs had five players scoring double digits: Keaton Hayenga scored18 points and six rebounds on the evening, Rex Nelson scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds, Tre Benton netted 14 points off the bench, Jon Humphrie added 13 points, and Eric Turner rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points.
On Saturday, Feb. 18, Bellevue took to the road again to face the Tritons of Edmonds Community College. In this contest, Bellevue jumped out to an early lead that they held onto, never allowing the Tritons closer than nine points in the last ten minutes of the game. The Bulldogs walked away with a 74-56 victory behind a strong defensive effort. Bellevue held Edmonds to 40% shooting and forced 12 turnovers. The Bulldogs were led by 16 points from Humphrie and 14 from Hayenga. Freshman Dallas Smith gave the Bulldogs a huge lift off the bench with 15 points, all in the second half. Smith recorded his career high thanks to 75% shooting from the three-point line. Turner scored 12 points and played an excellent floor game leading the Bulldog offense.
Bellevue faces a daunting schedule to finish region play. The Bulldogs start the week with two home games: first hosting Everett Community College on Monday, Feb. 20 at p.m.; then Wednesday, Feb. 22, facing the Dolphins of Shoreline Community College at 7:30 p.m.; and, finally, wrapping up North region play and the regular season with a trip to Port Angeles to face Peninsula College the 2011 NWAACC Champions on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m.