The Bellevue College basketball program is having a successful season, with both the men and womens’ teams undefeated in their divisions as of Feb. 15. There are still four games left before championship teams are chosen, but chances are good that the Bulldogs will rank as one of those top four and go on to compete in the Northwest Athletic Conference Championship in March.
The teams faced off in home games against the Olympic Rangers Wednesday, Feb. 11 last week. Both male and female teams beat their southern counterparts. The final scores for the women’s game was 49-39, while the men won by a narrower margin at 92-85, one of the team’s slimmest wins of the season.
Coach Jeremy Eggers of the men’s team said that the game “wasn’t our best.”
The Rangers changed lead with the Bulldogs four times, and the teams were tied on three occasions throughout the game. In the second half BC scored only one more point then Olympic.
“The other team came out and played their tails off, and we didn’t match the intensity,” Eggers reflected, “we lead the league in defense, giving up 85 points to a team is not something we’re used to doing.”
The women fared more favorably, with only one tie and zero lead changes, finishing 10 points ahead of Olympic.
Anthony McLaughlin, BC’s number 32, scored the first basket with the assistance of his team on the third rebound, tipping in the ball within 30 seconds of the start of the game. McLaughlin’s father, Frank McLaughlin, said, “chemistry, that’s the keyword with this group.” He says BC’s team is “a really good group of kids,” and that “they really like each other. They hang together on the court and they spend time with each other away from the court.” This extends to the way they collaborate come game time. “There’s no selfishness, they are content with whoever is scoring, they don’t mind giving the ball to the hot-man.”
McLaughlin and Jaylen Ward were both selected for NWAC’s winter term All-Academic Teams, with GPAs of 3.58 and 3.87 respectively.
All of BC’s team saw time on the court though the freshmen remained benched for most of the game. Meanwhile four of the Rangers did not play during the Feb. 11 game.
One of the Ranger’s redshirts, Rio Paul, said “Bellevue Community College has the most beautiful girls I’ve seen on this planet. I want that to be known.” He also said that BC has “a really good basketball program” and “that their coach is really good, and that their players are very disciplined.”
“We still have to win a couple more to secure a spot, but I think we’ll make it.” Eggers said after BC’s victory against the Olympic Rangers.
The Bulldogs also played against the Skagit Valley Cardinals on Saturday Feb. 14. Both the men and women’s teams beat the birds, with the men again finishing seven points ahead at 79-72 while the ladies scored 52-47.
There are only four more games left in the season for both teams. They will be playing in Edmonds Wednesday Feb. 18 and at Meridian High School Feb. 25.
The two final home games are on Feb. 22 and March 1. The NWAC championship will be held March 7-10 at the Toyota center in Kennewick.