Bellevue College’s women’s basketball team lost 54-70 against the Peninsula Pirates Sunday, Feb. 23 during a home game.
The results of both teams’ games on Sunday March 1 will ultimately decide whether or not the Bulldogs go to the Championship.
BC’s Bulldogs had walked onto the court as the undefeated no. 1 team from the Northwest Athletic Association of Community College’s North Region, 11-0. They walked off the court tied for first with Peninsula, who now both have a win-lose ration of 11-1.
Within seconds of the opening buzzer the Pirates had seized control of the ball. Control alternated numerous times before the Pirates made the first points of the night. The Pirates quickly led in shots made and time spent in proximity to the opponent’s basket.
Hunter Hopkins, a student athlete playing for the Bulldogs, thought it was this aggressive offense that secured the Pirate’s 35-23 lead at the end of the first half.
“Last time we beat them on their home court, so they definitely came out with a vengeance, and we shot pretty terrible the first half,” Hopkins said, as halftime music played over the gymnasium’s intercom.
When asked what her team would do if the Bulldogs lost the game and their control over their top regional position, Hopkins said that a tie could ultimately come down to points.
“But we play to win,” Hopkins added.
The Pirates made the first basket of the second half as well, continuing to score more often than Bellevue College. By the end of five minutes the score gap had widened, with the Pirates leading 50-29. BC turned around the pace of scoring by the last three minutes, narrowing the Pirate’s lead to 66-54, the smallest difference in points since the first 10 minutes of the game, but it was not enough to secure a victory.
“It really sucks but that’s just the way it goes sometimes,” Hopkins said after the game. We didn’t come out and that definitely showed. We did everything we could in the second half but it couldn’t make up for a slow start in the first half.”
With only two games left in the season, Hopkins is confident in her team’s performance going forward. “All that matters is that we’re still going to NWAACC and we still have a chance to be first, so we’ll recover.”
Head Coach Mel Stubblefield agreed. “[We’ll] stick with the same plan,” he said. “It’s been working so far. We just didn’t come to play today, that’s the difference. They just wanted it more than us.”
Bellevue’s Sunday loss was the first time Peninsula has beaten Bellevue in years. Madison Pilster, a player for the Pirates, has been on the team for two years, and had never before beaten the Bulldogs.
“They all have class,” Pilster said about her opponents. “Someone gets knocked down, they’ll help you get back up.”
Pilster also believed that her team will take the top regional position by the end of the season.
“Today we pretty much sealed the deal,” said Pilster.
The Pirates won their game against the Skagit Valley Cardinals Feb 25, while the Bulldogs lost against the Whatcom Orcas the same day.
The BC men’s team is still leading the region, with a win-lose ration of 12-1 as of Feb. 27.