The Men’s and Women’s basketball teams at Bellevue Community College have reached the playoff stage of the NWAACC Championship. The Men’s team, coached by Jeremy Eggers, currently has an impressive 23 — 5 record this season, making them North Division Champions. Brent Hermanson, head Women’s coach, has seen his team reach the playoffs through finishing fourth in their division, their season’s record currently being 16 — 11. Both basketball teams hope to perform to their maximum potential in the NWAACC Championship, which takes place in Kennewick next Thursday.
The lady Bulldogs, who have lost their last two games, are looking to end their recent bad form and are hoping to win their first playoff game against formidable opponents Umpqua Community College. This will be quite a challenge for the Bulldogs, UCC boasting an impressive 26 – 2 record so far this season. O’Connor seemed confident that the lady Bulldogs have a team that has matured throughout this season, 11 of their 12 players being freshman. Making the NWAACC Championship playoffs was a “very important accomplishment” said Bill O’Connor, and perhaps this milestone is enough to give the lady Bulldogs the confidence they need to play to their full potential. Nevertheless, the Athletic Director at BCC looked at the women’s first game in realistic terms, “when you play the number one team in the conference, it’s going to be tough” he added.
The BCC men’s basketball team, who had a slow start to their season, losing two of their first five games, subsequently went on a nine game winning streak. This succession set the tone for their season. Through consistent effort and thoughtful tactics, Eggers has watched his team become the top seeded college in the North Division. “The guys applied themselves” said Eggers who has encouraged his team to defend first, rebound second and share the ball third.
The BCC Men’s Basketball team goes into the NWAACC Championship a little more confident than the ladies.
This is, in part, is because they take on Lynn Benton Community College, who hold a poor record of 12 — 14 this season. However, the team has not suffered injuries or been drastically altered, “the same five players have started all 28 games so far this season” said Eggers. This sense of familiarity builds a rapport between players, and this could be the key to the team’s success.
O’Connor, who thinks the men’s team has exceeded this year, considers their success to be a product of what he calls a “good balance.” This balance refers to the mix of sophomores and freshman, which provides a team with experienced mature temperaments, as well as youthful tenacity and enthusiasm. The BCC men’s basketball team is comprised of seven freshman and six sophomores, the sophomores being the “nucleus of the team,” said O’Connor. This is something that the women’s team lacks, Kaneshia Brooks being the only sophomore.
This means that Hermanson will be having a busy recruiting year, looking to add depth to his team for next year’s season. Eggers hopes to recruit the same talent of players he has had the past five years, which has brought BCC to win the men’s basketball North division four times.
After a successful season for BCC basketball, both the men’s and women’s teams are looking for playoff glory. While Hermanson’s team must overcome the intimidating challenge of UCC, Eggers’ team looks to continue their winning formula of defense first, rebound second and share the ball third.