Bulldogs finish is lackluster

By Stephen King.
Disappointment was last Wednesday’s word of the day for the BCC women’s basketball team. Playing against the Skagit Valley Cardinals, the Bulldogs failed to play to their potential and lost 68-53. The ladies got off to a shaky start when Skagit won the tip-off and scored the first points of the game. Although BCC applied some pressure, with a great three-point shot by Phyllea Francis, the Cardinals were always ahead keeping the game just out of reach for the Bulldogs. “They’re just not penetrating,” said Dan Grau, spectator and father of team member Becky Grau. “If you’re not penetrating the zone, you won’t win.” The first half continued in this manner, with the Bulldogs gaining on the Cardinal’s lead, only to be shut down by the opposition. Midway through the first half, the Bulldogs started to look stronger; a great pass from Tiffany Shen to Brittany Nabors helped close the gap to 12-14 and a couple of good defensive plays had BCC looking more resilient. However, a few minutes later, a lapse in defense and numerous missed opportunities resulted in the game becoming further out of BCC’s reach. The first period ended with a great three-point shot from Brittany Janz, Bellevue was unable to replicate the clinical shooting that Skagit displayed. At the halfway point, the score stood at 18-31. In the second period, Skagit appeared determined to remain in control, scoring another two-pointer to bring the score up to 18-33. However, the Bulldogs would not give up so easily, scoring twice consecutively and taking advantage of a couple free throws. “[We] played harder in the second half,” said BCC Associate Head Coach Paulette Martin, “[We] came back with a better effort.” Though the Bulldogs occasionally gained on the Cardinals, the Skagit lead rarely decreased to below ten points. “[We did] not [play] up to our capability,” said BCC team member Sharonda Palmer. “This is the only team in the league that can stick with us, and we gave them the game.” Still, the Bulldogs stayed tenacious until the end, and at times, the game grew heated. Both team’s desire to win was apparent; even the crowd started trading barbs. When a Skagit player fell down after a suspicious lack of contact, a foul was given and the crowd’s displeasure was plain. “No one even touched her!” yelled a BCC supporter. “Oh, whatever,” muttered a Skagit fan. Despite the crowd’s annoyance, BCC head coach Brent Hermanson insists that questionable calls make no difference to the outcome. “Referees don’t win or lose the games,” he said. When the final buzzer sounded, the score was 69-53, a Cardinal victory. “Skagit came to play. They gave it their all. They were smart,” said Phyllea Francis, guard for the Bulldogs. Although Wednesday’s game was for first place, the members of the team want to stay positive for the rest of the season. “This will make us play harder,” said Palmer. Francis added, “[In previous games,] we were confident, mentally ready, and we listened to the coach. [This] taught us a lesson