Coming into the final stretch of the NWAC basketball season, the Bellevue College women’s team is looking to take the final playoff spot. Peninsula, Olympic and Whatcom have already secured a spot, and the Bulldogs are 1.5 games ahead of Skagit Valley with two games left in Bellevue’s schedule.
Bellevue owes its good positioning to their recent win streak. They have won three of their last four games, with their only loss coming at two points to Olympic. Their success started on Feb. 16 with a strong 77-58 victory over Shoreline. Natalie Amos and Juanita Johnson both put up respectable performances, scoring 13 and 15 points respectively. However, it was Amanda Luckett who stole the show. Her 27 points and 10 rebounds were both team highs, while she also had the sole Bellevue block that game. Bellevue’s defensive effort was strong as well, as Shoreline shot only 27 percent from the field.
The next win came in the form of a 69-61 victory over Edmonds. Bellevue staved off a 21 point performance by Gieani Balino, and countered with four double-digit scoring campaigns by Luckett, Sidney Schultz, Ashley Anderson and Jorie Lambert. Luckett and Anderson both ended the games with double-doubles. Luckett had 12 points with 10 rebounds, and Anderson led the team in three different categories. Her 13 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists were all best on the team.
Despite the 62-60 loss to Olympic, the Bulldogs, still managed a decent showing. Two points is just a decision or two from winning outright, and it really could have gone either way. Amos led the team in scoring with 16 points, and Dakota Laut followed with 11. Luckett finished with her third double-double in as many games, with 10 points, 14 rebounds and even an astonishing four blocks. The big difference-maker in this game was Bellevue’s 21 turnovers. And giving up the ball nine times unanswered to Olympic means they should be grateful they only lost by two.
Bellevue needed a bounce back win to take down Everett on Feb. 27, and they got it with a handful of outstanding performances. Luckett got her fourth straight double-double, putting up team highs in both points and rebounds at 27 and 14 respectively. Amos also finished with a double-double, with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Lambert finished with 15 points and Anderson led the team with 11 assists. Alexis Sykora had a notable game off the bench, scoring 18 points in 35 minutes as the Bulldogs would take down Everett in overtime. Kelsey Mellick scored 50 points for Everett, but the team strength of Bellevue would prevail.
Bellevue’s one loss might have been to a playoff team, but being able to reliably beat teams lower than them in the standings is still crucial to any team’s success. After a game against another playoff candidate in Peninsula, Bellevue will move onto their final game against Skagit Valley in hopes of securing the final playoff spot. Peninsula might be a bit of a road block, being the top seed in the North Region, but even so, the Bulldogs should not let that hurt their confidence against Skagit.