The Bellevue Men’s basketball team took another harsh loss to Skagit Valley on Jan. 11. The 81-75 victory by Skagit set the Bulldogs to an 0-2 conference record and a 1-16 record overall. Despite being only a six-point deficit, Bellevue’s only lead was just over five minutes in the game, when a Trey Lawrence layup put them up 13-12. That being said, Skagit did have a 25-point lead at one point in the second half, holding a 60-35 advantage. Just like in the Peninsula game, they fought back in the remaining minutes of the match despite still falling short.
Guard Gerald Hood led the Bulldogs with 24 points on 9-15 from the field. Thirteen of his points came in the first half, where he was the only player in the entire game to score in the double digits. Marshall Clark and Tijohn Rodde followed Hood, scoring 17 and 14 points respectively. It was an off night for star guard Trevon Richmond, who posted just 10 points as opposed to his game average of 24. He went just 3-13 from the field in 28 full minutes. Jalen Womack put up an impressive bench performance, scoring eight points and adding six assists in 26 minutes of play.
The real story of the game was Willie Thomas III, a forward for Skagit Valley. In 31 minutes he put up 32 points on 14-25 shooting, well above his season average of 16. He included a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line. He grabbed nine rebounds and managed two apiece of steals and blocks. Guard Marquan Williams joined Thomas as the only players to score in the double digits on Skagit, scoring 15 points.
Believe it or not, Bellevue beat Skagit in all three scoring categories. The Bulldogs’ 51 field goal percentage and 72 free throw percentage both edged out that of Skagit’s, but Bellevue’s truly impressive statistic was their three-point percentage. They stood tall at 75%, having made nine for 12 that day. For context, Southwest Oregon holds the league record for three-point percentage at 39.6.
When the stats look that good, the reason Skagit Valley won boiled down to ball control. Bellevue committed 21 turnovers in the game, which is not a good look. That being said, it wasn’t entirely Bellevue’s fault. Skagit currently commits a league best 10.8 turnovers per game, and managed to turn the ball over just seven times. This disparity led to Skagit taking over by sheer volume of shots taken. Despite losing in percentages, they managed to put up 70 shots to Bellevue’s 56, and 17 deep balls to Bellevue’s 12. 29 of Skagit’s 81 points were off the turnover.
This was truly a battle between two entirely different teams. Skagit sits atop the North Region standings with a 2-0 conference record and a 17-0 record overall. Bellevue’s remains winless in conference games, but with plenty of time remaining they should look to play spoiler on some of the better teams. The first half of the season wasn’t ideal, but since standings are decided by the conference record, there may be hope for the Bulldogs yet if they can convert some of their close games into wins.
Photo Credit: Rick May Photography