Though the women’s basketball season is over, the men’s team trudges on. Due to May cancellations, a number of games will need to be made up in June as the team attempts to cling to their first-place position.
Coincidentally, their final games consist of their closest competition, beginning with the then 9-5 Skagit Valley on May 29. The Bulldogs got off to an awful start, giving up the first 10 points before Ben Olesen finally got them on the board. Halfway into the first half, they took their first lead at 15-14 and with 7:41 left in the half, a Nate Johnson layup put the Bulldogs ahead 22-20 and they never fell behind again. They eventually won 71-63. Maui Sze and O’Landa Baker led the scoring effort with 18 and 17 points respectively, while Johnson put together a remarkable 13 points off the bench. Baker and Johnson both headed up the rebound category as well. Olesen put up a relatively quiet eight points and six rebounds off the bench, but topped the game with five steals.
Coming home to face the 9-6 Peninsula, Bellevue exited the first half down 32-29. Baker’s 10 points and six rebounds were keeping the Bulldogs within striking distance, but the rest of the team shot just 6-22. Isaiah Dunn kicked off the scoring for Bellevue in the second half to begin an 8-0 run to start. Up 37-32, they ran away with the victory. Kai Warren ended with 14 points and five rebounds, with Johnson putting up 13 in another great bench performance. Jett Briceno managed seven rebounds while Dunn added three blocks to his nine points. The glory went to Baker, however, who topped the scoring with 17 points, the rebounds with nine, and had seven steals, marching Peninsula’s team total.
The tables were turned on the June 2 rematch between the two, as Bellevue took a 35-29 lead into halftime. Six players made multiple baskets in the first half, with Sze leading the scoring effort at eight points. However, the tables were turned in the second half when Peninsula scored a whopping 52 points. Three members of their squad, including two bench players, put up double-digit points in that half alone. In the end, Sze’s 20 points were not enough to overcome the 81-74 Peninsula win.
Now 9-4, Bellevue has just two games remaining in their spring schedule. They sit 1.5 games in front of second-place Everett, and the two will face off to ultimately decide who finishes at the top. If Bellevue wins either of the games, they will be king, but if Everett can sweep the two games then they will take the crown.