Bellevue sports has been on another level this year, and the women’s basketball team is no exception. Now 9-1, they are riding a nine-game winning streak. While there are still several games left to go, Bellevue currently sits pretty at the top of the North region, two full games ahead of Whatcom. Only the other three first-place teams in their respective regions could match that level of dominance this season: East region’s Big Bend is 9-1, West region’s Lower Columbia is 9-0 and South Region’s Lane is 11-1.
Olympic was the first victim this month, falling 65-56 on May 1. Bellevue opened with a 21-12 lead after the first quarter and that was all they needed. 10 different members of the team got the chance to score, compared to five for Olympic. Mo Bungay led the effort with 14 points, while Rokki Brown followed with 11 of her own. Barabora Sutura might have only scored four points during the game, but she was a defensive juggernaut, bringing down 11 rebounds and securing four blocks. Nobody particularly lit up the assist column, but it is notable that Katie Ruthledge came away with three of their 13 steals. Jalena Henry put up an impressive line from the bench in a team-low 14 minutes played, scoring nine and securing seven rebounds.
A 53-50 win over Everett followed after Bellevue came back from being outscored 13-8 in the first quarter. Brianna Byrnes was the player to watch, despite coming off the bench. She put up a team-high 10 points and six rebounds, a mark second only to Sutura. Additionally, Byrnes grabbed two of BC’s 10 steals and one of their four blocks. Adyson Clabby had a solid six rebounds and a game-high six assists to help propel the Bulldogs to victory.
After a week of canceled games, BC was forced to overcome some rust in perhaps their biggest challenge of the year. Peninsula played them hard, with Bellevue having to force overtime in the fourth quarter by outscoring the opposition 15-10. However, they jumped ahead early in overtime and rolled to a 60-55 win. Bungay again led the scoring effort, putting up 17. She was flanked by Clabby with her 14 points and Byrnes with her 12 in a very earned start. Helena Van Ess got the start in Sutura’s absence and took over rebounding duties, grabbing a team-high eight. It was the usual suspect of Clabby leading in assists again, this time with four. Keani Midel put up a respectable bench performance, contributing heavily to the rebound game with six of her own.
Olympic had the unfortunate pleasure of being both the first and most recent opponents to face BC’s wrath in May. After two close games, this one was a 74-53 rout where Olympic was outclassed out of the gate. The results were even similar, with all 10 of BC’s players scoring throughout the game. In fact, outside of Bungay’s 11 points, this team was heavily carried by the bench who outscored the starters 43-31. Perhaps the opponent quality factored into it, but it was Willow Jackson who ended up leading the scoring effort with 13. Sutura of course led the team in rebounds with seven, this time off the bench. She also added a game-high three steals. Ruthledge put a point into every category possible, finishing with eight points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and the lone Bellevue block.
This team lives and dies by the three-point shot, attempting the second-most in the conference and making the third most at 8.3 per game. They are largely living, holding their opponents to just 56 points per game on 35 percent from the court and 24.8 percent from three. Their defense is also bolstered by a fourth-best 3.9 blocks per game. It’s a dangerous line to tread and if the three’s stop falling they could find themselves on the wrong end of a bunch of games, but there’s no reason to think they’ll falter after a truly dominant 9-1 start.