Men’s basketball ends the season strong

Jamling Sherpa/ The Watchdog

The Bellevue College’s Men’s Basketball season is coming to a close with very few victories to reminisce on. Through the four February games so far, the Bulldogs have posted a 1-3 record and advancing their overall record to 2-22, with a 1-9 record in conference games.

The Bulldogs netted their first conference win on Feb. 1 against Whatcom at Bellevue College. Despite only leading 41-35 at halftime, the Bulldogs turned on the heat in the second half, outscoring Whatcom 59-47 and delivering a final score of 100-82. Guard Trevon Richmond delivered another commendable performance, scoring 29 points on 11-17 shooting. Q-Guard Tijohn Rodde scored 18 points while also adding ten rebounds, five assists, and five steals to his performance. Gerald Hood and Jalen Womack, both guards, scored 13 apiece with Womack playing just 21 minutes off the bench.

Coach Donald Brady talked about the game, stating, “It was a really good feeling to get that first conference win.” Brady said that the consistent improvement of the team meant they deserved this outcome and noted that “in the second half we started playing team basketball and got a lot of guys involved on the offensive end.” Bellevue’s 100 points was only the second instance in their entire season where either team scored in the triple digits, accompanied by the Dec. 14 game where North Idaho dropped 120 on them.

The rest of the month was less smooth, with Bellevue dropping to the 15-5 Peninsula 90-80 on Feb. 5. Hood and Richmond’s combined 50 points were simply not enough to overcome the odds. Guard Trey Lawrence put together a double-double with 16 points and ten rebounds, while the team as a whole shot an incredible 90% from the free throw line. Team play was the deciding factor as Peninsula managed 22 assists, doubling the 11 from the Bulldogs.

Feb. 8 held the worst game of the month so far for Bellevue, with an 86-56 loss to Skagit Valley. Nobody on Bellevue broke 20 points, while Richmond, Clark, and Hood were the only three to hit double digits. It was a rout as the Bulldogs shot a meager 31% from the field, truly showcasing the strength of Skagit who advanced to 23-1. Coach Brady said, “Skagit plays excellent defense. They make you very uncomfortable and unfortunately we had another slow start.” Brady also stated they allowed Skagit to control the game, citing the 45-19 first half where Bellevue committed 13 of their 17 total turnovers.

The fourth game of the month was a fated rematch between Bellevue and Whatcom, both teams struggling with just one conference win. Brady credited Whatcom with being good at home, but said he hoped to come away with their first conference road win. Whatcom ended up outscoring Bellevue 44-32 in the first half which proved to be more than the difference in a final score of 83-75 Whatcom. Rodde scored 23 points while Hood scored 22, making up well over half of the team’s scoring. Richmond only played 15 minutes that game, putting up five points on 2-5 shooting. Since the earlier parts of the year, Richmond has fallen out of the top five in points per game, still residing at sixth with 21.7.

With a team made up entirely of freshmen with the sole exception of Tijohn Rodde, Brady said “we hope our freshmen have learned just how much it takes to win at the college level.” He went on to say he was impressed with how hard they played despite the results and hopes that over the off-season they can build back the confidence needed for a successful campaign.

Moving forward, Bellevue will maintain playoff relevancy by playing spoiler to teams as they try to secure their playoff position. On Feb. 19, the Bulldogs will take on the 6-4 Edmonds in what could be a deciding game for whether or not Edmonds makes the playoffs at all. Furthermore, Feb. 26 will end the season for Bellevue as they host the currently 8-2 Everett, tied with Skagit Valley for first in the North Region. While the Bulldogs cannot make playoffs this year, their goal is to finish as strong as possible, potentially upsetting the better teams in the region.