After getting upset in the regional round, the No. 2 Vikings bounced back and beat Freeman 50-43.
One seasoned veteran and one sassy freshman combined to help keep Bellevue Christian’s season alive in the opening round of the Class 1A state girls basketball tournament Wednesday at the Yakima Valley SunDome.
Senior Molly Olson, a four-year varsity member, put together 10 points and 12 rebounds while frosh Sophia Bold poured in a team-high 17 points as the second-seeded Vikings eliminated No. 10 Freeman, 50-43. Bellevue Christian (22-2) faces No. 1 LaSalle (24-0) in a Thursday quarterfinal at 10:30 a.m.
Olson said the Vikings have been fueled in part by last year’s season-ending loss in the regional round.
“We were definitely disappointed with how we ended last year,” she said. “This year we just came back with more tenacity. And this team really likes each other, and I think that shows.”
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The team definitely likes the addition of the 5-9 Bold, who cracked the starting lineup about a third of a way into the season and has proved she belongs.
“She’s so powerful and has been such a good addition this year,” said Olson, a 6-1 center who will compete in track and field in college. “She’s a sweet girl, too, and is part of the glue of this team.”
Bold scored eight straight points for the Vikings late in the second quarter as they erased a 17-15 deficit and never looked back. She admits she was nervous playing in her first SunDome game, although it didn’t show.
“Before the game I was a little nervous, but I’ve been taught that nerves actually prepare you to play well and just to get it all out,” she said. “I was a little nervous, but hopefully I had a relaxed face on.”
Sophomore Samantha Skaggs just missed a double-double with nine points and nine boards. Fellow soph Rylee Reese also had nine points and senior Molly Vandenbrink did a little bit of everything with five points, seven rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal.
Freeman (18-6) was led by 5-1 sophomore Sydney McLean, the daughter of coach Aaron McLean, with 18 points — all on three-pointers. The last one cut what was once a 10-point lead to four, 44-40, with 1:33 to play, but the Scotties could get no closer.
The Vikings were coming off their worst offensive performance of the season, a 40-26 regional loss to Meridian, dropping them into the loser-out round of the tournament. They had been averaging 53.7 points per game with their only other loss coming in a 67-66 thriller to Annie Wright of Tacoma (which won its opener Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals).
“I’m proud of our resiliency,” BC coach Mark DeJonge said. “They were ready to go today.”
- The No. 8 King’s girls (20-6) were eliminated by No. 9 Medical Lake 49-36. Jada Wynn was the only player in double figures for the Knights with 17 points.
- In the Class 1A boys tournament, No. 10 King’s (20-5) beat No. 7 Deer Park 77-40. Tyler Linhardt scored 22 points for the Knights, and Eyon Zevenbergen had 10 points and 18 rebounds. King’s will face No. 1 Lynden Christian in the quarterfinals at 5:30 p.m.
- No. 12 Bellevue Christian stayed alive by beating No. 4 Okanogan in overtime 61-52. The Vikings play No. 3 Zillah in the quarterfinals.
- In the Class 2A boys tournament, No. 14 Liberty was eliminated No. 6 Clarkston 49-41. Jake Elstrom led the Patriots (16-9) with 14 points.
- No. 13 Renton (20-8) upset No. 4 Burlington-Edison 57-52. Damarco Williams scored 18 for Renton. The Indians will face No. 3 North Kitsap in the quarterfinals Thursday at 12:15 p.m.
- In the Class 2A girls tournament, Archbishop Murphy, which advanced to the championship game last season, was eliminated by Black Hills 60-47.