Bellevue Christian guard Rylee Reese (right) finished with eight points in the Vikings’ 42-34 win over Seattle Christian on Jan. 17. Benjamin Olson/staff photo

Bellevue Christian guard Rylee Reese (right) finished with eight points in the Vikings’ 42-34 win over Seattle Christian on Jan. 17. Benjamin Olson/staff photo

Vikings battle the Warriors on the hardwood

Bellevue Christian basketball teams took on Seattle Christian in league play.

The Bellevue Christian basketball teams hosted Seattle Christian on Jan. 17, with the girls picking up a 42-34 win and the boys losing 58-43.

Girls:

A 13-0 run to end the fourth quarter proved to be the difference in the Vikings’ win over the visiting Warriors.

The Warriors took a 32-27 lead into the fourth quarter, but a defensive adjustment shifted momentum toward the Vikings. Bellevue Christian head coach Mark DeJonge said after playing most of the game in a zone defense, they switched into man, holding Seattle Christian to only two points in the quarter.

“That kind of woke us up a little bit and got us some steals and got us some easy baskets and that got us the momentum,” DeJonge said. “That was huge. This was a big win for us.”

The Vikings held a 20-16 lead at halftime, but the Warriors opened the third quarter with a pair of 3-pointers from junior Emma Baskett and senior Olivia Clark to quickly regain the lead. Seattle Christian led by as much as nine before entering the fourth quarter with a five-point lead.

In the fourth quarter, the Vikings defense forced turnovers, which resulted in easy buckets on the offensive end. DeJonge said the team’s biggest strength is its defense, so getting easy buckets and put-backs are crucial.

“When we start playing good defense, it goes all the way to the other end of the floor on the offensive end,” DeJonge said.

Sophomore forward Sophia Bold led the Vikings with 19 points and junior guard Rylee Reese added eight points. Both Bold and forward Madeleine Mumford, the lone senior on the team, were able to get put-backs for the Vikings.

“For their height, they both do a great job on the boards,” DeJonge said.

The Vikings have a young team, but DeJonge said they are a resilient group that has a desire to get better. DeJonge said they try to make practices as game-like as possible to better prepare them for different situations, like using your weak hand or taking a 3-point shot that you weren’t comfortable with before.

“Those kind of things that young teams need to work through,” DeJonge said. “You can’t necessarily teach them in practice, you need to have some game experiences to go alongside it. Hopefully they pick it up, get better and go from there.”

Boys:

The Bellevue Christian boys got off to such a fast start to the season, that it would be easy to forget that they only have three players with previous varsity experience. The Vikings’ loss to Seattle Christian was a reminder that they are still learning.

After a tightly contested first half, the Warriors pulled away for a convincing victory. When the team was trailing early in the fourth quarter, Bellevue Christian head coach Brandon Kats said his players were trying to get back into the game in one or two possessions even though there was plenty of time left.

“The way you get back into a basketball game is that you get defensive stops and then you get out in transition and get great shots, get to the free throw line and you get easy points,” Kats said. “We went with a bit of a hero-ball mentality. That’s just a young team trying to learn how to come back. Human nature tells you that you have to push and go fast.”

While early season success may have changed some of the expectations for the team, Kats said they still are an inexperienced team with plenty of lessons to learn.

“I think this team got a little ahead of their skis with early season success. Some of our issues were overlooked,” Kats said. “But just to see them winning games, having fun and growing every single day is what we’re trying to do. It’s really cool to see the young guys enjoying this journey.”

Senior forward Malcolm Schiltz led the Vikings with 14 points and junior guard Avery Morgan added nine points, all from beyond the arc.

Kats said that the loss showed the team how difficult league games can be.

“When you get into league play, everything is heightened,” Kats said. “The games mean more, they’re more physical, the scouts are better, everything is heightened. In my opinion, we weren’t ready to match that intensity tonight.”

After the loss, the Vikings had an opportunity to bounce right back the next day on the road against the University Prep Pumas.

The Vikings cruised to a 63-35 victory on Jan. 18 in a non-league game. After the loss to the Warriors, Kats said it is great to get right back onto the court after a loss.

Kats said he has been impressed with how the team enjoys playing with each other and how well they all get along off the court.

“It’s by far the best team chemistry I’ve had,” Kats said. “I think part of it is them being so young, they don’t even think about that stuff, they’re just enjoying playing with their friends.”


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

Bellevue Christian senior forward Joseph Primas (left) takes a shot during the Vikings’ 58-43 loss to Seattle Christian on Jan. 17. Benjamin Olson/staff photo

Bellevue Christian senior forward Joseph Primas (left) takes a shot during the Vikings’ 58-43 loss to Seattle Christian on Jan. 17. Benjamin Olson/staff photo

More in Sports

Pictured: A Mercer Island High School swimmer competes in fall 2019. Washington Interscholastic Activities Association recently announced the girls swim and dive season will be moved to “Season 3,” which begins March 1. File photo
WIAA gives schools option to delay start of prep sports until December

An updated plan moves girls swimming to Season 3 and makes fall cross country an alternate season.

WIAA delays start dates for fall sports

Football practices to begin Sept. 5, all other sports planned for Sept. 7.

No-show season: WIAA announces cancellation of spring sports, activities

Due to the school closure extension, the cancellation includes all practices, competitions, tournaments and championships, WIAA says.

There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association making contingency plans for high school sports competitions after extension of stay home order.

The WIAA announced Wednesday that if schools reopen at the conclusion of the six-week statewide shutdown ordered last week by Gov. Jay Inslee, then the state championships will go on as planned. (WIAA photo)
WIAA still hoping to hold state championships in May

But if the school shutdown extends past April 24, those championships could be in jeopardy.

Vikings earn all-league honors on the basketball court

Both boys and girls Bellevue Christian basketball teams were well represented on… Continue reading

Athletic practices and competitions cancelled through April 24 due to coronavirus outbreak

By Andy Nystrom and Benjamin Olson Gov. Jay Inslee announced on March… Continue reading

Local basketball standouts receive KingCo all-league honors

Bellevue-area basketball players received KingCo boys and girls all-league honors for the… Continue reading

Vikings end season at the SunDome

The Bellevue Christian boys lose to Meridian in the 1A state basketball tournament in Yakima.

Games are being postponed in response to coronavirus outbreak

In response to the recent coronavirus outbreak, Eastside schools are taking precautions… Continue reading

Hardwood Classic tips off after coronavirus outbreak

By Benjamin Olson and Andy Nystrom Basketball players took to the court… Continue reading

Relay teams guide Sammamish to boys swim and dive state title

The Totems won the 2A state title for the first time in program history.