The Bellevue girls’ basketball team saw their postseason run come to a halt on Tuesday night, losing to Plymouth Christian Academy 40-29 in a Class D regional semifinal at Bellevue High School.
“We ran out of gas,” said Bellevue head coach Kayla Whitmyer. “We came down and they got a lot of transition buckets on us – boom, boom, boom – and they were right back in it. I think at one point, it was (11-1) and then within seconds it was a ballgame.”
The Broncos looked to be in control and on their way to a blowout victory in the early going, starting the contest out on a 11-1 run, spanning for much of the first half. But Plymouth ended the half on a 13-5 run, closing the gap to two points.
“Honestly I think it came down to us running out of gas. Our defense was a mainstay with that 2-3 and 3-2 zone. (We) were getting (our) hands on a lot of balls. When that started to slack a little bit, we started playing sloppy with their pressure in full court,” said Whitmyer. “That definitely made a difference in the game.”
The Eagles were able to own the second half, outscoring Bellevue 26-14 in that span.
Although the Broncos had to stop their playoff run earlier than they would have liked to, they are only the second Bellevue team in history to make it to the regional semifinals. The first team to do so was in 1994.
The squad has seven seniors and that is a big reason for their success this season.
“It’s definitely been a lot of hard work, changing the mentality of the girls. They put in a lot of time. It’s a big commitment,” said Whitmyer.
“My kids fought the entire time. I’m proud of how they played.”
Bellevue was led in scoring by Janelle Kuiper, who netted 12 points to go with 12 rebounds, three assists and four steals. Britney Reid also added 10 points, six rebounds and two blocks. All active seniors were able to score at least one point in their final game as well.
The Broncos end their season with a 13-9 record.
Plymouth Christian Academy (17-6) will face Allen Park Inter-City Baptist in Thursday’s regional final at 6 p.m.