Todd Beamer checkmates Bellarmine Prep
By Gerardo Bolong
SPECIAL TO WESTSIDE SEATTLE
TACOMA - Domineering defense and and a healthy dose of aggression by the Todd Beamer girls basketball team kept Bellarmine in check most of the time until the Titans finally checkmated the Lions in a 57-46 loser-out game at the 2020 Hardwood Classic held at the Tacoma Dome.
Beamer (24-3) faces the ultimate challenge in a 10:30 am game on Thursday against top-seeded and unbeaten (26-0) Woodinville.
“We came out with a sense of purpose,” said Beamer Head coach Corey Alexander. “We knew Bellarmine was scrappy and we prepared for that. Aaliyah and Sharay had great performances. Aaliyah is our leader. In the third quarter, we refocused on hitting first. Our seniors stepped up.”
Leading 16-10 after one quarter, Beamer seized control in the second quarter by forcing hurried shots for one and done BP possessions and rebounding to open up the transition game while also stealing the ball often.
Following a back court steal by a teammate, Aaliyah Alexander hit a lay up. Sharay Trotter immediately followed with a reverse flurry lay up.
Hali Parks nailed a 3-ball and TB was up 23-10.
Continuing to force hurried shots, the Titans pushed up to a 27-12 margin, but the Lions roared back on their own intensity to create an 8-0 flurry into halftime.
This turned out to be the final true threat by Bellarmine Prep as Alexander, Brooklyn Humphrey, and Najahia Forks scored a series of baskets for a 33-20 margin.
Todd Beamer kept up the pressure to lead by 19 points twice until it led 45-27 heading into the final quarter.
The Lions got as close as 50-39, but the Titans ramped up the pressure to pull away at the end. When BP started fouling, TB was able to convert free throws.
”We just kept attacking because we knew it would frustrate them,” said Alexander, who paced all scorers with 19 points while adding nine rebounds.
Trotter scored 13 points with three steals. Parks added 10 points.
Julia Bordeaux pounded her way to the basket for 16 Lion points. Callie Stevens totaled 12.
In an earlier encounter, Bellarmine edged out Beamer 40-38.
”We let them off the hook and missed four free throws at the end,” recalled coach Alexander. “We worked on free throws in practice and our goal was to protect the ball and avoid turnovers.”
State players for Todd Beamer are Alisaundria Hardwell, Alexus Jackson, Sharay Trotter, Kenyatta Hardwell, Halo Parks, Jayoscia Sears, Elena Montjuïc-Faitaua, Najahia Forks, Aaliyah Alexander’s, Brooklyn Humphrey and Ahjeawnna Sterling.
Assisting head coach Alexander is Bria Rice.