By Justin Busby
Tightly contested games have the Whatcom women in danger of a short season but new additions could bolster the lineup for the second half.
The Whatcom women’s basketball team has worked incredibly hard every minute on the court, however it may not be enough as the team sits tied for sixth with seven games remaining in the regular season.
To qualify for the NWAC Tournament, teams must finish in the top three of their division, with a 2-5 record. The Orcas will need to string together more victories in the second half of the season.
Close match-ups against Shoreline (3-4) and Bellevue (6-1) were decided by five points or less, and most recently, the Orcas fell to the division-leading Peninsula Pirates (6-1) 69-78. For head coach Kevin Davis, he says he has the rematches against these teams circled on his calendar.
“We’re getting close to playing our best basketball, and fortunately, it’s against the best teams so once the second half comes, I hope to get those ones back,” Davis said about the improvement in form.
With two of those close games coming against the top two in the division, the Orcas hope to make some noise in the standings, especially once new player Lyla Pagnotta and returning sophomore Marie Yates get acclimated to competition. Pagnotta and Yates joined the Orcas after the second game of the regular season debuting against Skagit Valley.
Both players are athletes for other Whatcom sports but their role as bench players could play a vital part in the rotation, as the starting five have played over 87 percent (34:56 minutes per game) of the minutes this season. For a team of only seven players that earns 27 shots from the free throw line a game, it’s important to have subs who can provide a high level of intensity while starters take a much-needed break from the action.
“The players that play a lot rarely get a chance to sit and breathe. Marie played last year and was a great rebounder. She got us six or seven a game usually,” Davis said about the line-up changes.
Linsey Honeycutt earned her second Player of the Week honor this season on Jan. 30 for another outstanding two-game performance averaging 30.5 points, 20.5 rebounds, and surpassing 1,000 career points for Whatcom.
Honeycutt continues to dominate the stat leaderboards with first in scoring (29.31 ppg), second in rebounds (15.31 rpg), ninth in shooting percentage (52.3 percent), and 10th in blocks (1.5 bpg). Dasia Washington’s 73 total assists (4.56 apg) on the year have her sitting at seventh on the board.
The Orcas play at Everett and Shoreline before hosting Skagit Valley on Feb. 15 and Olympic on Feb. 18 at home.
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