By: Natalie Van Dyke/ GCU Staff
Bella Vista College Prep got the best of GCU Women’s Club Basketball again in the second round of league games. Following an 80-56 loss for GCU Purple to Bella Vista 1, and a 74-41 loss for GCU White to Bella Vista 2 last week, GCU’s teams swapped opponents as Bella Vista 1 took on GCU White, and Bella Vista 2 played GCU Purple. Still unable to find any way to slow down the Bears, the Lopes suffered two more losses on Saturday.
Bella Vista College Prep 2 68, GCU Purple 30
Bella Vista 2 got off to a quick start in the first quarter, scoring 15 of the game’s first 17 points. Missed layups were the dagger to the Lopes’ game plan and their 13-point deficit sucked the energy out of the gym.
Revival came in the second quarter as GCU’s Cassandra Ibarra scored eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Ibarra’s half of the team’s 16 second-quarter points helped the Lopes gain some confidence, but defensively they still struggled to stop the Bears as the Lopes went into halftime trailing, 33-18.
“Ibarra has a high basketball IQ,” said Lopes Head Coach Kyle Speed. “We will be leaning on her a lot for leadership this season.”
Another slow start to the second half increased the Lopes’ deficit to 50-20 at the end of the third quarter. Despite Ibarra’s additional scoring in the fourth to tally 13 points on the day, and eight points on the day from Na’lon Smith, the Lopes never got closer in the fourth quarter.
“I think we learned that there are levels to this game, and we have to play better to compete at this level,” said Speed. “Bella Vista is well-coached, and they play hard every possession. We had good moments that we will be able to build on.”
Bella Vista College Prep 1 79, GCU White 27
GCU White was the first on the board with a three-pointer from freshman Katelyn Nelson who gave the Lopes six of their eight first-quarter points, but that was neutralized by Bella Vista 1’s Danielle Arigbabu’s 10 points in the same period.
The Bears pulled away in the second quarter, outscoring the Lopes, 28-8, to take a commanding 41-26 lead into halftime.
Things only got worse for the Lopes in the second half, since they were unable to make defensive stops or perimeter shots. Nelson led the Lopes with eight points.
“We will continue to work hard to improve as the season goes on,” said Speed. “This is a talented group of young women, and they are competitors. They understand the hard work it’s going to take as well to get better.”
It will be another month before the Lopes take the court as they head into their holiday break. The action will return on Jan. 13 as GCU White faces Park University in GCU’s Canyon Activity Center at 7:30 pm, and GCU Purple returns Jan. 18 in the CAC at 10 am with a rematch with Bella Vista 2.
Interested in playing in AWBL? Contact Lopes’ Head Coach Kyle Speed today!