August 20, 2016
Hafford’s career game has Slam heading into playoffs on a roll
Guard Paul Hafford scored a career-high 44 points as the Bellingham Slam cruised to a 135-114 win over Guard Up on Saturday afternoon at Royal Brougham Pavilion, wrapping up the Seattle Pro-Am regular season for both teams.
Hafford was sizzling from just about everywhere on the court, but particularly from three-point range, where he tied his own team record with 10 makes. He was 8-of-11 from beyond the arc in the first half alone, scoring 33 points.
Despite dressing only seven players due to injury, the Slam had no problem keeping pace with Guard Up. The Slam began to pull away late in the first quarter, and didn’t look back after that.
Bellingham used a 10-0 run in the late stages of the second quarter to break the game wide open, establishing their biggest lead of the game at 27 points as the half ended, at 79-52.
Guard Up pushed back a bit in the third quarter, outscoring the Slam 30-20 in the frame but never seriously threatened as Bellingham quickly re-established a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Hafford’s big game was complemented by a pair of triple-doubles recorded by guard Mo Anderson and forward Tyler Amaya. Anderson posted 20 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists while Amaya had 21, 10 and 11. Forward Nick Moore enjoyed his best game of the season with 29 points on 14-of-17 shooting.
Bellingham’s lineup featured a new face for the regular season finale – former Lynden Lion forward Sterling Somers – who filled in to give the Slam the league minimum of seven active players and had an excellent debut with 10 points and 5 rebounds.
Guard Marques Echols led six Guard Up players in double figures with 31 points.
The Slam now gets set for the start of the eight-team Seattle Pro-Am playoffs, which begin on Sunday. With a 6-2 record, Bellingham has earned a #4 seed and will face #5 seed Guard Up in a re-match at 12 p.m. at Seattle Pacific University’s Royal Brougham Pavilion.