Bellevue girls take on defending state champs in Regional round | Prep basketball news

Bellevue VS Prairie

What: Girls basketball Class 3A Regional playoffs

When: Friday, February 22, 6 p.m.

Where: Mount Tahoma High School, 4634 S 74th St, Tacoma

What's on the line: A trip to the Class 3A state tournament among the final eight teams at the Tacoma Dome

Bellevue and its youthful core head to Mount Tahoma High School tonight to face a Prairie program that boasts one of the state's most decorated histories, including six state titles between 3A and 4A. The most recent came just last year with a 54-44 win over Franklin in the Class 3A championship game.

The Falcons enter tonight's Regional playoff game with a 21-3 record after falling to Woodrow Wilson 68-42 in the district title game last week.

Senior guard Cori Woodward was the leading scorer in that one and will try to help her team continue a run of state tournaments that dates to 1998.

The Wolverines meanwhile have not made the trip to the state's biggest stage since 2008.

Coach Leah Krautter's young squad will meet a battle-tested group in the Falcons and likely rely on leading scorer and freshman Shelby Cansler on the offensive end. Sophomore Mandy Steward (13.8 points per game) and another freshman in Tatiana Struen have also been contributors on the offensive end, along with junior Kate Holmes. Struen and Cansler also lead the team on the glass and have combined for better than 14 rebounds per contest on the season.

The Wolverines have played only four games decided by single digits since the final week of January, three of those coming against Mercer Island. A three-point loss to Seattle Prep in the Sea-King District tournament semi-finals was only the second loss of the year for Bellevue and its sole setback since late December.

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