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Girls Basketball: Bellevue topples No. 4 Mercer Island 59-57
Natalie Anderson scored only four points for the Wolverines Wednesday night against Mercer Island. While the junior didn't score at all in the second half, she may have made the biggest impact of any Wolverine on the court.
With Bellevue nursing a one-point lead, Anderson took a charge from Mercer Island's Jae Shin with just 1.9 seconds left in the game that all but sealed a 59-57 Wolverine win over the No. 4 Islanders.
"I live for that," Anderson said after the game. "I've taken that same charge a few times this year, but that is the biggest one I've ever taken by far."
Down 58-57, the Islanders put the ball in Shin's hands. The junior, who had hit two big three-pointers to keep Mercer Island close, drove to the left baseline and straight into Anderson, drawing the whistle that left the Bellevue stands erupting in cheers.
"I've never heard this place that loud," Anderson said.
It was fitting the game came down to one final possession for the Islanders - the back-and-forth game featured 14 lead changes and neither team led by more than five points. It was a far different game from Jan. 8, where the Islanders knocked off Bellevue by 25 points.
"We needed this win," said Bellevue's Kelly Meggs, who led the Wolverines (12-6, 8-2 KingCo 3A/2A) with 14 points and four rebounds. "We got the win and we're over the hump."
The biggest difference in the game came at the foul line, as the Wolverines shot 20-of-23 from the free throw line.
"We were a lot more aggressive," Meggs said. "We got to the basket and we got to the foul line."
Bellevue had contributions everywhere Wednesday night as 10 different Wolverines scored points. Catelyn Webber had 12 points for Bellevue and Taylor Brazen added 10. Casey Warendorf grabbed seven rebounds for Bellevue.
The Islanders (13-4, 8-2) were led by junior Hailey Gullstad, who scored 18 points. Shin chipped in 13. Mercer Island was without leading scorer Hannah Lilly. The senior center, averaging 12.6 points per game, sat after suffering an eye injury in practice Tuesday night.
Bellevue clinched at least a share of second place with the win. The Wolverines next see action Tuesday against Mount Si at 5:45 p.m. in Snoqualmie.