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Islanders shoot past Wolverines for girls KingCo crown
It seemed Bellevue held all the momentum in the world heading into the half of the girls KingCo 3A championship game after Kelly Meggs drained a near-halfcourt three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Wolverines a 18-16 lead over Mercer Island.
Then came the third quarter - and the Islanders couldn't miss.
Mercer Island scored on its first eight possessions - with just eight shots - and turned an two-point deficit into a 15-point lead en route to a 49-36 victory.
The Islanders (18-4) made 11 of their 13 shots in the third quarter and forced the Wolverines to turn the ball over seven times in the frame.
"The whole game boiled down to that eight minutes," said Bellevue coach Ron Tinnin. "They just keep firing shots and they're going to make runs, we knew they'd make runs, but we didn't think it'd be like that."
But the biggest difference may have proved to be the return of Hannah Lilly. Lilly didn't play in the last matchup between the two squads - a 59-57 win by the Wolverines on Feb. 3 - because of an eye injury.
But the senior made her presence felt early. Lilly started the game off with a three-pointer and never let up from the start, leading the Islanders with 19 points.
"Hannah is just a floor leader," said Mercer Island coach Jamie Prescott. "She refuses to lose."
"She's one of the best players in the league," Tinnin said. "She does a bit of everything for them."
Bellevue (14-8) was led by Meggs, who scored 18 points. The Wolverines will head into the district tournament as the No. 2 seed - meaning they will play on the same side of the bracket as Metro League champion Holy Names.
"That's a major, major task," Tinnin said. "But I like where we are. Our kids are playing really well right now."