Shaun Scott, staff photo The Bellevue Wolverines boys basketball team won its eighth KingCo championship in the past 11 years courtesy of a 61-52 victory against the Mercer Island Islanders on Feb. 9 at Newport High School in Factoria.

Strong second half propels Wolverines to victory against Islanders in KingCo title game

The Bellevue Wolverines boys basketball team’s stingy defense was the difference against the Mercer Island Islanders in the Class 3A KingCo title game.

Bellevue, which led Mercer Island by just one point at halftime, outscored Mercer Island 34-26 in the second half en route to a 61-52 victory on Feb. 9 at Newport High School in Factoria. Bellevue particularly dominated the third quarter, outscoring Mercer Island 22-10 to build a 13-point lead. The Wolverines led by many as 15 points in the fourth quarter of play. Bellevue head coach Chris O’Connor was proud his squad was able to slow down Mercer Island’s offensive attack.

“That was the best defensive effort that we’ve had all year. We did a great job handling ball screens and we boxed out. For the first time we were focused for a full 32 minutes. That was a good sign,” O’Connor said.

Despite Bellevue’s lockdown defense in the second half, Mercer Island wouldn’t go away quietly. The Islanders cut Bellevue’s led to five points (57-52) on a Jack Delay 3-pointer with 1:26 left in regulation.

Unfortunately for Mercer Island, Bellevue outscored them 4-0 in the final minute to preserve the win.

“We fought back at the end. We were able to force some turnovers and our guys didn’t give up. I was pleased with that but overall we got outplayed tonight,” Mercer Island head coach Gavin Cree said. “We got outplayed and out-coached. That’s the bottom line. We were a step behind tonight in every phase.”

Bellevue forward Hunter Hansen scored a team-high 18 points in the victory for the Wolverines. Hansen displayed a wide array of post moves which resulted in high percentage field goal attempts.

“We’ve been working a lot with his jab step and his footwork. He really did a great job of finishing tonight,” O’Connor said.

The Wolverines clinched a berth at the Class 3A SeaKing district II basketball tournament with the victory. The Wolverines will play at 8:15 p.m. on Feb. 14 at Bellevue College in their first contest of districts. O’Connor knows the road to the Class 3A state tournament will be a formidable challenge.

“We got to get through districts. Metro (league) has a lot of good teams. This is our eighth (KingCo) championship in 11 years. I couldn’t be prouder of our guys right now,” O’Connor said.

The Islanders will face the Metro division No. 9 seed in a loser-out playoff game at 7 p.m. on Feb. 11.

“We’re disappointed but we’ve got to come back and play Saturday. If we can win Saturday we will be in a good position to move forward,” Cree said.

More in Sports

Photo courtesy of Greg Lim
                                The Space Needle U-17 boys volleyball team registered a third-place finish at the Northern California Volleyball Association Far Western Bid tournament on Jan 6-7 in San Mateo, California. The U-17 team finished with an overall record of 6-2. Players on the roster from the Bellevue region consisted of Evan Dragich, Jeremy Lim, Daniel Lim and Theodore Lin.
Volleyball squad earns third place at tournament

The Space Needle U-17 boys volleyball team registered a third-place finish at… Continue reading

‘Over the Top’ is one of the most underrated sports movies of all time

There is just something about 1980s sports movies that has me hook,… Continue reading

Newport swim team remains undefeated

Sports Roundup BOYS SWIMMING Newport remains undefeated in the pool The Newport… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Scott Miller
                                Sammamish Totems senior Tao McClinton, center, makes a move up the field after making a catch against the Ingraham Rams on Sept. 29. McClinton will continue his football career at Sacramento State University.
McClinton attains a childhood dream on gridiron

Ever since Sammamish Totems senior football player Tao McClinton set foot on… Continue reading

Totems girls basketball team nearly completes comeback against Islanders

The Sammamish Totems girls basketball team dominated the fourth quarter against Mercer… Continue reading

Bellevue Christian boys hoops team captures 10th victory

SPORTS ROUNDUP BOYS BASKETBALL Bellevue Christian collects 10th victory of the 2017-18… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Anna Duff
                                The Bellevue Wolverines girls swim dive team earned the Class 3A state championship on Nov. 11 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. The Wolverines, who compiled a total of 281 team points, won a state title for the first time since the 2006 season. Bellevue athletes Elena Acevedo, Eleanor Casey, Katie Duff, Delora Li, Janelle Rudolph, Rylee Siripipat, Aneta Wyzga, Rachel Jin and Sarah Walsh competed at the state meet. The Wolverines were coached by Andy Hay, Lisa Van Loben Sels, Mckenzie Schroder, Oey Chang and Ale Fuentes.
Bellevue 2017 sports year in review

JANUARY Baker announces he will enter NFL Draft: University of Washington Huskies… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn
                                The Newport Knights earned a 60-54 win against the North Creek Jaguars on Dec. 12. Newport guard Elliot Thompson (pictured) drives to the hoop against North Creek. The Knights improved their overall record to 4-1 with the victory.
Knights defeat Jaguars in KingCo 4A matchup

The Newport Knights earned a 60-54 win against the North Creek Jaguars… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Dejhion Parrish
                                Interlake Saints 2016 graduate Dejhion Parrish had 41 carries for 618 rushing yards and eight touchdowns during his sophomore season with the Arizona Western College football team. Parrish averaged a whopping 15.1 yards per carry this past season. Arizona Western lost to East Mississippi 31-28 in the NJCAA National Championship game on Dec. 3.
Parrish puts up big numbers at Arizona Western

Arizona Western sophomore running back Dejhion Parrish was one of the most… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
                                Bellevue Wolverines senior running back Isaiah Ifanse was named Washington’s 2017-18 Gatorade Washington Football Player of the Year. Ifanse rushed for 2,485 yards and 44 touchdowns this past season. Bellevue, which advanced to the Class 3A state semifinals, finished with an overall record of 11-2. Ifanse (pictured) rumbles for yardage against the Mercer Island Islanders in a rivalry matchup on Oct. 13.
Ifanse wins Gatorade player of the year honors

Bellevue Wolverines senior running back Isaiah Ifanse was named Washington’s 2017-18 Gatorade… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman Photography
                                Newport Knights senior guard David Combs, right dribbles along the baseline against the Eastlake Wolves. Newport improved its overall record to 3-0 with a 43-39 win against Eastlake on Dec. 8 at Newport High School in Factoria.
Knights come through in the clutch against Wolves

Clutch free throw shooting down the stretch propelled the Newport Knights boys… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman Photography
                                Newport Knights junior guard Nicole Chan, center, scored a game-high 21 points against the Eastlake Wolves on Dec. 8 at Newport High School in Factoria. Eastlake defeated Newport 70-52.
Knights lose to Wolves in KingCo girls hoops 4A matchup

Newport Knights girls basketball head coach Travis Whitaker was proud of his… Continue reading