For the second consecutive season, the Bellevue Christian Vikings boys basketball squad will pack its suitcases for a trip to Yakima.
Bellevue Christian clinched a berth in the Class 1A state tournament courtesy of a 58-48 victory against the Seton Catholic Cougars in a winner-to-state, loser-out regional playoff game on Feb. 23 at Issaquah High School. The Vikings improved their overall record to 16-7 with the win. Vikings senior Ken West scored a team-high 23 points in the most important game of the 2018-19 season to date.
“This means everything to me. Just the whole atmosphere and having our whole school come to the game was huge. Our whole team came together. We knew we had to get this done. It just means the world,” West said.
Bellevue Christian wasn’t intimidated with the pressure of a loser-out playoff game on their shoulders. The Vikings, who have eight seniors on the varsity team, have been there before.
“I think we just had the experience. We got to play in a game like this last year,” Bellevue Christian head coach Brandon Kats said. “This team (Seton Catholic) hasn’t been here before. I think we relied on that a little bit, which I think helped us a ton.”
Bellevue Christian, which is the No. 12 seed in the Class 1A state tournament, will kick off the state tournament against Okanogan at 7:15 p.m. on Feb. 27 at the Yakima SunDome. Last year, the Vikings were eliminated in the first round of the Class 1A state playoffs. West doesn’t foresee that happening again this time around.
“We are just going for that ring. We just got to make it to day four (Saturday),” West said.
Kats is excited to see what his senior-laden team can do at the state tournament.
“Our goal is stay together as a team for as long as possible. As long as possible is next Saturday in Yakima. It starts with winning on Wednesday (first round game). We’re going to be really focused at practice on Monday and Tuesday to get that done,” Kats said.