A lopsided loss in the first round of the Class 3A state boys basketball tournament didn’t dampen the spirits of Bellevue Wolverines head coach Chris O’Connor.
The Wolverines boys basketball season came to an end in the first round of the 3A state tourney courtesy of a 69-38 loss to the Rainier Beach Vikings on March 1 at the Tacoma Dome. The Wolverines finished the 2016-17 season with an overall record of 20-8.
“This was one of the most fun teams I have ever coached,” O’Connor said. “Throughout the season we kind of had to redefine and reinvent ourselves to figure out ways to get the most out of this group. To their credit, they are a very coachable team and we made improvements during the year to put ourselves in a position to be able to get to the Tacoma Dome. That is what I’m most proud of.”
The journey to the state tournament was unforgettable. Bellevue defeated Kamiakin 64-55 in a loser-out playoff game on Feb. 21 to keep their season alive. The Wolverines clinched a berth at the Class 3A state tournament with a 66-63 win against Squalicum on Feb. 24. Bellevue forward Colin Suter, who was one of the four seniors on the roster, said the finality of the last game of the season brought up emotions within him.
“We couldn’t had done it with a better group of guys. We battled all year and we’ve been through some rough patches but we’ve always bounced back in the face of adversity. I’m proud of these guys,” Suter said.