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.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association making contingency plans for high school sports competitions after extension of stay home order.

Vikings earn all-league honors on the basketball court

Both boys and girls Bellevue Christian basketball teams were well represented on… Continue reading

Athletic practices and competitions cancelled through April 24 due to coronavirus outbreak

By Andy Nystrom and Benjamin Olson Gov. Jay Inslee announced on March… Continue reading

Local basketball standouts receive KingCo all-league honors

Bellevue-area basketball players received KingCo boys and girls all-league honors for the… Continue reading

Vikings end season at the SunDome

The Bellevue Christian boys lose to Meridian in the 1A state basketball tournament in Yakima.

Games are being postponed in response to coronavirus outbreak

In response to the recent coronavirus outbreak, Eastside schools are taking precautions… Continue reading

Hardwood Classic tips off after coronavirus outbreak

By Benjamin Olson and Andy Nystrom Basketball players took to the court… Continue reading

Relay teams guide Sammamish to boys swim and dive state title

The Totems won the 2A state title for the first time in program history.

Reporter file photo
No changes to state basketball tournament schedules after coronavirus outbreak

State boys and girls basketball Hardwood Classic tournaments in Tacoma, Yakima and… Continue reading

Most school events, including sports practices, on schedule after coronavirus outbreak

All the school districts in the Reporter’s coverage areas — Northshore, Lake… Continue reading

Griswold gives one last performance at state

Sammamish gymnast Sydney Griswold competed at state for the fourth and final time.

Vikings ready to tip off at the SunDome

The Bellevue Christian boys basketball team is competing at the 1A state tournament in Yakima.