The Mercer Island boys basketball team beat Bellevue in the KingCo tournament finals on Thursday at Bellevue College. The final score was 51-47 for the Islanders.
Mercer Island will be the No. 1 seed going into next week's SeaKing district tournament.
Against Bellevue, the Islanders started out hot, quickly scoring while defense held the Wolverines to few points in the first quarter. Things evened out as play continued, but Mercer Island held a 16-13 advantage at the end of the first.
In the second quarter, the Islanders made key three pointers to make up for a game that would be filled with turnovers. Despite missed chances, the Islanders continued to dominate the game, making it a 10 point affair at halftime with Mercer Island leading 29-19.
After the break it wasn't until after six minutes of play that either team scored in the third quarter. Bellevue began to make a move, but couldn't hold back the Islanders offense as both teams scored 12 points to make it 41-31 at the end of the quarter.
In the final minutes, Bellevue pushed back into the game, scoring 16 points to the Islanders 10, but the late surge wasn't enough to take away the title from Mercer Island.
Joe Rasmussen accounted for 13 points for Mercer Island, while Kaleb Warner added 12 and Nick Nordale posted 11 points. Jake Shaddle had six points, Espen Platou posted four, Jake Stenberg hit a three and Max Tilden scored two points.
After the game all conference teams were announced, with head coach Gavin Cree being named the coach of the year and Rasmussen earning most valuable player. A full list of honorees will be updated as it becomes available.
By wining the KingCo tournament, the Islanders earned a bye in the first round of the district tournament. Mercer Island will play on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at Bellevue College against the winner of the Nathan Hale vs. O'Dea game. Tuesday's match is set for 8:15 p.m. The winner advances to the semifinals on Thursday, Feb. 14, while the loser will still have a shot to move on in the consolation bracket.