Though the Mercer Island boys basketball team trailed most of the game on Tuesday evening against O'Dea, a final minute surge pushed the Islanders into the district semifinals. Mercer Island beat O'Dea 44-42 in the SeaKing District tournament.
It was a tight game throughout, but the Irish were able to hold off the Islanders in the first half, holding a 11-10 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 24-18 lead at halftime.
After the break, Mercer Island's offense roared to life with 19 points in the third quarter, retaking the lead with a three point buzzer basket by Nick Nordale to lift the Islanders 37-36 going into the final minutes.
The fourth quarter saw the lead traded back and forth, but a key steal and points from Kaleb Warner lifted Mercer Island to the 44-42 final score.
Warner ended the game with 12 potions, while Nordale and Joe Rasmussen each added 11. Espen Platou had six points and Max Tilden posted four for the team.
Mercer Island advances to the district semifinals on Thursday, Feb. 14 against Lakeside, which beat Seattle Prep on Tuesday night.The semifinal game will begin at 3 p.m. at Bellevue College.
Both teams are guaranteed a spot in the state regional competition. The winner goes on to the district championship on Saturday, Feb. 16 at Bellevue College against the winner of the Rainier Beach vs. Franklin game. The loser on Thursday will play for third/fourth place on Saturday against the loser of the Beach vs. Franklin match.