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Cleveland defense too much for Mercer Island | Prep girls basketball
Despite a strong opening against the reigning 3A state champs, the Mercer Island girls basketball team succumbed to the defense of the Cleveland Eagles, losing to the Eagles 57-31 Thursday, Feb. 20 at Bellevue College.
The Islanders were able to keep the Eagles on their heels in the first quarter. With Cleveland struggling to find its shot, Mercer Island jumped out to a 9-2 lead. The Eagles fought back, but Mercer Island managed to hold on to the lead into the second quarter. A 3-pointer by Julia Blumenstein put the Islanders ahead 15-11 before Cleveland went on a 5-0 run to take its first lead of the game. After a free throw by Blumenstein tied the game at 16, Cleveland went on a 9-0 run to end the half.
In the second half, Cleveland’s defense made its presence known. With its press harassing the Islanders in the backcourt, the Eagle defense held Mercer Island to five points during the third quarter. Mercer Island had one last gasp, opening the fourth with a 6-2 run before Cleveland responded with 11 unanswered points to secure the win. Blumenstein and Rachael Tessem each had 8 points for the Mercer Island, while Renae Tessem contributed 7 points and Taylor Krause had 5 points for the Islanders.
With a regional berth already secured, Mercer Island will play Bishop Blanchet in the district tournament’s third place game at 1:15 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 at Bellevue College.