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Mercer Island thumps Bainbridge | Prep boys basketball
On Tuesday, Mercer Island couldn't catch their opponent. On Friday, they ran ahead and never looked back.
A few nights after a disappointing loss to O'Dea, the Mercer Island boys basketball team responded with a convincing win over Bainbridge, beating the Spartans 63-40 Friday, Feb. 21 at Bellevue College. With the win, Mercer Island advanced to the district tournament's fifth-place game.
Mercer Island got off to a quick start, grabbing a 12-2 lead in the first quarter, with a layup at the end of the quarter by Jake Stenberg putting the Islanders ahead 18-6. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Stenberg and Chris Lawler kicked off a 12-1 run in the second, giving Mercer Island a 30-7 lead before Bainbridge closed out the half with five unanswered points.
The Spartans' offense began to show signs of life in the beginning of the second half, opening the third quarter with six quick points. But the Islanders turned up its pressure defense and created some breathing room with a 10-0 run to take a 44-20 lead, closing out the quarter ahead 49-23. In the fourth, Mercer Island got baskets from Nick Taylor, Lawler and David Emanuels. After a 3-point play by Stenberg gave Mercer Island a 58-33 lead, coach Gavin Cree turned to his bench to close out the game. Stenberg led the Islanders in scoring with 17 points, while Kaleb Warner and Andrew Pickles each contributed 14 points.
Mercer Island will play Seattle Prep for fifth place in the 3A Sea-King district tournament at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 at Bellevue College. The winner will earn the district's final berth to the regional tournament.