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Sports brief | Sixth-grade select team takes MLK tournament
The sixth-grade Islanders select basketball team captured its second tournament championship of the season, going 5-0 in the Snohomish MLK basketball tournament.
The Islanders were slipped into the toughest bracket. Even after going 2-0 on the first day, with close wins over a tough Wolfpack team from Jackson and a North Seattle Advantage club team, the Islanders were still seeded second in their POD, as the up and coming Inglemoor team also went 2-0.
This seeding forced the Islanders into a tougher game on Sunday morning against another fast-improving girls program, arch-rival Bellevue. The Bellevue team came out with a lot of pressure and good ball movement. At halftime the Islanders clung to a three-point lead. After a frantic second half, the experience and poise of the Islanders won out, as they moved on to the next round. Against Bellevue, the girls amassed 29 rebounds, three blocked shots, 18 steals and forced 14 turnovers.
The win over Bellevue put the Islanders into a game with host team Snohomish. The Panthers jumped out to an 11-6 lead, but the Islanders fought back. During the second half, the Islanders began executing their offense and shutting the Panthers down to build up an 11-point lead. The game ended with the Islanders winning by a score of 36-28 and advancing to the finals against Riverside of Auburn.
Riverside went 1-1 in Bracket play, losing to Bellevue and beating Snohomish. The team won the bracket based on tie-breakers.
Riverside featured a talented point guard, but the Islanders’ depth, defense, toughness and teamwork combined to make an unstoppable force during the championship game, winning 38-19.
Overall this year, the Islanders are 16-0 as they move into the final half of the regular season.
The Mercer Island team is led by coaches Dawn Wilson and Matt Price.
In November, the team took the sixth-grade Skyline Championship title for the second year in a row.