Mercer Island Islanders freshman Chris Clark (pictured) drives to the hoop in the fourth quarter against the Bellevue Wolverines in the 3A KingCo tournament championship game on Feb. 6 at Newport High School in Factoria. The Islanders defeated the Wolverines 44-41. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography

Mercer Island Islanders freshman Chris Clark (pictured) drives to the hoop in the fourth quarter against the Bellevue Wolverines in the 3A KingCo tournament championship game on Feb. 6 at Newport High School in Factoria. The Islanders defeated the Wolverines 44-41. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography

Islanders conquer Wolverines in 3A KingCo championship game

Mercer Island fends off Bellevue fourth quarter rally.

For the third time during the 2018-19 boys basketball season, the Mercer Island Islanders were victorious against the Bellevue Wolverines.

Mercer Island, which held off a spirited Bellevue rally late in the fourth quarter, held on for a 44-41 victory in the 3A KingCo tournament championship game on Feb. 6 at Newport High School in Bellevue. The Islanders improved their overall record to 17-4 with the win while Bellevue dropped to 14-7 overall. The Islanders led the Wolverines by 11 points early in the fourth quarter but saw their lead dwindle down the stretch. With 23.6 seconds left in regulation, the Islanders had a 43-41 lead with Bellevue in possession of the ball following a timeout. Bellevue junior guard Declan Rooney drove to the hoop while being tightly defended by Mercer Island guard Nigel Seda. Rooney’s shot attempt was off the mark. With 2.0 seconds left on the clock, Mercer Island freshman guard Chris Clark was fouled after gaining possession of the ball. Clark hit his first free throw attempt, which extended Mercer Island’s lead to 44-41, but missed his second attempt. Rooney unleashed a shot from nearly full-court that was off the mark at the buzzer, preserving a Mercer Island victory. Islanders’ head coach Gavin Cree was glad to see his team earn a landmark win for the program.

“We’ve been in this spot (3A KingCo championship game) many times before in recent years and have fallen short. We lost twice the previous couple of years. Now we got the KingCo regular season banner and the KingCo tournament championship checked off the list,” Cree explained. “The biggest thing is we get a bye at districts so we get to practice a little bit before our next game.”

Mercer Island guard William Lee, who finished with nine points, was jovial following the triumph against his team’s biggest rival.

“It feels amazing. We set out a goal and we got it,” Lee said. “We were able to knock down the big shots that mattered. On the defensive side, we were able to get those stops.”

Mercer Island junior guard Adam Parker scored a team-high 10 points in the win. Seda also finished with nine points. Bellevue head coach Sam Fein was impressed with his team’s fourth quarter rally. Bellevue senior Jalen Love keyed the comeback bid, scoring 12 of his 14 points in the second half of play.

“We have strong senior leadership. The guys didn’t give up. Credit to Mercer Island for holding us off at the end. We came up a little short but I’m really proud of these guys. This gives us good momentum going into districts. I’m excited. We are getting better every time we are out there,” Fein said.

Fein wasn’t surprised to see Love play proficiently down the stretch.

“Jalen has been clutch for us all year. I don’t think there is another player that I have ever coached who I feel more confident with down in crunch time. He is definitely one of our senior leaders and we have a lot of faith in him. I’m always impressed with what he is doing at the end of games,” Fein said.

More in Sports

Mercer Island Islanders senior pitcher Liam Dammeier has an overall record of 3-1 on the hill during his senior season thus far. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Redemption on the rubber

Mercer Island senior hurler Liam Dammeier is the epitome of an ace.

Former Mercer Island Islanders boys soccer head coach Colin Rigby, left, Jordan Morris, center, and Islanders boys soccer head coach Forrest Marowitz pose for a quick photo on April 23 at Islander Stadium. Morris was inducted into the Mercer Island High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Photo courtesy of Kim Otte
Morris inducted into MIHS Athletic Hall of Fame

Mercer Island legend returns home for a memorable celebration.

Mercer Island Islanders senior Max Tanzer, right, slides safely into third base on a close play while being tagged by Interlake third baseman Charlie Galanti in the top of the fourth inning. Mercer Island defeated Interlake, 11-0, on April 17 in Bellevue. Photo courtesy of Jim Nicholson
Islanders shut out the Saints

Mercer Island continues its hot streak on the diamond.

Simply sensational!

Tiger Woods’ improbable victory resonates across America.

The Mercer Island Islanders girls golf team currently has an overall record of 3-2 in early season play on the links. The Islanders golf program, which is its 22nd year of existence, has won three state titles, seven KingCo titles and 10 district championships over the past two decades. The 2019 team is led by captains Annelise Rorem and Katelyn Travis. The Islanders registered their 200th career victory as a program earlier this season. Photo courtesy of Billy Pruchno
Islanders girls golf team is striving for excellence

The Mercer Island Islanders girls golf team currently has an overall record… Continue reading

Mercer Island junior midfielder Luca Mtskhetadze, left, celebrates with teammate Jonah Hyman, right, after scoring on a header in the 87th minute of play, giving his team a 2-1 lead in overtime. Mercer Island held on for a 2-1 victory against the Juanita Rebels on April 11. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Islanders register comeback victory against Rebels

Mercer Island prevails in overtime against Juanita.

Mercer Island senior outfielder Cole Miller will continue his baseball career with the Huskies next year. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Miller patrols the outfield with passion for the Islanders

Mercer Island senior will continue his baseball career at the University of Washington.

A coveted goal is attained

Relentless work ethic pays dividends.

Mercer Island Islanders senior girls lacrosse player Grace Fujinaga will continue her lacrosse career at the University of Pennsylvania. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Fujinaga is a dominant force on the lacrosse field

Mercer Island Islanders senior girls lacrosse player Grace Fujinaga hasn’t forgotten her… Continue reading

The Mercer Island Islanders varsity boys soccer team is looking forward to the 2019 season. Photo courtesy of Sophy Yang
Islanders are looking to dominate on the soccer field

Expectations never waver for the Mercer Island Islanders boys soccer program. The… Continue reading

Optimism remains supreme in March for baseball fans

Home opener is on the horizon for the Seattle Mariners.

Mercer Island Islanders senior point guard Will Lee earned 3A KingCo first-team all league honors for his play during the 2018-19 season. The Islanders finished with an overall record of 17-6. Shaun Scott, staff photo
Lee exudes leadership during memorable season on hardwood

Mercer Island senior Will Lee was the definition of a floor general.