Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
                                Mercer Island Islanders junior guard Angelina Barokas, left, dives for a loose ball against the Bellevue Wolverines on Jan. 3. Bellevue defeated Mercer Island 53-19 in a matchup between rivals.

Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography Mercer Island Islanders junior guard Angelina Barokas, left, dives for a loose ball against the Bellevue Wolverines on Jan. 3. Bellevue defeated Mercer Island 53-19 in a matchup between rivals.

Bellevue defeats Mercer Island in rivalry hoops matchup

Stingy defense propelled the Bellevue Wolverines girls basketball team to a convincing victory against Mercer Island.

Bellevue, who surrendered just nine field goals throughout the duration of the game, cruised to a 53-19 win against Mercer Island in a matchup between KingCo 3A rivals on Jan. 3 in Bellevue. The Wolverines improved their overall record to 9-2 with the win. Mercer Island dropped to 2-4 with the loss.

Mercer Island head coach Gillian d’Hondt remained upbeat despite the defeat to Bellevue. The Islanders, who won the Class 3A state championship last season, have just two players from last year’s team on the roster during the 2017-18 season.

“We’re young and the only way we can go is up from here,” d’Hondt said. “We’re working on the fundamentals and just being comfortable with the ball. We’re trying to continue to step up the intensity. We’re looking forward and we’ll just keep working hard.”

Mercer Island junior Angelina Barokas and freshman Annabelle Gersch each scored six points apiece in the loss.

Bellevue head coach Noah Wulbert was impressed with his team’s defensive showing against Mercer Island. Wulbert said team defense has been a focal point of practices since surrendering 72 points to the Liberty Patriots on Dec. 6. Even though the Wolverines were victorious (75-72) against Liberty, Wulbert and the coaching staff were determined to shore up the defense immediately.

“We noticed in that game we were not playing really good pick and roll defense,” he said. “We’ve really worked on trying to trap the ball a little more, rotate and just communicate with each other.”

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