A surprising loss to the Mercer Island Islanders last week woke up the Bellevue Wolverines girls basketball team.
Bellevue recovered from the nine-point defeat (50-41 loss on Jan. 26) courtesy of a convincing 51-30 victory against the Juanita Rebels on senior night in front of their hometown fans on Jan. 31 at Bellevue High School. The Wolverines finished the 2017-18 regular season with an overall record of 17-3. Juanita dropped to 12-8 overall.
“Losing to Mercer Island really kind of motivated us to make sure we are playing our kind of basketball going into the playoffs. I think we got caught being a little complacent last week,” Bellevue head coach Noah Wulbert said.
Bellevue started off the game strong and never looked back. The Wolverines had a 20-5 lead at the conclusion of the first quarter. Bellevue senior Annika Prins scored a game-high 20 points and and hit three 3-pointers in the first quarter which set the tone for the remainder of the contest. Juanita forward Lexi Intong and team captain Hannah Kleppe each scored six points apiece in the loss. Bellevue’s margin of victory (21 points) was much larger than their 51-40 win against Juanita on Jan. 5.
“They knew it was their night and they came out ready to play. They came out laser focused and excited,” Wulbert said of his team.
With the regular season in the rearview mirror, the Wolverines are completely focused on thriving in postseason play. Earlier this season, Wulburt said his team’s goal is to advance to the Class 3A state basketball tournament at the Tacoma Dome.
“It is a challenge every year. Even though we have the experience, we also have a lot of youth on our bench. A lot of our players haven’t been with the varsity team (in the past) but they have been with our program. We just got a lot of heart and we work so hard. I’m proud of them,” he said.