Lake Washington junior guard Jen Estes (pictured) drives to the hoop for a basket against the Bellevue Wolverines in the 3A KingCo tournament championship game on Feb. 6 at Newport High School in Factoria. The Kangaroos defeated the Wolverines 53-43. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography

Lake Washington junior guard Jen Estes (pictured) drives to the hoop for a basket against the Bellevue Wolverines in the 3A KingCo tournament championship game on Feb. 6 at Newport High School in Factoria. The Kangaroos defeated the Wolverines 53-43. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography

Kangaroos conquer Wolverines in 3A KingCo title game

Stingy defense propels Lake Washington to a win against Bellevue.

What a difference a year has made for the Lake Washington Kangaroos girls basketball program.

Flashback to one year ago: The Kangaroos finished the 2017-18 season with an overall record of 2-18. Just one year later, the Kangaroos earned the 3A KingCo tournament title courtesy of a 53-43 win against the Bellevue Wolverines on Feb. 6 at Newport High School in Factoria. Lake Washington improved its overall record to 14-7 with the victory while Bellevue dropped to 10-11 overall. The Wolverines had a four-point lead (13-9) at the end of the first quarter but the Kangaroos weren’t rattled. Lake Washington outscored Bellevue 44-30 in the final three quarters of play to seal the win.

“It is really amazing. Last year we were in last place. We were 2-18 and now we’re the KingCo champs,” Lake Washington head coach Jeff Wilson said. “We were really just locked in defensively. We really tried to focus on Kara Choi (Bellevue’s leading scorer) since she is so good. We tried to keep the ball out of her hands. It was really a total team defensive effort.”

Despite the defensive pressure, Choi scored a game-high 21 points for the Wolverines in the loss. Lake Washington freshman Rosa Smith scored 17 points in the win. Bellevue Wolverines head coach Nick Crossan believes his team will rebound in its next playoff contest.

“Our effort was there. We just got to continue to get better. It has been an up and down season all year. It can’t be an excuse. We’ve got to find ways to get it done,” Crossan said.

Wilson couldn’t had been prouder of his team’s transformation from the bottom of the standings to the pinnacle of the KingCo Conference on the hardwood.

“I’m really happy for the girls. It is a really great group of 10 players that have bought into what we are trying to do. The players that came back to us (from last season) have really bought in and we have five new players this year that have really helped us out,” Wilson said.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

Northwest University’s Ford signs with Seattle Mountaineers

The 6-foot-6-inch forward ended his senior season as the No. 1 rebounder in the nation with 12.03 rebounds per game.

Northwest’s volleyball team stays connected during trying times

The squad has been using Zoom to hold weekly meetings during which they check in and pray for each other if needed.

No-show season: WIAA announces cancellation of spring sports, activities

Due to the school closure extension, the cancellation includes all practices, competitions, tournaments and championships, WIAA says.

There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association making contingency plans for high school sports competitions after extension of stay home order.

The WIAA announced Wednesday that if schools reopen at the conclusion of the six-week statewide shutdown ordered last week by Gov. Jay Inslee, then the state championships will go on as planned. (WIAA photo)
WIAA still hoping to hold state championships in May

But if the school shutdown extends past April 24, those championships could be in jeopardy.

Athletic practices and competitions cancelled through April 24 due to coronavirus outbreak

By Andy Nystrom and Benjamin Olson Gov. Jay Inslee announced on March… Continue reading

Games are being postponed in response to coronavirus outbreak

In response to the recent coronavirus outbreak, Eastside schools are taking precautions… Continue reading

Kangs fall to Bulldogs in championship game

Lake Washington finished in second place at the 3A state basketball tournament.

Kangs reach 3A state tournament final on Saturday

LW defeats Eastside Catholic in semifinals.

Kangs advance to the semifinals at the Dome

LW beats Mt. Spokane and faces top-seeded Eastside Catholic next.

Hardwood Classic tips off after coronavirus outbreak

By Benjamin Olson and Andy Nystrom Basketball players took to the court… Continue reading