TACOMA — To look ahead to the 2014-15 season on the final day of the state tournament would be a bit premature. When Bellevue coach Chris O’Connor looks that way, though, he likes what he sees.
The picture is all the more golden now that Bellevue is taking home a third-place trophy. The No. 4 Wolverines held off No. 5 Wilson for a 71-59 win on Saturday to capture their highest finish since taking second in 2011.
Bellevue (24-4) will return five players from this season’s team — all were major contributors — including three starters. Kyle Foreman, a junior, is the reigning KingCo 3A/2A Player of the Year.
“We got a good five coming back,” O’Connor said. “Developing some good young kids, so we’ll be back. It’s always rewarding to build your own guys through the program.”
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If the win over an equally young but talented Wilson squad is any indication, the Wolverines will be a major player next season. Up four, 47-43, early in the fourth quarter, Bellevue used an 8-2 run to gain separation. The Rams (23-5) were never able to overcame that deficit, as the Wolverines made enough free throws in the final minutes to secure the win.
Foreman led the way with 20 points, including six free throws down the stretch. Sophomore Sharif Khan added 13 points, while junior Gunther Klimes had 12 to go along with his eight rebounds.
Alphonso Anderson led Wilson with 23 points and 15 rebounds.