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BELLEVUE — Bellevue could have had a more regrettable first quarter on Thursday night, but that would have required three more missed free throws.

As it was, the trio of makes from the foul line weren’t anything to be proud of, considering they came from six attempts.

“Oh gosh, it was awful,” Wolverines coach Leah Krautter said.

Stingy defense and a persistent attitude kept the game close, though, and the Bellevue girls somehow overcame a forgettable first 8 minutes to capture the KingCo 3A tournament title with a 49-37 win over Mercer Island at Bellevue College.

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Bellevue did not convert a field goal in the first quarter — it did lead 3-2 heading into the second — missing its first 11 shots of the game before Sierra Sublett drained a three-pointer nearly nine minutes into the contest.

Mercer Island had similar troubles, though, making just two shots in the same span. The teams limped to the half with Bellevue leading 15-12.

The Wolverines didn’t give the lead away in the second half, but had trouble putting the game away until a 10-2 run to start the fourth gave them the breathing room needed for a comfortable finish.

Shelby Cansler, who scored a game-high 22 points, scored half of the Bellevue points during the deciding run.

Jessica Blakeslee had 17 points for Mercer Island in the losing effort.

Both teams were already guaranteed byes for the upcoming district tournament, but Bellevue earned the No. 1 overall seed with the win.

“It puts us in a good spot,” Krautter said. “We’ve been in this position the last couple years and we’re hoping to get our best finish out of districts this year. I think with the way it’s lining up we can definitely get there.”

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