The Wildcats led by nine before settling for a 28-23 advantage at the half. Shelby Cansler kept Bellevue in it with 13 of her 17 points.

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BELLEVUE – Give Anna Wilson a nail-biter over a blowout any day.

“We want more games like this,” the senior guard said after top-ranked Bellevue High School had to come from behind in the fourth quarter to beat No. 6 West Seattle, 58-50, in the semifinals of the SeaKing 3A District tournament girls basketball tournament Thursday at Bellevue College. “These are the games we want to be in. We want to be in tight games and we want to win.”

The Wolverines (24-0), rated as high as No. 14 nationally, have outscored opponents by an average of 40 points and until last week had not been tested by an in-state opponent. Then came a 65-55 win over Mercer Island in the KingCo championship game, where it took a 23-12 fourth quarter to close out a 65-55 victory.

This time, Bellevue trailed 46-44 before pulling away on a 14-2 run to advance to the championship game for the third straight year. The Wolverines play No. 5 Bishop Blanchet Saturday at 8:15. The Braves (23-1) beat No. 8 Mercer Island in the second semifinal Thursday, 58-53. West Seattle (22-2) takes on MI (19-5) for third and fourth places Saturday at 1:15. All four teams were already assured of regional berths.

Wilson, who has signed with Stanford, missed the entire second quarter after getting hit in the face late in the opening period and the Wolverines clearly missed her.

After racing to a 12-0 lead, they had given up eight straight points when Wilson went down with 1:11 left in the quarter. West Seattle wound up on a 17-0 run and Bellevue went scoreless for more than seven minutes.

The Wildcats led by nine before settling for a 28-23 advantage at the half. Shelby Cansler kept Bellevue in it with 13 of her 17 points.

Wilson, who had to pass a concussion protocol, made an immediate impact when she returned early in the third period, draining back-to-back 3-pointers. She had 18 of her 20 points in the half.

The Wolverines held 6-foot-7 Lydia Giomi to eight points, half of her season average, but the Oregon signee did pull down 16 rebounds and block three shots. Lexi Ione led the Wildcats with 17 points and also had 11 boards. Izzy Turk added 10 points.

West Seattle, which features a pair of freshman guards, showed its youth in the final quarter with 10 turnovers and lost for the second time in three games after a 21-0 start.

“It was a big test and I think we battled all of the way to the end,” coach Darnell Taylor said. “Our ball-handlers are young….It was a good learning experience.”

Bishop Blanchet 58, Mercer Island 53 – Jadyn Bush led a quartet of Blanchet players in double figures with 14 points and also grabbed 13 rebounds as the Braves made their way to the final.

“We’re where we want to be, obviously,” coach Greg Bruns said. “I know our kids will step up and play.”

Blanchet trailed 18-10 early in the second quarter, then took control with a 16-0 run. Mercer Island cut a 10-point deficit to two with just over a minute to play. After back-to-back 3-pointers by Jessica Blakeslee narrowed the gap to 55-53, Bush scored off an inbounds pass by Taylor Chambers, who finished with 10 points and seven assists. Lee Erickson added 11 points and Lily DiPietro had 10. Bruns said Erickson will miss Saturday’s game due to a college visit.

Blakeslee and Anna Luce had 20 points apiece for Mercer Island.


Mercer Island – Jessie Stenberg 2, Claire Mansfield, Kailee Yan 2, Jessica Blakeslee 20, Taylor Krause 9, Anna Luce 20, Macy Mounger.

Bishop Blanchet – Molly Dixon, Lily DiPietro 10, Taylor Chambers 10, Annie Maher 4, Jadyn Bush 14, Lee Ericson 11, Jillese Bush 5, Bella Kemp 4.

Mercer Island       16      5       14      18 – 53

Blanchet               10      19      15      14 – 58