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MI vs. Bellevue - 3A State Championship Recap

The Bellevue Wolverines walk away with their sixth state championship trophy in eight seasons after dismantling Mercer Island’s zone defense in a 12-4 grudge match at Starfire on Saturday afternoon.

Mercer Island started this game out with a 2-0 lead before Bellevue scored six unanswered goals to end the half 6-2. Wolverine senior attackman Cameron McMahon (26g, 4a) was on fire in the second quarter grabbing a hat-trick in the span of four minutes and finishing out the half with a fourth. Bellevue prevented Mercer Island from holding possession of the ball for a majority of the game severely restricting their scoring opportunities resulting in only four goals.

McMahon had a monster day with six goals against a defense that shut him out last month. He wrapped up the post-season with 12 playoff goals effectively leading his team to a championship and proving to be one of their most valuable players this year.

Bellevue head coach Nick Welton was given a tough task to take over this varsity team late in the season and still bring home a trophy. He only had two games to work this team in before the post-season started. One of which came to their only conference loss to Mercer Island to end their regular season.

Welton admitted that there were more factors that played into their loss to Mercer Island than just a poor game plan. Regardless of what elements were in play he approached this championship game seriously and confidently.

“Today was a game that was a mental game also and I think we came out prepared and we had confidence and we were able to achieve the goal we came here with.” Welton said. “It feels very good to overcome adversity and show up and be successful.”

Mercer Island may not have achieved their ultimate goal of bringing home a state championship but they foreshadowed a promising future with their late season run. Co-head coach Chris Long expressed how proud he is of the growth his boys have made after their disastrous trip to Pennsylvania last month.

“Once we returned from Philadelphia, I was very proud of how the boys regrouped and were able to string together seven straight wins to get to this point.” Long said. “They got so much better as the season progressed and the skies the limit for them next year.”

Long even acknowledged how tough of a position Welton was put in but was not short on expressing respect for his efforts to prepare his boys for the big game.

“Nick Welton did a great job taking over the team.” Long said. “That’s a tough position for him to come into but he did a great job and they were definitely prepared today.”

Story by Michael Thornbloom