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Originally published January 10, 2014 at 11:15 PM | Page modified January 10, 2014 at 11:40 PM

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No. 6 Bellevue’s defense stifles No. 3 Mercer Island | Boys basketball

The Wolverines applied some lessons learned during a dismal holiday tournament performance to shut down the Islanders, 60-44.

Special to The Seattle Times

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BELLEVUE – The Bellevue High School boys basketball team learned a bit about itself after a humbling holiday tournament trip to Beverly Hills, Calif., for the MaxPreps Holiday Classic.

The reviews were not glitzy and glamorous after going 1-2 in the event.

The Wolverines, now ranked sixth in Class 3A, got the message. They needed to step up their game, especially on defense.

On Friday night, Senior Dylan Foreman supplied eight of his team-high 12 points in the third quarter as Bellevue turned up the heat defensively and sent a message to third-ranked Mercer Island with a 60-44 win in a KingCo 3A/2A game at a packed Bellevue gymnasium.

The Wolverines (8-2 overall, 6-0 KingCo) turned active hands into Islanders turnovers and used defense to create a 16-4 flurry that broke the game open in the third quarter. Bellevue led 48-30 entering the fourth quarter.

“What that tournament told us was what we need to work on, and it’s good to face tough competition,” Bellevue coach Chris O’Connor said. “It will help us down the road. We refocused in practice when we got back.”

Foreman, a 6-foot-3 forward, also contributed five steals, four rebounds and three assists. He drained a pair of three-pointers during the Wolverines’ game-turning surge during the final 4:34 of the third quarter.

“Over the season, I’ve become more of a lockdown defender,” Foreman said. “I’ve been on and off with the threes. Today, when you’re in front of a crowd like that and you hit a few, it’s nice. It gets you going.”

Junior guard Kyle Foreman chipped in 10 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals.

Sophomore center Andrew Pickles scored 15 points and Kaleb Warner added 12 points for the Islanders.

Bellevue outscored MI 23-10 in the third quarter, including 19 of the final 25 in the quarter.

The Islanders were coming off two consecutive losses, including a 60-46 defeat at Lake Washington on Tuesday.

“It’s always a good game, and it’s our biggest rivalry,” O’Connor said. “Every time we play them, it’s always a packed house. ”

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