After an incredible regular season with a 19-2 winning record, Eastlake powered through the District 1/2 4A Girls Basketball Tournament to a third place overall finish.
The Lady Wolves opened their district bid on Feb. 11 when they took on the Inglemoor Vikings for the third time this year. Thanks to three-pointers by Ava Schmidt, McKayla Matsuoka, Grace Thompson, Kaylia Jackson and Tantum Wood, Eastlake dominated Inglemoor 59-34. The Lady Wolves’ 33 rebounds, 11 assists, and 15 steals to the Vikings’ 24 rebounds, seven assists, and nine steals contributed to Eastlake’s comfortable and decisive victory.
Next, Eastlake faced another Viking team, this one from Lake Stevens, on Feb. 15. Despite defensive blocks by Schmidt and offensive steals and fast breaks by Sophia Alaus, Lake Stevens’ offensive strength and multiple rebounds dashed the Lady Wolves’ hopes of the district title. It was close, but Eastlake lost 48-46.
In their third game, the Lady Wolves took on the Glacier Peak Grizzlies on Feb. 17. This is the same team that defeated Skyline 60-35 in an intimidating victory for their tournament opener. But Eastlake would not be cowed and showed up to win, outplaying Glacier Peak on both ends of the court.
With their rebound numbers at more than twice that of Glacier Peak’s, the ball stayed in the Lady Wolves’ hands for most of the game. Offensively, Natalia Sefair-Lopez and Schmidt provided the most points while Schmidt and Wood kept the opposing score low with great defense. Coupled with higher field goal percentages, including three-pointers, and a higher free throw percentage, Eastlake not only outscored the Grizzlies but dominated the court the entire night. The Lady Wolves finished decisively 58-35 against Glacier Peak.
Payback was on Eastlake’s mind for their final opponent of the tournament, the Issaquah Eagles. Having lost their second matchup against Issaquah during the regular season, Eastlake anticipated a tough opponent and came prepared. In the end, the Lady Wolves held the Eagles to a mere 23 points while scoring 40 of their own, and taking third place for the tournament.
Sophia Aluas led the offense, scoring eight field goals, just shy of half of Eastlake’s total game points for the night. Close behind, Wood added another 11 points to the board. Schmidt and Wood provided a multitude of scoring opportunities, grabbing 14 and 12 rebounds respectively. Steals by Hallie Sehlin and blocks from Schmidt also prevented the Eagles from scoring.
With three tournament wins and one loss, Eastlake fought hard to seal the third-place title.
The final post-season state tournament will consist of several games from Feb. 26 to March 5. Eastlake’s first game takes place at Everett Community College against Lake Stevens on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 8:00 p.m.
The bracket for the upcoming 4A Girls State Basketball Tournament can be found here.