After a week of competing against the toughest basketball teams from across Washington state, Eastlake took fifth place in the 2022 4A Girls’ Basketball tournament.
The Lady Wolves opened their third consecutive state tournament bid on Feb. 26 against Lake Stevens, whom they lost to in a close 48-46 game during the district tournament just 11 days earlier. This time, however, Eastlake turned the tide with a 54-44 victory.
Tatum Wood led offensively, scoring 19 points and 10 rebounds for an impressive double-double. Thanks to Ava Schmidt and Sofia Aluas, who each put 10 points on the board and captured nine and eight rebounds respectively, the Lady Wolves held the advantage on offense. Assistant coach Megan Novak also credited McKayla Matsuoka for her crucial defensive moments, preventing the Vikings from adding to their score. In addition, Matsuoka dropped the Wolves’ only three pointer of the night.
Next up was Emerald Ridge on Mar. 3, which Eastlake narrowly bested in the last seconds for a nail-biting 44-43 win. It was clear from the beginning this was going to be a tough game. Despite several offensive pushes, the Lady Wolves only managed a one-point lead by halftime.
The third quarter looked like a turning point for Eastlake as they managed a 20-point run to Emerald Ridge’s six. But the Jaguars fought back in the fourth quarter, holding Eastlake to less than ten while adding 19 points to the board.
As the game entered its final minute, it was anyone’s game. Then, at the 15-second mark, the Lady Wolves scored while preventing the Jaguars from another shot, pulling off an exciting, single-point win for their closest game of the season.
Following the victory over Emerald Ridge, Eastlake found themselves facing their most difficult rival, the Woodinville Falcons, for the semifinals on Mar. 4. Unfortunately, the Lady Wolves were unable to triumph over the Falcons, ending their bid for the championship with a 59-55 loss and a drop into the losers’ bracket for the remainder of the tournament.
Their next game would be their final game as they played the Pasco Bulldogs the next day. The victor of this round would take third place while the loser would end at fifth. The Bulldogs started aggressively, overpowering the Lady Wolves in the first quarter by six points. While Eastlake managed to outscore Pasco during the second and third quarters by two points each, it was not enough to overcome the deficit.
The game ended in a close 56-52 loss for the Lady Wolves, earning Eastlake the fifth-place title for the 2021-22 season.
FInal bracket for the tournament can be found here.