The Eastlake Lady Wolves triumphed Friday, Feb. 10, over the Issaquah Eagles in the first round of district playoffs, with a commanding 53-22 victory.
As the game opened, a tip to the Lady Wolves sent the ball halfway down the court before being recovered by the Eagles as both teams scrambled to settle into their groove. It was the Eagles who first managed to collect themselves when their own Lili Meissner sunk the first 3-pointer of the night midway through the quarter. Not to be outdone, Ava Schmidt answered with a 3-point shot for the Lady Wolves to even the score. Back-and-forth play throughout the quarter resulted in a slight advantage for the Lady Wolves, 11-10.
Darcy McCoy edged the Lady Wolves forward with a quick 2-point shot to kick off the second quarter. Meissner followed up with a swift layup for the Eagles, forcing the Lady Wolves to pick up the pace and take control. With the momentum shift for the Lady Wolves, the pairing of Sofia Aluas and Natalia Sefair-Lopez created a steady stream of shots to the net, more than doubling their score, 24-16, to close the first half.
Reinforcing their lead, the Lady Wolves continued to successfully balance their offensive and defensive strategy keeping the ball out of reach for the Eagles while adding to their obvious edge. With the Eagles’ defense exhausted, Sefair-Lopez raced downcourt unchallenged, sinking an unopposed layup. The Eagles could not seem to find a rhythm to combat the Lady Wolves’ advances. Despite a late-in-the-game swift steal, the Eagles could not get a basket before the end of the third quarter, adding just one free throw point to their total, 41-17, as the Lady Wolves continued to hammer away at the boards.
In the final quarter, both teams appeared drained and struggled to advance. After a bit of back and forth, the Lady Wolves seemed to find a new stride, resulting in consecutive layups from Schmidt and Kaylia Jackson. Riley Baumann, for the Eagles, found an opportunity to take advantage of a defensive gap and added to the board. Ultimately, the schism was insurmountable for the Eagles and the Lady Wolves came out on top, 53-22, with notable performances from Ava Schmidt with 21 individual points and a 10-point contribution from Aluas for the night.
The Lady Wolves played and defeated Mt. Si at home Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 7:00 p.m. with a 60-38 victory. The Lady Wolves will play for the district title on Feb. 17 as well as a spot in the state tournament beginning Feb. 24.