Despite the Mt. Si Wildcats’ best efforts, the Eastlake Lady Wolves never relinquished their lead in a definitive 54-36 victory on Friday, Jan. 27.
The 7-4 Wildcats, aware they would need to be on their game against the 10-1 Lady Wolves, opened aggressively with the on-point combination of Grace Turley and Zada White to put the Wildcats on the board right away with back-to-back layups. But the Lady Wolves, not to be outdone, retaliated immediately, proving too much for their opponent. The Wildcats appeared confused, frequently crowding their half-court and unable to execute their plays. Lady Wolf Darcy McCoy assembled a series of quick passes and easily set up 3-point shots and a 17-13 first-quarter lead for her team.
The second quarter opened with a new Wildcat strategy—a combination of fakes and short passes. But the Lady Wolves adapted quickly with Kaylia Jackson stealing multiple passes, setting up a smattering of 2-point field goals and rebounds for Ava Schmidt. The end of the second quarter saw the Lady Wolves’ lead widen, 29-20.
The second half opened with more 2-point field goals from Jackson, as the Wildcats struggled to complete their passes. After a quick timeout, the Wildcats appeared to return to their initial strategy, with White singlehandedly breaking and weaving through the Lady Wolves’ defense for a pair of consecutive layups. Unfazed by the strategy adjustments, the Lady Wolves continued their game plan with multiple downcourt drives. While seemingly frustrated, the Wildcats managed to keep pace with a 9-point gain and a score of 39-29 to close out the third quarter.
The Wildcats’ Turley burst into the fourth quarter, powering through the entire Lady Wolves defense for a quick opening layup. A side-court 3-point shot from the Lady Wolves triggered a back-and-forth flurry in which the Wildcats added to the board a 3-pointer of their own. White, energized by the initial success, ran back another layup while the Lady Wolves bunched up on the Wildcat half-court. Despite being behind 36-50, the Wildcats appeared to gain momentum, spurred on by their large-for-an-away-game student section that thunderously celebrated every point.
After being temporarily caught off guard, the Lady Wolves regrouped and added a field goal and two more penalty shots to the scoreboard for a decisive 54-36 victory.
The Lady Wolves have completed their regular season play. League Tournament play begins Friday, Feb. 3, with Eastlake hosting Bothell at home. Game starts at 7:00 p.m.