In a hair-raising game on Dec. 6, the Eastlake Lady Wolves managed to secure a narrow win over the Skyline Spartans in the game’s final moments.
With tensions running high in the “Battle on the Plateau,” both Skyline and Eastlake struggled to find their groove. Fouls and turnovers peppered the opening quarter as the buzzer stopped play with a neck and neck tie, 4-4, at the end of the first quarter.
Eastlake’s Brooke McCartney kicked off the second quarter by starting a quick run for the Lady Wolves with an early two-pointer. A swift addition from 3-point land from Maggie Bredeweg, and a free throw from Tatum Wood, gave Eastlake the 10-4 lead before Skyline began to answer back. Jocie Hixson and Brooklyn Crandall added to the board for Skyline, but the Spartans could not keep pace with the precision shots of Denise Gainer and Wood as the half ended with an 18-12 Lady Wolves advantage.
The third quarter opened like the first but this time, it was a nothing-but-net, 2-point bucket from Sofia Aluas for Eastlake. Skyline, ready for the fight, answered back as Crandall and McGillis quickly added to the Spartan score, helping to close the gap. As the battle continued, bucket-for-bucket, the third quarter buzzer went off with a 27-26 Eastlake lead. The Spartans had done the job, and it was anyone’s game.
Both teams saved the real excitement for the final quarter. Kate Reinkensmeyer’s next shot gave the lead back to the Spartans for the first time since the first quarter for a score of 30-29. With a 2-point addition from Brooklyn Crandall, Skyline had the 32-29 lead, which they held for much of the final quarter.
Not to be outdone, the Wolves fought back as McCartney added from the free throw line to tie the game 32-32. The Spartans reclaimed the lead with two free throws from McGillis for a 34-32 advantage. More back and forth buckets added for another tie, 36-36. With seconds remaining, a foul by Hixson sent Wood to the line to break the tie, 38-36. As the Spartans fought back, another foul sent McCartney to the line to give the Wolves the 39-36 win.