Both the North Creek Jaguars and Eastlake Lady Wolves came prepared for a showdown in their Jan. 19 matchup.
As each team answered the other with matching buckets, the first quarter came to a close with a one-point lead for the Lady Wolves, 10-9, on a free throw from Tatum Wood.
As the game continued, the Jaguars played hard, thwarting several of the Lady Wolves’ attacks, but they could not seem to find the basket. The second quarter belonged to the Lady Wolves as they widened the gap to a 29-15 comfortable lead by half-time.
Taking advantage of the break, the Jaguars reinvented their strategy and the third quarter saw a resurgence in their play. Despite the Lady Wolves’ sharp shooting, the Jaguars responded with a series of 3-pointers and free throws that energized the visiting team. With momentum on her side, Seirat Bhullar made a much needed 3-pointer for the Jaguars. After allowing the Lady Wolves to add only eight points, the Jaguars more than doubled their score to end the quarter only five points behind, 37-32.
With newfound enthusiasm, the Jaguars quickly tied the game, 37 all, early in the fourth quarter. Answering immediately, the Lady Wolves’ Krista Kostoff dropped a 3-point bucket to retake the lead, 40-37. Not to be outdone, the Jaguars made a short run and sunk a series of quick buckets to take the lead, 44-42, for the first and only time of the night. Taking advantage of a timely foul, the Lady Wolves made both baskets to tie the score again, 44-44. The last few minutes came down to strategy.
With less than a minute remaining, the Lady Wolves added a 2-point shot that drew a foul from the Jaguars. Going to the line for the Lady Wolves, Denise Gainer made both free throws and secured a hard-fought victory, 48-44, for Eastlake.
Eastlake plays next against Issaquah at home on Wednesday, Jan. 24.