Ballard locks down Eastlake

December 26, 2012

By Lillian O'Rorke

The Eastlake girls basketball team’s three-game winning streak ended at Ballard High School Dec. 19 when the home team out-scored the visitors 66-57.

The Eastlake Wolves came into the KingCo 4A matchup with a 3-1 conference record; the Ballard Beavers were sporting the inverse record of 1-3.

Marijke Vanderschaaf, a junior for Eastlake, goes for a layup against Ballard. Photo by Lillian O’Rorke

“We definitely need to be more focused coming into the game,” said co-captain of the Wolves Maggie Douglas. “We can’t overlook teams like Ballard. We underestimated them, I think. Even though they played a good game against Woodinville, we thought we could take care of them, but that wasn’t the case.”

The Beavers took the lead from the beginning, netting 20 points to Eastlake’s 13 in the first quarter. Despite the Wolves winning several offensive rebounds and forcing Ballard to run out the clock toward the end of the second quarter, the deficit between the two teams widened to 12 points at the half.

“Ballard played an amazing game; they deserve all the credit for that win. They played aggressive, they made us uncomfortable,” said Eastlake coach Sara Goldie. “It was just a great effort by them and we didn’t hit a lot of shots, so it was a tough loss, but we’ll bounce back.”

The Wolves made some defensive adjustments, opening the third quarter with a more aggressive attitude that lead to two defensive steals early on. Ballard was not able to score for the first two minutes but neither was Eastlake.

That changed when Elizabeth Tracy, a junior guard for the Wolves fired a 3-pointer. Soon after, sophomore Ellie Woerner got a steal, which opened it up for Eastlake to put five more points on the board, including another shot from behind the three-point line by junior, 6-foot-3-inch post Marijke Vanderschaaf.

The Wolves had edged closer with a score of 34-29.

“We just switched up our zones, played a little aggressive half court game,” said Goldie. “We tried to match some of the chaos they were causing because they played a great defensive game. In the end we got close but couldn’t finish.”

Eastlake’s seven-point run ended when Ballard scored a 3-pointer of its own. Vanderschaaf scored another two, shortening the gap to 37-31. After a goalless two minutes, the Beavers netted another 3-pointer.

Eastlake’s Rachel Ainslie answered with her own 3-pointer, bringing it back to a six-point deficit.

By the quarter’s end, the Wolves had outscored Ballard 17-12 but were still down 46-39.

“There were a couple points where we were so close, everyone out there was just giving everything they got to try and close the gap, tie it up or take the lead,” said Woerner. “It was kind of frustrating. We were getting as close as we could, and we couldn’t seem to get it over that gap.”

The fourth quarter kicked off with a hotly contested three minutes. Eastlake came out with two field goals. Ballard scored one of its own. Eastlake landed another. The scoreboard inched up on both sides until the game was nearly tied at 52-51 at the three-minute mark.

“In the second half our team did really good not giving up, and really staying in the game and pressuring,” said Vanderschaaf. “We got a lot of steals, and we kept our energy up till the end.”

All the Wolves needed to take the lead was one basket. But that wasn’t going to happen. The Beavers took off for a run of six.

Eastlake tried one final time with Woerner and senior co-captain Ellie Mortenson putting four more points on the board, but in the end, Ballard’s persistence paid off.

“We know that the shots are not going to fall every game…we’ve played some really great basketball. We are getting better, every game, every practice,” said Goldie. We’ve got to put this one behind us — we’ve got a great season ahead of us.”

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