Eastlake tramples Bothell 64-43 in KingCo playoff
February 13, 2013
By Lillian O'Rorke
The Eastlake girls basketball team knocked Bothell out of the post season and edged one game closer to the state tournament Feb. 9 by sweeping the Bothell Cougars 64-43.
Both teams lost the first round of the KingCo 4A tournament Feb. 5, when Eastlake fell 46-37 to Newport and Skyline beat Bothell 76-44. When they met on the court Feb. 9, one of them would be playing its last game of the season.
“You have to flip your mentality. You are no longer playing with a cushion,” said the Eastlake’s Wolves’ assistant coach Megan Reinhart. “They came ready to play. In a loser-out game both teams are going to come hard and play with a lot of heart, and our girls showed up tonight. And they did the best of their abilities, so it was good to see.”
Eastlake won the tip off, which junior post Marijke Vanderschaaf quickly converted to a 2-point bucket. The Wolves kept the momentum going, scoring two times for every Cougar basket. Bothell battled back and managed several steals but was unable to cash most of them in for points. By the end of the first quarter, Eastlake was off to a 20-13 lead, in part thanks to a 3-pointer each from junior Elizabeth Tracy and senior Rachel Ainslie.
“It felt good. Threes are kind of my specialty a little bit, so when I start to hit them, then I get more comfortable, and I settle down a little,” said Ainslie. “It just brought me to where I need to be.”
The Wolves carried their lead through the second quarter, capitalizing on offensive and defensive rebounds to outscore the Cougars 14-8. But, Bothell didn’t go down without a fight. Emerging from halftime, the Cougars were the first to put two on the board. They were about to do it again after quickly stealing the ball from the Eastlake offense when Vanderschaaf stole the ball back. Down on the other end of the court, she rebounded a missed attempt by teammate Maggie Douglas and finished the play with two points for the Wolves. The two teams continued to go back and forth, taking battles for control of the ball all the way to the floor. But Eastlake prevailed and ended the third quarter with a 20-point lead at 50-30.
“You have to start the half like it’s zero-zero and like it’s a new game, because you can lose the lead just like that,” said sophomore guard Ellie Woerner, whose unwillingness to let go of the ball won possession for Eastlake several times. “We just came in like it was a new half and got a win that half too.”
The Wolves carried their lead all the way to the end, never letting Bothell come closer than 20 points. Helping secure the victory was freshman Sarah Priestly, who played her first varsity game that night and scored four points for Eastlake.
“She’s the first freshman to ever score in a varsity game, let alone a playoff game,” said Reinhart. “It was just great to see her be fearless and excel… it was as if she has been playing with us all year.”
Eastlake finished the regular season second in the Crest league with a 10-4 record. After the win over Bothell, the Wolves were set to faceoff Feb. 12 against the Crown league’s No. 2 seed, Issaquah. The winner of that game will play for third place in the KingCo conference Feb. 14. But even claiming third doesn’t buy the team an automatic ticket to state. The KingCo third place finisher and the Wesco third place finisher will battle it Feb. 19 for a place at the state tournament.
“We keep progressively getting better, and we all have energy more and more each game,” said Vanderschaaf. “So, I think that if we carry that over to Tuesday, then we can beat them (Issaquah) and keep going.”