Second-half surge powers Lady Wolves, 69-57
January 21, 2014
By Neil Pierson
With her team trailing by three points at halftime, and facing the possibility of their first loss in conference play this season, Eastlake High coach Sara Goldie implored her team to get back to the basics.
The Lady Wolves listened, and responded with a 26-point third-quarter barrage, taking control of the host Skyline Spartans for a 69-57 victory in a Class 4A KingCo Conference girls basketball game on Jan. 15.
Goldie said it was a pleasure to see the turnaround, which she believes was sparked by the team’s love for each other, and a desire to play well for their coaches.
“The message was, ‘Play Lady Wolves basketball,’ and that’s what they did in the second half,” she said. “We knew coming in, Skyline’s a great team. They’re going to come after us, and they’re going to give us a great game, and they did to the very end.”
“I think we just need to respect every opponent that we come up against … and I think if we come out and play the way we know how to, that won’t happen again,” said Eastlake junior Ellie Woerner, who led her team with 18 points.
Skyline coach Greg Bruns lauded his team for playing a complete game through the first 16 minutes. The Spartans forced several turnovers, turned them into easy baskets, and took a 31-28 lead to intermission.
“That was probably our best half of the year right there,” Bruns said. “If we can put two of those halves together, we’re going to be pretty tough. That’s the magic tonic for us the rest of the year, is just to try to find that.”
Alex Daugherty, a senior guard, spurred Skyline (7-5 overall, 2-5 conference) for much of the game.
She had seven points in the first quarter as the Spartans emerged with a 17-16 lead. Late in the second period, she scored four quick points – a transition layup, followed by two free throws – to keep her team in front at the break.
Daugherty, who averages 6.5 points per game, ended up with a career-high 20 on a variety of jumpers, drives and free throws.
“That’s what she’s totally capable of – she made some tough shots to get those 20,” Bruns said. “That was definitely one of Alex’s better games, and not necessarily offensively, but defensively as well.”
However, the lead didn’t stand up for Skyline. Eastlake (11-1, 7-0) turned up its defensive pressure to start the second half, and got its perimeter shooters in a rhythm.
Elizabeth Tracy hit consecutive 3-pointers to forge a 34-34 tie, and Rachel Lorentson followed with two more treys.
Haleigh Boe, who came off the bench to contribute nine points, finished a 3-point play in transition off a good pass from Elise Morrison, stretching the Wolves’ lead to 54-43 after three quarters.
“In the second half, we came out and we were really supporting each other and talking on defense,” Woerner said, “and that helped us gain momentum, and it created our offense for us.”
Maddie Adamson hit a 3-pointer to cut Skyline’s deficit to seven points with 31.5 seconds left, but the Spartans didn’t get any closer. Woerner had a key steal, and the Wolves hit five of their last six attempts at the free-throw line to polish things off.
Shelby Kassuba scored 13 points for Skyline, but Eastlake held senior post Bryn deVita in check. After scoring 20 in a win over Ballard Jan. 10, deVita managed only four against the Wolves.
“For her, it’s always shot selection,” Bruns said. “When she takes good shots, she’s a good shooter. And when she starts forcing things like that, it causes her some problems.”
Marijke Vanderschaaf scored 12 of her 16 points in the first half for Eastlake, and Maggie Douglas chipped in 10.
Skyline is in line to claim the fourth and final playoff berth from the KingCo Crown Division, and faces road tests in its next two games – Jan. 22 at Inglemoor (7:30 p.m.) and Jan. 24 at Newport (6:30 p.m.)
Eastlake remained in first place in the Crown Division, and was No. 6 in The Seattle Times’ Jan. 13 state rankings. The Wolves host Garfield Jan. 22 (7:30 p.m.) and go to Bothell Jan. 24 (6 p.m.).
Goldie said the team isn’t distracted by the attention they’re getting, something the coaches stressed before the season began.
“Nothing has been earned yet,” she said. “I think at this point, we probably have earned some respect, but still, rankings really don’t mean anything.”