Eastlake girls power past Garfield

January 29, 2014

By Neil Pierson

Marijke Vanderschaaf had one of her worst offensive games of the year when Eastlake lost to Inglemoor Jan. 18, but she returned to the court four days later and had perhaps her best game.

Vanderschaaf scored a season-high 24 points and pulled down 18 rebounds, leading the Lady Wolves to a 55-44 victory over visiting Garfield in a Class 4A KingCo Conference girls basketball game on Jan. 22.

Marijke Vanderschaaf, pictured earlier this season, scored a season-high 24 points in a Jan. 18 victory over Garfield.  File photo by Greg Farrar

Marijke Vanderschaaf, pictured earlier this season, scored a season-high 24 points in a Jan. 18 victory over Garfield. File photo by Greg Farrar

In a 56-46 loss to Inglemoor, Vanderschaaf scored a season-low four points, nearly 11 points below her average. But the senior was unstoppable at times against Garfield, using her 6-foot-3 frame to score around the basket.

“I knew how to come back and do something, and be myself again,” Vanderschaaf said. “Everything we did on offense and defense – stop, score, stop – fueled me to just keep going.”

The win helped Eastlake (12-2 overall, 8-1 conference) maintain a one-game edge over Inglemoor for first place in the Crest Division. This week, the Wolves travel to Newport (7:30 p.m. Jan. 29) and to Woodinville (6:30 p.m. Jan. 31).

Head coach Sara Goldie felt Vanderschaaf’s 24 points were “quiet” because the Wolves didn’t pound the ball inside that much against the Bulldogs’ zone defense.

Point guard Ellie Woerner was the only other Eastlake player in double-digit scoring with 10 points, but there were a lot of valuable contributions throughout the lineup that didn’t necessarily show up on the stat sheet.

Maybe the biggest key, Goldie said, was rotating defenders on Garfield star Juanita Agosto. The 5-7 freshman guard scored 23 points – right at her season average – but had to work hard for them.

“We had to switch who we had guarding Juanita, because she is just good and she tires you out,” Goldie said. “To be able to keep kids on the floor, we would cycle somebody in and have somebody else kind of switch with the person who was guarding her.”

Eastlake led 14-8 after one quarter, and held Agosto to eight points in the first half. Vanderschaaf hit the offensive glass to score many of her 12 first-half points, and Woerner drained a half-court shot at the buzzer to give the Wolves a 25-17 lead.

The lead might have been bigger had Eastlake hit several open looks from 3-point range, but the shots weren’t falling. That changed a bit in the third quarter when senior guard Lauren Mittenthal came off the bench and sank consecutive threes for a 39-28 edge.

“When she gets into it – when she steps into her threes and she has it open – she can make them,” Vanderschaaf said of Mittenthal.

“She was in the flow of the game, she handles the ball really well under pressure, and she makes the defense work with her, so then she can get past them and have the open shot.”

On top of their perimeter shooting woes, the Wolves were only 12 of 26 (46 percent) from the free-throw line. Goldie said the game highlighted the reasons for playing strong defense, because even though the Wolves didn’t have a good shooting night, they kept a comfortable lead most of the game.

The coach singled out senior Rachel Lorentson as a prime example.

“Tonight she was frustrated walking out of here, but it was like she controlled the things she could,” Goldie said of Lorentson, who had eight points. “She had so many deflections, she hit the floor multiple times, great defense, she must have had a couple steals, some big rebounds.”

Eastlake led 39-30 going to the fourth quarter, and Garfield (6-8, 3-6) didn’t threaten until the final minute when missed free throws opened the door. But Vanderschaaf rebounded Woerner’s miss at the line and put it in, restoring a 10-point lead.

Vanderschaaf also indicated Eastlake’s win was the result of renewed focus, something that was missing in the loss to Inglemoor.

“We weren’t playing Lady Wolves basketball,” she said. “Instead of focusing on us, we were focusing on all the other bad things that were happening, and not the good things that were happening in the game.”

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