Lady Wolves fall to hot-shooting Issaquah Eagles

February 11, 2014

By Neil Pierson

The Eastlake Lady Wolves have generally been good about taking care of the ball and holding opponents to a low shooting percentage, but those two areas came back to bite them last week.

Issaquah shot 78 percent from the field in the first half, and Eastlake finished the game with 22 turnovers, falling 78-59 to the visiting Eagles in a Class 4A KingCo Conference girls basketball game on Feb. 5.

The Eagles (12-7 overall, 10-4 conference) set the tone by scoring the game’s first 10 points. The Wolves rallied on a few occasions, but couldn’t match Issaquah’s performance at either end of the court, coach Sara Goldie said.

“Issaquah played a great game, Goldie said. “They played great defense, they were hot on offense, and we just never could put it together.”

Eastlake (14-4, 10-3) slipped out of a tie for first place in the KingCo Crest Division, and suffered consecutive losses for the first time this season after falling to Woodinville on Jan. 31.

The Wolves had a major size advantage against Issaquah, which doesn’t have a player taller than 5-foot-10. Forwards Marijke Vanderschaaf and Maggie Douglas did their share of damage, scoring 18 and 16 points, respectively, but it wasn’t nearly enough on a night Issaquah had its best offensive output of the season.

The Eagles had seven 3-pointers in the first half to build a 39-29 lead, and finished the game with 10. Senior guard Mandie Hill ripped apart the Wolves’ zone defense, scoring a season-high 34 points that included five first-half treys.

Hill had plenty of help, too, as Mackenzie Wieburg scored 19 points, Sarah Hiegel scored 10 and Jozie Crisafulli added nine.

“We had a lot of girls who scored, and usually (Hill and Wieburg) are the two who carry us, but it was nice having everyone chip in,” Hiegel said.

Eastlake bounced back in the first quarter after falling behind 10-0. Vanderschaaf ignited a 9-0 run by dominating under the basket, and Issaquah’s lead shrank to 19-17.

It grew just as quickly in the second period, though, as Hill scored 10 points, including a pair of breakaway layups. The Eagles consistently had open shots from beyond the arc, and Goldie said her players probably didn’t communicate well enough defensively.

“We specifically talked about the two (Hill and Wieburg) in practice this week … and with the foul trouble, people were tired, and it’s hard to play that kind of defense for 30-plus minutes.”

Foul trouble hampered the Wolves throughout the game, and Douglas fouled out with three minutes to play after scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter.

But injuries also played a part. Starting wing Rachel Lorentson sat out with a back injury – Goldie said it was possible she could return for the Eagles’ Feb. 12 playoff opener – and reserve guard Haleigh Boe played, but was limited by back pain.

Hill didn’t score in the third quarter, but Crisafulli and Hiegel combined for 14 points to keep Issaquah’s lead at 10 with eight minutes left.

Douglas began finding a rhythm in the final period, and a 3-pointer from Elizabeth Tracy trimmed Eastlake’s deficit to 54-51.

But the Eagles closed the game on a 24-8 surge. Hill had 15 points in the fourth quarter, and two Hiegel free throws restored a double-digit lead, 66-55, with about two minutes to play.

Issaquah coach Bob Richey said his players put forth a “fantastic” effort.

“Eastlake’s the best team in our conference, period, so we knew we had to prepare hard, and these kids prepared hard this week,” Richey said. “But the best part about it is they came out with an energy level that I just love, and they played with patience and poise.”

The Wolves “didn’t show up ready to go,” Goldie said, an odd thing because the coaches had stressed Issaquah’s quality in practice. Other factors might have worked against them, too, including some controversial officiating and a few unlucky bounces.

“Instead of finding the grit to kind of power through that, tonight we didn’t,” Goldie said. “And it’s very disappointing, but I think they’ll bounce back. I mean, they’re a team of kids that love to play together, and they have goals to be better than that.”

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