A strong fourth quarter propelled the Eastlake Wolves girls basketball team to a victory against the Skyline Spartans.
Skyline senior Jade Loville, who scored a game-high 40 points, recorded a field goal and was fouled with 4:03 left in regulation. Loville sunk the ensuing free throw, cutting Eastlake’s lead to 57-52.
Eastlake quelled Skyline’s comeback bid, outscoring them 17-9 in the final four minutes of play en route to a 74-61 victory on Jan. 12 in Sammamish. Eastlake improved their overall record to 12-0 with the win. Skyline dropped to 8-5 with the loss. Eastlake senior point guard Gina Marxen knew Skyline would be a formidable opponent.
“We always struggle against this team. They got Jade (Loville), they got Julia (Mitchell) and they have so many different weapons just like we do. It is always a tough game,” Marxen said.
Eastlake’s defense was focused on Loville throughout the duration of the game but had trouble slowing down the talented senior.
“That was definitely one of our main focuses obviously as a team but she is going to make her shots. She is one of the best players in Washington,” Marxen said.
Wolves’ head coach Sara Goldie concurred with Marxen’s assessment.
“They (Skyline) can flat out score especially with Jade. She is hard to stop. We literally put everything we had on her and she still finds a way,” Goldie said of Loville.
Eastlake sophomore Keeli Burton gave her team a much needed spark on offense in the fourth quarter. Burton, who is one of the top post players in the KingCo 4A Conference, scored 11 of Eastlake’s 24 points in the final eight minutes of the contest.
“They (Skyline) had a couple of small girls on Keeli and occasionally they had just one girl on her in the post. We started looking for that. Goldie definitely mentioned to look for Keeli on the fast break because she was beating people down the court. We just had to hit her,” Marxen said.
While the Wolves have put together a perfect season thus far on the hardwood, they’re focused on continued improvement on a daily basis.
“It is definitely fun and exciting. We always go one game at a time. Most of us on this team have all been playing together for so long so we know each other so well. I think its really fun we have this much chemistry,” Marxen said.
Goldie is glad her team has adopted the one game at a time mantra exuded by a plethora of sports teams at all different levels.
“We’re just looking to be 1-0 at the end of every night. We’ve stayed focused on that mentality. We know that teams are kind of gunning for us at this point. We expected that coming into the season so it has been nice to see the kids step up. I think it’s a great challenge for us. I tell them every night that in this league on any given night, a team can come in and sting you. We just got to be ready for it,” Goldie said.