Eastlake opens state tourney with loss to Auburn Riverside

Eastlake received a cold greeting Wednesday morning during its first state playoff appearance in 12 years.

Eastlake received a cold greeting Wednesday morning during its first state playoff appearance in 12 years.

The Wolves combined for a season-high 31 turnovers and scored just eight points in the second half of their opening round game, falling 48-30 to Auburn Riverside — a squad that won the 3A title the last two years.

“Nothing was a surprise out there, we just couldn’t stop them,” Eastlake head coach Scott Sartorious said.

The Ravens used their trademark full-court press, early and often, to fluster the Wolves.

“We prepared some for it,” Sartorious said. “It’s tough for us to simulate that high level of press in practice. We watched some film to try and get them ready, but on the floor it just feels so different.”

Eastlake carried the lead, 5-4, on a first-quarter layup from Jena Boyle. Auburn Riverside answered with a 9-0 run, however, and never trailed again. The Ravens maintained a 30-22 lead at halftime and moved it quickly into double digits in the third quarter. The Wolves went just 1-for-9 from the field in the third and didn’t score until the 1:40 mark on a rebound putback by Alyssa Charlston. The cold shooting continued into the fourth. Eastlake was just 22 percent (4-for-18) from the field in the second half.

Auburn Riverside’s pressure was critical, but so was its ability to limit passes to the Wolves’ top two scorers, Ellie Martinez and Alyssa Charlston. Martinez scored a team-high 11 and Charlston had six. The duo averaged 26 points per game between the two of them during the regular season.

“That was our focus coming into Eastlake,” Raven coach Ed Rosin said. “We really respected their bigs, Martinez and Charlston, and our focus was shutting those kids down.”

Raven junior Mercedes Wentmore led all scorers with 16 points. She had 12 in the first half.

Eastlake dropped into the losers’ bracket and will face South Kitsap on Thursday. Auburn Riverside moved on to play Moses Lake Thursday in the quarterfinals.

While a championship was out of the question, Sartorious hoped to see a strong finish from his team which still had a chance of placing as high as fifth.

“We’ve got to keep our heads up,” he said. “This next game, the way I see it, is we’re going to get a couple of teams that have a choice. They’re either going to want to keep playing, or they’re going to kind of want to fold up shop.”

Eastlake faces South Kitsap in a loser-out game at 9 a.m., Thursday.