Story used with the permission of My Edmonds News online news partner The Seattle Times
By Matt Massey
SAMMAMISH — Luckily, for the Edmonds-Woodway girls basketball team, it started fast and finished fast.
In between, it looked like their season could be over in a hurry.
Angela Woods scored 10 of her game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter as the 10th-ranked Warriors closed furiously for a roller-coaster 58-44 triumph over host Eastlake in Tuesday night’s winner-to-state, loser-out game.
Edmonds-Woodway erased an 11-point, late third-quarter deficit in its fourth consecutive loser-out contest.
“All of us just didn’t want to lose, and then it became a close game, and we’re a team with heart,” said Edmonds-Woodway senior Ashley Albertson, who scored 11 points. “We just said, ‘We’re not going to go out without a bang.’ ”
The start couldn’t been any worse for Eastlake. Only the fading finish was more disappointing.
The Wolves (21-4) opened the first 6 minutes, 17 seconds with eight turnovers and by missing their first eight shots.
Eastlake bounced back big time after starting cold and sloppy to erase a big early deficit en route to opening a 35-24 lead with 3:11 left in the third quarter.
E-W coach Duane Hodges switched to a zone defense in the fourth quarter and it made all the difference with a 29-6 advantage.
“That’s all it was,” said Hodges. “I didn’t think we could have a real aggressive zone here on their home court, cause they’ve only shot 12,000 shots here.
“I went out on a limb there [in the fourth], because nothing else was stopping them. We were primarily man-to-man the first three quarters and it wasn’t working.”
Edmonds-Woodway (22-4) meets third-ranked Auburn Riverside (21-4), the District 3/4 No. 6 seed, in the first round of the state playoffs on Friday at Jackson High School.
The Warriors lost 61-54 in overtime to Auburn Riverside on Dec. 4 in Kennewick and fell to the Ravens in the first round of state last season 51-39.
The Warriors, winners of the WesCo 4A South Division with a perfect 14-0 record, bounced back with four loser-out wins in a row to gain state after a 44-43 loss to Marysville-Pilchuck on Feb. 9 to open Northwest 4A District.
Sydney Donaldson and Madeline Kasper both score 10 points for E-W, which went 21 of 29 from the foul line. Kasper sank 8 of 8 free throws, including 6 of 6 in the fourth quarter.
Kendra Morrison, a junior, led the Wolves with 12 points.
The Warriors, who finished the game on 25-5 run, took advantage of Eastlake’s cold start, opening a 10-0 lead. Slowly, the Wolves got on track, using a 12-1 surge to take their first lead 21-20 on Katy Ainslie’s driving bank shot with 1:43 left in the first half.
Eastlake led 28-22 at the break by finishing the half on a 14-2 run.
E-W made 13 of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter, including 8 of 8 in the final 2:01 after Eastlake was within 44-42.
Eastlake responded with three consecutive loser-out victories to keep their state hopes alive in Tuesday’s game following a 61-56 loss to Woodinville to open the KingCo 4A tournament.
The Wolves eliminated Issaquah 64-61 last Thursday, turning the tables on the team that finished just in front of them for the KingCo 4A Crest Division title.