Eck scores 28 as Lady Warriors drop hard-fought season opener to Issaquah

Natalie Kasper had 18 points in Thursday’s game. Kate Wooley is at the right. (Photos by Karl D. Swenson, Just a Whim Photography)

Samone Jackson takes the ball down the court while Seyi Olajoyegbe (24) plays defense.

By Jocelyn Smarr

Starting the season with a loss wasn’t exactly on the agenda for the Edmonds-Woodway girls’ basketball team.  But despite Thursday night’s 62-55 setback to the Eagles of Issaquah High School , there were many shining moments and standout plays that will help strengthen the foundation of Warrior basketball, including a 28-point performance by E-W junior Sidney Eck.

The Warriors came out hot and started the game with a 13-5 run, but Issaquah soon closed the gap with an 18-5 run of their own. The equally determined teams battled hard, and the first quarter ended with the Warriors down 19-18.

The second quarter was mostly Issaquah’s as Gibson caught fire from the outside, scoring 14 points including four 3-pointers. E-W countered with the inside-outside combo of Eck and sophomore guard Natalie Kasper. The Warriors trailed 37-30 at the half with Eck scoring 14 points and Kasper 10.

It was clear that Coach Duane Hodges had fired up the girls during halftime, because they came out ready to play in the third quarter. The Warriors outscored Issaquah 11-5 and at the end of the third, the score was 41-42, and Warrior fans were coming to life as the momentum turned over to E-Dub.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Edmonds-Woodway was down only one point, thanks to Samone “Moni” Jackson’s buzzer beater to end the third. The Warriors then took their first lead of the game since late in the first quarter when Kasper nailed a 3-pointer. The teams traded baskets for the next few minutes, with the Eagles eventually pulling away, thanks to continued hot-shooting down the stretch by both Quincey Gibson and Mandie Hill.

In addition to Eck scoring 28, Kasper added 18 to combine for 46 of the Warriors’ 55 points. The game also featured the debut  of two new varsity players: freshmen Kate Wooley and Mady Burdett. Gibson had 22 and Hill finished with 14 for the Eagles, who improved to 2-0 on the young season.

The Warriors next travel to neighborhood rival Meadowdale Saturday at 7 p.m. to face the Lady Mavericks in the annual “Rubber Chicken” game. (The E-W varsity boys play prior to the girls, at 5:15 p.m, and both boys and girls JV and freshmen teams play earlier in the day, all against Meadowdale.) Both varsity boys and girls games can be heard on Warrior Radio, with pre-game starting at 6:50 p.m.

Warrior Scoring: Kate Wooley 2, Mady Burdett 0, Sydney Eck 28, Natalie Kasper 18, Maddy Nealy 0, Claire Fyfe 2, Moni Jackson 4, Seyi Olajoyegbe 0, Lea Bakken 0

Records: Edmonds Woodway 0-1, Issaquah 2-0

Sports correspondent Jocelyn Smarr is a student at Edmonds-Woodway High School.

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