Girls basketball: E-W freshman saves the day in Warriors’ win over Eastlake

Missy Peterson, shown here in the Warriors game vs. Monroe Thursday, hit the game-winning shot with five seconds left Saturday. (Photo by Karl Swenson)

Freshman Missy Peterson’s driving lay-in through traffic with six seconds left in the game gave the Edmonds-Woodway girls the lead and a road-to-state berth, clinching a 66-65 victory over the Eastlake Wolves on Saturday night. “It was a whole team effort,”said E-W coach Rebekah Wells. “At the end it came down to Missy Peterson. We trust her. We don’t think of her as a freshman.”

Trailing 64-56 with 3:30 left in the game, the Warriors would finish  on a 10-1 run, with Peterson responsible for all but two of the points. Moni Jackson converted a couple of free throws with just over a minute left. Next, Mady Burdett stole the ball, giving the Warriors possession with 55 seconds left. Peterson hit a jumper, following a pressure-defense-induced traveling call on Eastlake,

Peterson hit a scoop shot to tie the game at 64. With 21 seconds left, Maggie Douglas was fouled for Eastlake, but she missed the free throw. The Wolves’ Marijke Vanderschaaf got the rebound and was also fouled. She would make one of two, setting up Peterson’s heroics.

Eastlake started the game by scoring the first six points. Mady Burdett would get the Warriors going, first with a 3-pointer, then a runner on the baseline. The Wolves made the next seven points before Peterson scored off a feed from Jackson, and Natalie Kasper hit her first three of the night. The Wolves extended the lead but Jackson hit a three and then converted a Sidney Eck steal and feed for another basket. Jackson hit another three as the quarter ended, making it a 21-18 lead for the Wolves. Jackson led E-W’s first period scoring with eight.

In the second quarter, Jackson took over where she left off, scoring the first E-W basket. “We knew they had a huge height advantage,” said Wells. “ But Moni wasn’t afraid. She took it right at them.” Kasper and Maddy Nealey hit a pair of three’s for the Warriors, pulling the home team within two, 28-26. Vanderschaaf and Ellie Woerner scored for the Wolves before Jackson struck again, first with a jumper, then finding Eck on a pick-and-roll and topping it off with a long bank-shot three. That shot gave E-W its first lead of the night, 33-32, with 2:45 left in the second quarter. Eastlake would come back and take a 37-35 lead at the break. Jackson had 15 to lead the Warriors through two quarters.

In the third quarter, Eastlake begin to pull away, jumping to a 50-41 lead with a little over two minutes left. The Warriors would finish the quarter strong, scoring the last five points, with Nealey’s third 3-pointer accounting for the last Warrior basket, keeping the deficit at a manageable 50-46 heading to the fourth.

The Warriors struck first in the fourth, with Jackson again responsible, this time on a left-handed lay-in. The Wolves would score the next five before Burdett landed a three for E-W. Nealey’s fourth three would close the gap to 3, 57-55 with just over five minutes left. Vanderschaaf was fouled by Eck, giving the senior her fourth personal with 4:15 left. Following the successful Eastlake free throws and a 3-pointer by the Wolves’ Tracy, E-W found itself down eight with 3:30 left.

Until that point, Peterson had been held to only three points, but she took control of the game at the end, just like she had done against Monroe two nights earlier. In E-W’s 10-point spurt, she would convert two free throws, make a jumper and two “scoop” shots, including the ultimate game winner. Wells elected not to call a timeout. “I could have called a timeout, but things were going our way and I just trusted them,” she said. Tracy’s heavily contested shot as time expired came up short for Eastlake, sending the players and the student section onto the court to meet in jubilation.

Eastlake features three players over 6-feet tall and had a height advantage at every position. “It was height versus speed. In the end speed won,” said Wells. Eck, E-W’s lone 6-footer, was held to just seven points but she didn’t care. “I’m so excited,” she said. “I can’t express it in words. I’m just so happy. We’re going to State!”

With the win, the Warriors now play next weekend in a state regional game with a trip to the Tacoma Dome on the line. The game will be either Friday or Saturday against Beamer or Mount Rainer at a location south of Seattle.

Warrior scoring: Wooley, Browning, Burdett 8, Eck 7, Kasper 7, Nealey 14, Fyfe, Jackson 19

— By Jeff Smarr

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