The coach in Kim West was devastated by the result handed to her Bellarmine Prep girls basketball team — the Lions were thoroughly controlled by Eastlake, from start to finish.
But, the former 6-foot-4 post player in West had to appreciate how the bigger, stronger Wolves went about their business in the Class 4A semifinals Friday night in the Tacoma Dome.
Arizona State-bound post player Keeli Burton-Oliver scored 29 points, and Eastlake handled the Lions, 76-46, to advance to its first state title game in school history.
Haley Huard added 21 points, and Mae Bryant chipped in with 18 as the Wolves shot a tournament-best 50.9 percent from the floor (29 of 57).
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And they did it the easy way, tallying 42 points in the paint, and totaling 25 second-chance points.
“They gave it to us,” West said. “That is a great team. We probably lost to the best team in the state,”
And that assessment comes from the coach of the 4A SPSL champions, who lost twice to consensus tournament favorite Kentridge this season, and to Lewis and Clark in last weekend’s state regionals.
“If we play like that (Saturday), it is hard to lose a game,” Eastlake coach Sara Goldie said. “The girls put on a clinic.”
The Lions actually got off fast behind Callie Stevens’ long-range shooting. She buried five 3-pointers, with three coming in the first 5:42 of the game.
But Eastlake was calm, cool and efficient.
Huard, the daughter of former Puyallup High School and University of Washington quarterback Brock Huard, buried three 3-pointers of her own in the first nine minutes — which was enough to create space for Burton-Oliver, at 6-3, and Bryant, at 6-0, on the interior.
“We just knew if we could do what we’ve been doing all season, especially with me and Mae, we could dominate,” Burton-Oliver said.
Eastlake (21-6) opened the second quarter by scoring on three consecutive possessions, capped by Burton-Oliver’s jumper, to grab a 28-12 lead.
After that, the Lions (22-6) became too reliant on the 3-point shot, making just nine of 30 attempts in the game.
That was not going to keep up with an efficient inside game of the Wolves.
“We played hard, but we did not play smart,” West said.
NO. 6 BELLARMINE PREP
NO. 8 EASTLAKE
BP – Shooting: 15 of 58 (25.9 percent). Free throws: 7 of 9 (77.8). Turnovers: 3.
E – Shooting: 29 of 57 (50.9 percent). Free throws: 12 of 21 (57.1). Turnovers: 7.
BP – Makiah Reed 5, Callie Stevens 20, Reyelle Frazier 6, Julia Bordeaux 6, Ciara Gatpatan 9.
E – Keeli Burton-Oliver 29, Mae Bryant 18, Callie Lind 3, Haley Huard 21, K3nzie Feinglas 4, Peyton Davidson 1.