YAKIMA – The Lakeside Eagles are perfectly content on a flight path that keeps them under the radar. Wednesday their initial departure at the girls State 1A basketball championship landed with them in the quarterfinals.
Lakeside (22-3) outlasted Toledo 52-39 in the opening round at the SunDome and will face defending runner-up Granger in the 5:30 p.m. quarterfinal today.
Defending champion Seattle Christian – considered among the favorites – was beaten by Connell in an opener.
“We’re happy to fly under the radar,” Lakeside coach Jeff Pietz said. “We came here and our only focus was on playing Toledo.
“We told the girls to let the rest of the tournament take care of itself.”
Eagles Leslie Stillar, Lexie Zappone and Kendra Lahue combined for 43 points, and Michaela Brittos and Lauryn Bassen played selflessly in harassing Toledo’s high-scoring Tiffany Tornow.
Stillar led Lakeside with 23 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Zappone and Lahue had 10 points each.
Freeman 57, Zillah 28: The Scotties advanced to the second round for the second straight year with an easy win over the Leopards. Freeman (23-1) will play Onalaska tonight in the late quarterfinal.
The Scotties’ suffocating defense, keyed by point guard Korina Baker, was more than SCAC runner-up Zillah could handle.
After taking a four-point lead at halftime, the Scotties allowed just five points in the third period, opening the margin to 44-21.
In addition to scoring 12 points, Baker’s pressure forced Zillah to routinely set its offense up 30 feet from the basket. Sophomore point guard Jennifer Nelson couldn’t effectively get the ball to the wing. On the rare occasions she did, the help defense cut off the opportunity.
“Our emphasis every day is defense,” Freeman coach Ashley Taylor said. “We stress ball pressure all the time because we get a lot of our points off our defense.”
The Scotties consistently dumped the ball down low with success in the second half. Alyssa Maine had 11 points while Morgan Poirier and Megan McIntyre had 10 each.