Keeli Burton-Oliver had 29 points and 10 rebounds as the Wolves cruised past Bellarmine Prep 76-46,
TACOMA — Outside, inside, rebounds, three-pointers. The Eastlake High School girls basketball team had it all in Friday night’s Class 4A state semifinal against Bellarmine Prep.
If the Wolves had that in last year’s semis, they would have beat Woodinville and advanced to the state title.
If the Wolves have that in Saturday’s 7 p.m. state championship against Lewis and Clark, they could be cutting down the nets.
“I mean, it’s crazy,” said Arizona State University signee Keeli Burton-Oliver. She had 29 points with 10 rebounds for Eastlake in its 76-46 win.
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“The potential our team has is insane, especially if we’re all hitting our shots.”
Eastlake (21-6) has thunder and lightning in the paint with Burton-Oliver and fellow senior Mae Bryant, who had 18 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Eastlake scored 42 points in the paint.
But sophomore Haley Huard, the daughter of former NFL, UW and Puyallup High School quarterback Brock Huard, drilled 5 of 8 three-pointers for 21 points.
Coach Sara Goldie said that was Eastlake’s most complete performance all year.
“We talked about it — if we play like that it’s hard to lose,” Goldie said. “The way the ball moved, we had multiple possessions where the ball never hit the ground. Beautiful passes and really good decision making.
“We’re peaking at the right time, and that was about as good as it gets.”
Normally the Tacoma Dome eliminates top-notch shooters, but Huard said her AAU season helped her prepare for environments like this.
And this was one year after Eastlake fell in overtime against KingCo 4A rival Woodinville in last year’s state semifinals. Now the Wolves are headed to the title game for the first time in school history.
“This is like crazy,” Huard said. “This is what we hoped for at the beginning of the year and what we worked so hard for. To finally be here is amazing.”
Bellarmine took an early lead after upsetting Central Valley on Thursday. Callie Stevens hit three three-pointers in the first quarter and she finished with a team-high 20 points.
But Eastlake responded 17-7 run to take a 21-10 lead into the second quarter. Huard had 13 points in the first half as Eastlake took a 36-20 lead into the break.
Bellarmine coach Kim West, a Bellarmine graduate and former member of Great Britain’s Olympic squad, said that it was hard for her to be disappointed after that loss.
“They gave it to us,” West said. “That was a great team. We lost to probably the best team in the state.”
And Burton-Oliver has been waiting a long time to have her squad playing for a chance to cut down some nets, especially after what she said was a devastating loss to Woodinville a year ago in this round.
“It feels so great,” she said. “I know we’ve all been working and waiting for this for so long. We’re excited. We’re going to get some rest, get excited and make sure we’re ready for the game tomorrow.”
No. 3 Lewis and Clark 64, No. 2 Kentridge 55
Each three-pointer that Kaylee Bishop drilled further dashed the Chargers’ state-title hopes.
Kentridge rallied from a 20-point deficit to cut the lead to six heading into the fourth quarter, but Bishop’s sixth three of the game pushed Lewis and Clark’s lead back to double digits and the Tigers hit 9 of 10 free throws to close it out.
Bishop took six shots, all threes, and made them all for 22 points. LC shot 62.5 percent from the arc as a team.
Kentridge was hoping to repeat its state title from 2017 after losing in last year’s quarterfinals. Jorydn Jenkins had 23 points and UW-bound JaQuaya Miller scored 17 with eight rebounds. Kentridge trailed 41-21 before going on a 14-0 run to end the third quarter.
Kentridge plays Bellarmine Prep at 1 p.m. in the third/sixth-place game.