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Is it magic? You better believe it as Eastlake complete unthinkable run to WIAA Class 4A girls basketball title

Wolves stifle Camas offense, and get 24 points from Sofia Aluas in a 48-41 victory over the tournament favorites in the Tacoma Dome

TACOMA - Besides her astute coaching, one of the greatest things about Sara Goldie is that she believes there is magic in the world.

That it comes with hard work - and that ultimately it exists with her Eastlake High School girls basketball team.

Nobody would argue that after Saturday night.

The team that advanced on a halfcourt shot two days ago rode that boost all the way to the WIAA Class 4A girls championship with a 48-41 victory over Camas, the tournament favorite.

Sofia Aluas scored a game-high 24 points, but it was Kaylia Jackson's two free throws with 15 seconds remaining that turned away a final Papermakers' push.

"I was stressing," said Jackson, who had missed a free-throw attempt just 15 seconds earlier that led to a Camas basket. "But I made them, so I was happy."

And much like the Wolves' 2019 state title-winning squad, this one also had the same amount of losses coming into the WIAA tournament - six.

"It’s a process It’s not about winning early," Goldie said. "We wanted to put the toughest teams on our schedule so ... we could find a way to get it done here."

One of those games was a season-opening 64-52 loss to this same Camas squad in Sammamish.

This time around, things were different. Goldie thought her 2-2-1 zone defense was sharper - and was ready to give the Papermakers different looks.

She was right - Camas, which had not loss to an in-state opponent all winter - never really got into any shooting rhythm, going 7-of-28 from the 3-point line.

The Papermakers also went scoreless for a span of 8:43 in the first half to fall behind by double digits.

"We haven’t looked like that all year," Camas girls coach Scott Thompson said. "That is the toughest time we’ve had finding open shots - and credit to them, they had a great game plan and did a good job executing."

Camas had one final push in the fourth quarter behind Riley Sanz, who buried back-to-back 3-pointers - the second cutting Eastlake's lead 39-36 with 2:10 to go.

But Aluas' clutching shooting and nifty drives around the basket were the difference in completing the Wolves' march to the 4A title.

Goldie also became the fourth coach in the past two decades to win multiple 4A titles, joining Lewis and Clark's Jim Redmon, Gonzaga Prep's Mike Arte and Central Valley's Freddie Rehkow.

"I'm happy it went our way," Goldie said.