ARLINGTON — The Stanwood girls basketball team played well during the first three quarters — and survived an Arlington run in the fourth — to keep its state hopes alive.
Stanwood took a 47-32 lead into the fourth quarter, but was outscored by Arlington 22-13 to make the game interesting in the closing minutes, eventually defeating the Eagles 60-54 in a District 1 loser-out game at Arlington High School.
“We wanted to push the ball and get the ball into our post,” Spartans’ head coach Dennis Kloke said. “Which, until the last four minutes, went pretty well. … Once we had a 17-point lead we got away from it.”
Junior post Rachel Swartz’s 22 points was a big reason Stanwood was able to build a substantial lead. Swartz, who recorded a double-double with 10 rebounds, had half of the Spartans’ 16 second-quarter points, and five in each of the final two quarters.
And she did it all while under the weather.
“I’m sick right now,” Swartz said, “so maybe I’ll stay sick.”
Swartz hopes her “illness” will continue until Tuesday, when Stanwood plays Skyline in a Wesco/Kingco crossover game at 7 p.m. at Stanwood High School. The winner of that game advances to the state tournament’s regional round. The losing team’s season is over.
Kloke has scouted Skyine a bit, and said the other Spartans like to run a four-guard set with one post. He thinks his Spartans will be able to keep up.
“I think with my depth of personnel, I can match up in the game,” Kloke said.
Stanwood’s depth was on display against Arlington. Nine different Spartan players entered the game and every single one of them scored. Renee Lucero and post Tristan Murphy had 10 points apiece, and Paisley Heckman, another 6-foot Spartan, added six points and seven rebounds.
“Our ladies have worked so hard, and it’s finally starting to pay off,” Swartz said. “We have a team motto, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going.’”
Both teams in this game had previously lost to Jackson in the district tournament. Arlington fell 64-45 in a first-round game against the Timberwolves, and Stanwood lost 57-55 in the semifinals.
Friday night’s game — as well as the 4A District 1 championship right after — was held at Arlington High School, giving the Eagles the advantage of playing on their home court. Lyndsay Leatherman took full advantage of it, scoring a game high 24 points — with all but two points coming in the second half.
The game featured a lot of fouls, especially in the first half with the teams combining to shoot 30 free throws. Both teams finished the game with over 20 fouls and each had one player foul out in the fourth quarter.
“What can you do?” Kloke said when asked about all the fouls. “Once the whistle is blown and the official makes his decision it’s over. My responsibility is to make sure it doesn’t bother me or bother my players.”
At Arlington H.S.
Stanwood—Duncan 1, Kelleigh 6, Lucero 10, Bingham 2, Ta. Murphy 1, Borseth 2, Swartz 22, Heckman 6, Tr. Murphy 10. Arlington—Evans 3, Graham 0, Van Loo 0, Brown 3, Showalter 14, Abdo 3, Grogan 0, Ferro 0, Leatherman 24. 3-point goals—Lucero 1, Swartz 1, Evans 1. Records—Stanwood 21-2. Arlington 14-10.