ARLINGTON — It took less than two minutes for Arlington’s Lindsay Brown to make her first basket after returning from an injury.
She didn’t stop the rest of the way.
After missing the Eagles’ last game — a loss against Lake Stevens — with a mild knee sprain, Brown returned and scored 17 points to lead Arlington to a 43-25 win over Snohomish and a Wesco 4A North league title.
“We sat down at the beginning of the season and that was our No. 1 goal,” Brown said, “Besides district and state.”
Brown hurt her knee in the final 1:30 of Arlington’s 58-41 loss to Stanwood on Jan. 19, and missed the Eagles’ 55-41 loss to Lake Stevens on Friday.
After being cleared by doctors to play on Sunday, Brown practiced Monday to “see how it felt.” All went well, and she returned to Arlington’s starting lineup for Tuesday’s game.
“It feels good,” Brown said of her knee after the game. “It’s really sore. But it’s just good coming back.”
Brown — and the rest of the Arlington team — got off to a fast start. The Eagles began the game with a 10-0 run, giving Arlington a double-digit lead before Snohomish scored a point.
The defense was just as effective, limiting Snohomish to no more than 11 points in a quarter.
“I’m just happy that we came out and played basketball the way we’re capable,” Arlington head coach Joe Marsh said. “We’d had a tough week.”
Arlington started the season with 14 straight wins before losing three of its last four — all against teams that have clinched playoff berths. Marsh was pleased with his team coming back together, which was helped with the return of its senior forward.
“She’s back and it makes us better,” Marsh said. “It makes a huge difference. She’s one of the most versatile players in the league. She can score in the post or shoot the (3-pointer). When we need baskets she’s who we go to.”
Scoring isn’t all Brown did. She also had five rebounds, three steals, three assists and three blocked shots.
Winter Brown added seven points for the Eagles and Veronica Ladines and Jessica Ludwig added five points apiece for Arlington.
“I just think it was a great team effort,” Marsh said. “People stepped up in multiple positions.”
Marsh also praised point guard Krista Showalter — one of Arlington’s six seniors — for helping the Eagles control the pace of the game, after having some difficulty in Arlington’s game against Lake Stevens.
“Showalter struggled a bit against Lake Stevens, but she came out and ran the show for us tonight,” Marsh said.
Snohomish — along with Arlington, Lake Stevens and Monroe — already had clinched a spot in next week’s 4A district tournament before the game began. The Panthers are jockeying for position however, competing with the Vikings for the No. 2 seed.
Madeline Smith led Snohomish with 10 points and four blocked shots, despite being a focus for the Arlington defense.
“We tried to limit Smith as much as we could,” Marsh said.
It took 6 minutes, 32 seconds for Snohomish to get its first field goal, a layup by Morgan Green. The Panthers’ offensive struggles continued in the second for Snohomish, which trailed Arlington 23-7 at halftime. The Panthers doubled their point total in the third quarter with seven more points, and added 11 in the final quarter.
Marsh was happy with his team’s performance, and hopes the Eagles can continue their strong play in the district tournament.
“It feels awesome. Our No. 1 goal at the beginning of the season was to compete for a league championship,” Marsh said. “We’ve got that goal out of the way and now we’ve got more goals in front of us.”
Said Brown: “We’re getting back into a rhythm and it’s really boosted our confidence. We’re feeling really good.
At Arlington H.S.
Snohomish—Morgan Green 2, Ellie Otteson 0, Hannah Berntson 2, Shaylee Harwood 4, Kayla Lachapelle 0, Madeline Smith 10, Paige Helms 1, Bailey Armbruster 6, Ellie Flitsch 0, Tara Harms 0, Mariah Mock 0. Arlington—Taylor Graham 3, Veronica Ladines 5, Lindsay Brown 17, Krista Showalter 4, Emma Janousek 0, Jessica Ludwig 5, Winter Brown 7, Jayla Russ 0, Lyndsay Leatherman 2, Marissa Swegle 0. 3-point goals—Armbruster, L. Brown, W. Brown, Graham. Records—Snohomish 8-6 league, 13-7 overall. Arlington 11-2, 16-3.