MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — The Mountlake Terrace girls basketball team tried to get its offense going, but with its leading scorer on the bench the Hawks didn’t have another 20-point comeback in them.
Mountlake Terrace — which eliminated a 20-point deficit in a win against Edmonds-Woodway last Tuesday — couldn’t overcome another large lead by Arlington in a battle of two unbeaten teams.
The Eagles got out to a fast start and, aided by the Hawks’ foul troubles, remained undefeated with a 53-31 nonconference win Tuesday night at Mountlake Terrace High School.
“Last week was a big, emotional week for us but at the end of the day we didn’t (get it done),” said Mountlake Terrace head coach Zach Wilde. “They’re a good team. They’re young but they’re good. They’re all sophomores with the exception of like one senior. They’re just getting started.
“The sky’s the limit for that team. I’m glad they’re in the 4A and we don’t have to play them the rest of the year.”
Arlington outscored Mountlake Terrace 16-8 in the first quarter and had a 27-13 lead at halftime. Both offenses struggled in the first half with the Eagles running a fast-paced offense and Hawks’ star guard Samantha Romanowski in foul trouble.
“I’ve been telling this team all season, when we settle down and have patience on offense we do well,” said Arlington head coach Joe Marsh. “When we kind of get antsy and they put a little pressure on us and we throw the ball away it’s trouble for us. This is a young team and we’re learning.” Romanowski, meanwhile, found herself in foul trouble very early in the game. She had three fouls and had to sit most of the second quarter and picked up her fourth foul quickly after halftime. The junior, who averages over 20 points per game, was held to three points before she fouled out about a minute and a half into the fourth quarter.
With Romanowski on the bench the Hawks had a hard time getting their offense going. Mountlake Terrace scored double digits in just one quarter — when it put up 10 points in the fourth.
“They did a good job of making it tough for Sam,” Wilde said. “Making her get fouls. They did a good job taking her away. Obviously, it hurts because everyone is looking for her but there’s four other players on the court all the time. We need that. We need people to step up. I think she can score 50 points but at the end of the day we need two or three other players scoring double figures. Not just one person scoring all the points.”
When she was in the game, Romanowski found herself guarded by Arlington sophomore Emma Janousek, who Marsh says is the Eagles’ “best defender.”
“Emma Janousek played great on Romanowski. She is what makes our defense go,” Marsh said. “She just works her butt off all night long. We were going to rotate some people thorough but Gracie (Castaneda) got some fouls early so it was Emma.”
Lyndsay Leatherman, the lone senior on Arlington, continued a strong start to the season. Leatherman finished with a game-high 21 points and 12 rebounds.
The 6-foot-1 center posed a bit of a defensive problem for Mountlake Terrace, which doesn’t have a player listed above 5-foot-11 on its roster.
“She’s a matchup problem for a lot of people,” Marsh said. “They don’t have a lot of size. This last week Lyndsey’s been playing great. She didn’t have a great first game but she’s averaging like 16 (points) and 10 (rebounds) the last three or four games. She’s a senior and she’s really stepped it up. We’re tough to guard when we have her going like that.”
Jayla Russ had 10 points and eight rebounds and Sevi Bielser added 11 points for Arlington, which improved to 5-0 this season.
Mountlake Terrace was led by forward Maddy Kristjanson, who had 11 points and eight rebounds. Wilde said the senior, who missed summer and fall basketball leagues while playing softball, has been a huge part of the Hawks’ fast start.
“Maddy hasn’t missed a beat,” Wilde said. “Her toughness and her athleticism really helps us and is going to pay dividends at the end of the year for us.”
The Hawks’ coach believes Mountlake Terrace (5-1 overall) will be able to learn from this loss, and rebound in time for its next game — a contest against Shorewood — Friday night.
“We’ll take little things and have little wins,” Wilde said. “I think we can takeaway how hard we had to step up to play against a good team. I’m not saying we haven’t played against any good teams yet, but that’s by far the best team we’ve played.
“This game doesn’t make or break our season. Sure it might hurt our egos a little bit but at the end of the day Friday night is in our focus. This is in the past and we’ll move forward.”
The game had an unusual ending when a member of the Mountlake Terrace student section was ejected in the contest’s final minute. The rest of the student section, which is known as the “Rowdy Rooters,” left with the ejected student with 57 seconds remaining in the game.
“It was a really weird end to the game,” Marsh said.
At Mountlake Terrace H.S.
Arlington 16 11 14 12 — 53
Mountlake Terrace 8 5 8 10 — 31
Arlington—Gracie Castaneda 0, Serafina Balderas 5, Sevi Bielser 11, Brittany DeNike 0, Emma Janousek 2, Emmi Modahl 0, Jessica Ludwig 4, Jayla Russ 10, Lyndsay Leatherman 21. Mountlake Terrace—Skylar Zenk 0, Nikkie Forehlich 7, Kenzie Zehrung 3, Senaiet Zerom 1, Samantha Romanowski 3, Kirsty Dale 3, Shaian Pagaling 0, Riley Zucker 3, Maddy Kristjanson 11, Amanda Tompkins 0. 3-point goals—Bielser 2, Ludwig 1, Russ 1, Forehlich 1, Zehrung 1, Romanowski 1, Zucker 1. Records—Arlington 5-0 overall. Mountlake Terrace 5-1.