By Mark Nelson Herald Writer
SNOHOMISH — The team with nothing to lose is often the most dangerous and Arlington nearly fell victim to an inspired second-half rally by Snohomish on Wednesday night.
With 6-foot senior post Ginny Wilson scoring a team-high 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, the Eagles turned away the comeback attempt and held on to beat the Panthers 53-48 in a Western Conference North Division game at Snohomish High School.
Snohomish (6-10 league, 7-12 overall) adjusted to Arlington’s high-low inside attack, limiting Wilson to four second-half points, and used a 20-2 run spanning 7 minutes, 18 seconds over two quarters to cut the Eagles’ lead to 44-42 with 4:55 remaining in the fourth quarter.
“They got tight,” Arlington head coach Nathan Davis said of his team’s failure to put away Snohomish after holding a 16-point halftime lead. “We were trying to go inside, but we weren’t doing that well and we were having trouble seeing that (entry) pass.
“With the tempo tonight, we were pressing and making bad decisions and then we got tight. As soon as they got to within 10 points, we tightened up.”
Kaiti Ferro scored four points with less than 3 minutes remaining and the Eagles (9-7, 11-9) grabbed a couple offensive rebounds to help fend off disaster and clinch the North’s fourth seed to next week’s 4A District 1 tournament.
Oak Harbor’s 60-51 loss to Monroe bumped Arlington to fourth and dropped the Wildcats to the district play-in game against Shorewood, the South’s No. 5 seed, on Friday.
Ferro finished with eight points and five rebounds as Arlington utilized its size advantage to out-rebound Snohomish 38-25.
“They really took it to us in the first half,” Snohomish head coach Ken Roberts said. “Our kids really did a good job battling in the second half. We were out of the playoffs already and that shows their character (as a team) to come back and work hard.”
Snohomish was without starting guard Julia Young. The 5-foot-6 sophomore, the Panthers’ leading scorer averaging 18.7 points per game the past four games, was a pre-game scratch because of shin splints.
Junior Brittany Wilson scored a career-high 17 points, including three 3-pointers, sophomore Melissa Dreves scored 11 points and Kristina Bride, another sophomore, added six points and eight rebounds to lead a young Snohomish team.
Brittany Wilson chipped in nine points during the Panthers’ lengthy rally.
“They were really excited,” Roberts said. “We haven’t had many runs like that this year.”
The excitement was tempered, however, by an inability to keep Arlington off the glass. The Eagles’ Ginny Wilson and Ferro came up with key inside points late in the game.
“The difference was not being able to keep them off the boards,” Roberts said.
Quinn Kesselring finished with nine points despite battling foul trouble for much of the game.
Snohomish shot 61.5 percent (16-for-26) from the free-throw line. Arlington shot 37.5 percent (6-for-16).
Arlington begins the district tournament at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday on the road against Wesco South No. 1 seed Edmonds-Woodway.
Snohomish’s season is over early for the first time in at least five seasons.
“It’s been a while since we haven’t made the playoffs,” Roberts said of the Panthers, last year’s 4A state runner-up. “I hope the kids realize how hard they’re going to have to work to move up in this league.”
At Snohomish H.S.
Arlington — Abdo 6, Sarver 3, Evans 0, Duncan 2, Van Loo 0, Kesselring 9, Murrin 0, Grogan 6, Daggett 0, Ferro 8, Schmuck 6, G. Wilson 15. Snohomish — B. Wilson 17, Green 2, Keithley 7, Coad 0, McKervey 3, McIntyre 2, Dreves 11, Bride 6, Gravelle 0. 3-pointers — B. Wilson 3, McKervey 1, Sarver 1, Grogan 2. Records — Arlington 9-7 league, 11-9 overall. Snohomish 6-10, 7-12.