By Jon Saperstein Herald Writer
MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — Some basketball teams make a living behind the 3-point arc while others it can prove to be their downfall.
The Arlington boys’ eight 3s helped the Eagles run away with the 4A District 1 semifinal game en route to a 63-50 decision over Edmonds Woodway at Mountlake Terrace H.S. Saturday night.
Conversely, the Warriors were 0-for-10 from behind the arc.
“We just couldn’t shoot,” Warriors coach Steve Call said. “That’s the difference.”
Intensity and fight was pretty equal especially as the teams remained within a bucket up until halftime. But when the Eagles hit from long range, the Warriors had no answer.
With an eight-point advantage after three quarters, senior Kaleb Bryson knew he needed to do something big for his team and he did, hitting a pair of 3s in the first four minutes of the quarter that staved off the Warriors just when they thought they had a chance to sneak back in.
“Up five, up seven, I think that’s a big jump to go up 8, up 10,” Bryson said. “So I just look at that and I think I can be clutch for our team.”
Bryson’s 12 points were second best on the team.
Arlington (20-2 overall) advances to the 4A District 1 finals next week against Jackson, which won the other semifinal game on Saturday.
“They are one of the best and we want to play them,” Arlington coach Nick Brown said.
Arlington came out with intensity and built a 7-3 lead over the first 5 minutes and 10 seconds of the game. The Warriors roared back with some transition hustle and capitalized on Arlington mistakes to take an 11-9 advantage into the first quarter break.
Donovan Sellgren came off the bench for the Eagles and sparked them with a pair of 3s to start the second quarter. Sellgren had 10 points in the quarter as the Eagles built a 20-13 lead at one point. Sellgren led the Eagles with 14 points on the night in only his third game of the season in double digits. He replaced the minutes of injured senior Shawn Adams.
“Since (Adams) is hurt, Donny had to step up and it really didn’t surprise me,” Brown said. “He’s a good player … he did some big things for us tonight.”
Arlington couldn’t keep a body on the Warriors’ 6-foot-6 post Travis Bakken in the first half. The senior was well-guarded in the half court, but cleaned up on putbacks and in transition when the Eagle defense lost track of him. Bakken had a game-high 12 at the break, but only had five points in the second half.
“We made some adjustments and we did a good job of finding him a little quicker,” Brown said. “He was obviously a difference make for them tonight. When they couldn’t get the ball to him, it made it a lot harder for him. That slowed him down and got us going.”
Though the Eagles have racked up wins this season, Brown hasn’t felt like the intensity has quite been there for his team this season. That changed in the second half Saturday.
“We got spoiled a little bit last year going to state,” he said. “I think we are really starting to focus now. I wish we would have done it a bit sooner, but we made some big plays tonight when we needed to.”
The Warriors will host a loser-out game Tuesday night.
At Mountlake Terrace H.S.
Edmonds-Woodway 11 9 15 15 — 50
Arlington 9 13 21 20 — 63
Edmonds-Woodway—Trey Holland 7, Jordan Rice 0, Brady Edwards 2, Tate Budnick 7, Antonio Sherrill 2, Theo Lebesis 5, Jason Smarr 10, Travis Bakken 17, Okereke 0. Arlington—Kaleb Bryson 12, Donavan Sellgren 14, Gavin Smoke 6, Nathan Aune 9, Noah Jones 9, Cole Kingsberry 0, Connor Bovard 0, Bradey Brummel 7, Nate Lewis 4, Jeremy Bishop 0. 3-point goals—Sellgren 3, Bryson 2, Smoke 2, Brummel. Records—Edmonds-Woodway 13-9 overall. Arlington 20-2.