By Aaron Swaney Herald Writer
ARLINGTON — The Arlington girls basketball team still hasn’t found a cure for its slow starts to recent games.
Good thing they had a dose of Sevi to make everything better Thursday night.
For the third straight game, Arlington found itself in a sizable hole in the first quarter, but a pair of 3-pointers by Sevi Bielser trimmed Snohomish’s lead to two points and ignited a second-quarter run that would lead the Eagles to a 49-40 win over the Panthers in an early season Wesco 4A North showdown at Arlington H.S.
“That’s not a habit I want to get into it,” said Arlington head coach Joe Marsh of the slow starts. “We talked about it before the game again and (Snohomish) come out in that zone and we need to make an adjustment in games like that. But again this team finds a way to respond and they’ve done it the past three games.”
In the past two games — wins over Snohomish and Lake Stevens — a big part of that response was Bielser. The sophomore guard hit five 3-pointers for the second game in a row and finished with a game-high 15 points. Bielser hit a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter to help Arlington outscore Snohomish 14-7 to take a lead it would never relinquish.
“She’s really shooting the ball with a lot of confidence right now; no hesitation,” Marsh said of Bielser. “I tell her when you’re feeling it like that, you’ve got a little bit of a green light; let it go. And for a sophomore she doesn’t hesitate. She’s our best shooter. We knew that all along.”
Arlington (3-0 4A North, 8-0 overall) has been outscored 42-29 in the first quarter in the past three games. Thursday night Snohomish used a zone defense with post Madeline Smith patrolling the inside to jump out to a 14-6 lead six minutes into the game. But Smith soon had to sit with foul trouble, helping open up the defense for Bielser and others. Led by Bielser’s four 3-pointers, Arlington outscored Snohomish 18-7 to end the first half.
“Foul trouble early hurt us,” said Snohomish head coach Ken Roberts. “Madeline Smith got two fouls early and we had to take her out and that took us out of some of the things we wanted to do early.
“We were zoning early so losing her really hurt us on the defensive end.”
Snohmish tied the score at 25 early in the third quarter on a Callie Harwood layin, but another Bielser 3-pointer ignited a 10-4 Arlington run capped by an Emma Janousek 3-pointer to give Arlington control again.
The win gives Arlington sole possession of first place in the 4A North, with Saturday’s game against Mount Vernon capping the Eagles’ first half of their league schedule. Snohomish (2-1, 4-5), which was coming off back-to-back wins over Wesco 3A North favorites Everett and Stanwood last week, drops to second place in the 4A North.
“That’s a good Snohomish team,” Marsh said. “That’s a good win for us. I have a feeling we’re going to see them again down the road in another important game.”
Next up for Snohomish is a Wesco crossover showdown with Jackson on Tuesday. The Panthers will be without Pollock, who will miss the next six games after having her tonsils out, and may be without Callie Harwood, who led Snohomish with 12 points. The senior guard left Thursday’s game with a knee injury when she fell to the court, but Roberts said it appeared to be more of a contact injury than a strain.
At Arlington H.S.
Snohomish 14 7 11 8 — 40
Arlington 12 12 14 11 — 49
Arlington—Gracie Castaneda 2, Serafina Balderas 4, Sarah Shortt 2, Sevi Bielser15, Brittany DeNike 0, Emma Janousek 6, Jessica Ludwig 8, Jayla Russ 8, Lyndsay Leatherman 4. Snohomish—Hannah Berntson 4, Shaylee Harwood 0, Callie Harwood 12, Madison Pollock 9, Madeline Smith 11, Bailey Armbruster 4, Tara Harms-Bush 0. 3-point goals—Biesler 5, Janousek. Records—Arlington 3-0 league, 8-0 overall. Snohomish 2-1, 4-5.