By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
ARLINGTON — Arlington girls basketball coach Joe Marsh joked after Thursday’s game that it’s a good thing he doesn’t have any hair or he might have lost it during his team’s 49-48 victory over Edmonds-Woodway in a Wesco 4A crossover game.
The Warriors led at the end of each of the first three quarters, but the Eagles pulled it out late behind senior Lyndsay Leatherman, who scored six of her 11 points in the final quarter.
“It was an extremely tense game,” Marsh said. “That’s a really good team. We knew coming in that this was going to be a battle. They’re really good and we were prepared for that. We were shaky in the first half, but we came out in the second half and settled down and played great defense and it was a battle the rest of the way.”
Leatherman scored off of an offensive rebound with 3:48 to play in the final quarter to give her team a 41-40 lead. She extended the advantage to 43-40 on a mid-range jumper less than a minute later. Edmonds-Woodway’s Moni Jackson’s had an answer, tying the score with a 3 with 2:42 to play in the game.
Jackson’s 3 was the first of three consecutive shots from long range the teams would combine to hit. Arlington’s Sevi Bielser answered Jackson’s with 2:21 to play to give the Eagles a 46-43 lead. Twenty seconds later Sydney Peterson’s 3 tied the score again.
After an Arlington timeout with the score still tied and less than a minute to play, Leatherman scored her final two points of the game on a putback of a Jayla Russ miss to give the Eagles a 48-46 lead.
“That was huge,” Marsh said. “We were trying to get the ball to Lyndsay and they did a good job of stopping it so I guess we decided to just throw it up on the glass and let her go get it. Whatever works, we’ll take it.”
The resilient Warriors responded again with two Sidney Eck free throws to tie the game at 48 with 23 seconds to play.
Arlington, which had called a time out in between Eck’s first and second free throws, already had a play set up. Marsh appeared to call for his team to take the final shot of the game, but junior guard Jessica Ludwig was fouled Eck, her fifth personal foul, on a shot from the baseline with 15 seconds to remaining in the game. She made one of two free throws to give the Eagles a 49-48 advantage.
Warriors head coach Rebekah Wells called a timeout with 11 seconds left after her team had advanced the ball into the front court to set up a final play.
Jackson attacked the rim and kicked the ball out to wide open Sydney Peterson, who had already made two 3s in the game. Peterson’s 3-point attempt rimmed in and out and was knocked out of bounds to the Eagles with two seconds to play.
“Our first option was to drive,” Wells said. “It’s always to drive and draw a foul or get a higher percentage opportunity. Moni Jackson dished it out to Peterson and it was good shot. She couldn’t drive because it was all congested (in the key). It was a good shot and it was just one of those things where it rimmed out.”
Jayla Russ was immediately fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass, but the Warriors hadn’t committed enough fouls to send Arlington to the free-throw line. The Eagles inbounded the ball one more time, this time to point guard Emma Janousek, who ran out the clock.
Russ and Ludwig finished with 14 points to lead Arlington. Eleven of Russ’s 14 came after halftime.
“She did a great job,” Marsh said of Russ. “She was aggressive. She’s going to the basket so she got some free throws and she’s a really good free throw shooter. She hit a big three. She’s an inside-outside threat. Jayla is really starting to figure it out and mature and we need her to play like that against teams like that.”
Jackson finished with 13 points to lead Edmonds-Woodway’s balanced scoring attack. Peterson added 10.
Arlington and Lynnwood remain the only two Wesco 4A teams without a league loss and the Eagles are the only remaining unbeaten overall. Arlington improved to 2-0 against the Wesco 4A South with games against Mariner, Kamiak, Lynnwood and Jackson upcoming.
“This is a good game for us at the right time,” Marsh said. “The whole undefeated thing, I don’t care about that. But we’re going into the South against good teams. We’ve got Lynnwood coming and we’ve got Jackson coming and I knew this was going to be a really good game for us. I told the girls before the game that this is a great test for us at the right time of the season.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at email@example.com.
At Arlington H.S.
Edmonds-Woodway 15 12 11 10 — 48
Arlington 13 9 15 12 — 49
Edmonds-Woodway—Mady Burdett 6, Sidney Eck 7, Natalie Kasper 5, Maddy Nealey 2, Claire Fyfe 5, Moni Jackson 13, Sydney Peterson 10. Arlington—Gracie Castaneda 6, Serafina Balderas 0, Sevi Bielser 3, Emma Janousek 1, Jessica Ludwig 14, Jayla Russ 14, Lyndsay Leatherman 11. 3-point goals—Burdett, Jackson, Kasper, Peterson 2, Fyfe, Castaneda, Russ 2, Ludwig, Bielser. Records—Edmonds-Woodway 4-2 league, 8-3 overall. Arlington 6-0, 11-0.