SNOHOMISH — A smothering defense, a strong start and enough offense to hold on at the end. That was the recipe for the Lynnwood girls basketball team on Friday night and it worked well enough for the Royals to get past Arlington 46-34 for the Class 4A District 1 championship at Glacier Peak High School.
The victory was the 22nd in 23 games this season for Lynnwood, the state’s top-ranked 4A team, and gives the Royals a second consecutive district title.
“I felt that we persevered tonight,” said Lynnwood coach Everett Edwards, moments after he joined his team for a trophy presentation and the cutting down of the nets. “We competed and played good defense against a very good team.
“We didn’t play our best offensive game,” he added, “but as usual our defense kind of came through for us and we were able to limit a very good team. I felt really good about our defensive effort.”
The Royals started briskly, forcing turnovers on Arlington’s first three offensive possessions, including two Lynnwood steals, for an early 7-0 lead. The Royals pushed the margin to 10-1, but then went scoreless for the last 4½ minutes of the opening quarter, though the lead was still 10-3.
“(Starting well) is what we talked about,” Edwards said. “The last two games we played (against Arlington) going back to last year in the district championship game and also this season, they got off to a very good first quarter. That was a primary concern tonight, to get off to a good start and to not play catch-up.”
Arlington finally got untracked in the second quarter and closed within 14-10 with three consecutive field goals wrapped around a pair of Lynnwood free throws. The score was 18-14 later in the quarter before Grace Douglas scored a layin for the Royals in the final minute for a 20-14 halftime lead.
Lynnwood pushed the margin to double digits in the third quarter on the strength of four 3-point goals in the period, and the lead stayed in double figures the rest of the second half, save for some brief moments in the late minutes.
The Royals were aided by success at the free throw line, where they converted 16 of 22 chances. Arlington struggled at the line, sinking just 12 of 23 attempts.
The 45 combined free throws were the result of aggressive and sometimes bruising defense by both teams.
“There were some major collisions in tonight’s game,” Edwards said. “Girls were giving everything that they had.”
Lynnwood advances to a state regional playoff game next weekend against the No. 4 team from District 3/4, which includes the South Puget Sound, Narrows and St. Helen’s leagues. Arlington plays the District 3/4 No. 2 team, with those pairings to be announced later in the weekend.
“I’ll tell you what, Lynnwood’s a great team and we knew that coming in,” Eagles coach Joe Marsh said. “They’re one of the best teams in the state, so we knew it was going to be a tough battle. And they jumped on us early. But I’m really proud of our kids. We didn’t go away, we hung around and we kept it close enough.”
A year ago, Arlington lost the district title game to Lynnwood, but then came back to win its regional game and two more games at the state tournament to reach the championship.
“I expect that we’ll be fine,” Marsh said. “I told (the team), I expect we’ll feel a little bit of pain on this one, but we’ve got other work to do. … We’re going to go try to win another game (at the regional) and try to get back to Tacoma.”
Lynnwood guard Jordyn Edwards led all scorers with 13 points, including two 3-pointers in the third quarter. Wing Monty Cooper added 11 points.
Arlington’s top scorer was guard Emma Janousek with nine.
At Glacier Peak H.S.
Lynnwood 3 11 10 10 — 34
Arlington 10 10 18 8 — 46
Arlington — Gracie Castaneda 2, Serafina Balderas 4, Sarah Shortt 2, Sevi Bielser 6, Brittany DeNike 2, Emma Janousek 9, Jayla Russ 5, Lyndsay Leatherman 4. Lynnwood — Jasmin Edwards 9, Monty Cooper 11, Grace Douglas 5, Mikayla Pivec 6, Kelsey Rogers 2, Jordyn Edwards 13, Amina Donahoe 0, Danielle Hayes 0. 3-point goals — Sevi Bielser 2, Jasmin Edwards 2, Monty Cooper 1, Grace Douglas 1, Jordyn Edwards 2. Records — Arlington is 19-4, Lynnwood is 22-1.