Arlington’s David Zachman dunks the ball to extend his team’s lead against Shorecrest on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, at Jackson High School in Mill Creek, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Arlington boys knock off Shorecrest, secure 3A state berth

Senior David Zachman scores 27 points as the Eagles top the Scots 61-50 to advance to the 3A District 1 Tournament title game.

MILL CREEK — The Arlington boys’ basketball team knew it would be in for another long showdown Wednesday in a rematch against a familiar top-tier Wesco 3A school in Shorecrest.

The Eagles knocked off the Scots, 61-50, their second-straight win over Shorecrest in a month, only this time the stakes were higher as No. 2 Arlington advanced to the 3A District 1 Tournament championship game and clinched its second-straight state berth.

The Eagles (18-4) will face first-seeded Mountlake Terrace at 8 p.m. on at Everett Community College. Shorecrest plays at 4:45 p.m. Friday against Everett in a winner-to-state, non-elimination game.

Arlington senior forward David Zachman scored a game-high 27 points and added six rebounds to lead the way and breakout sophomore guard Leyton Martin pitched in a double-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and added five assists to boot.

“It was definitely big for us,” Zachman said. “The first time we saw them we were down for the first 29 minutes and came back and won in last three. This time, I felt like we held control of the lead for most of the game, which felt great. To be able to do that and (beat) them by 11 at the end means a lot, especially at this point in playoff basketball.”

The Scots’ star senior Parker Baumann collected 20 points and 10 rebounds and senior point guard Keaine Silimon joined him in double figures with 10 points, adding seven boards and two steals. Junior Anthony Najera chipped in nine points.

In a game that seemed like it was headed in the same direction as Arlington’s 53-48 home win on Jan. 19 over the Scots (15-6), the Eagles buckled down earlier and finished it out behind a solid defensive game-plan and timely buckets.

As the first quarter came to a close, Shorecrest held a slim 8-7 lead over Arlington. Zachman’s early second quarter throw-down jam gave his squad some needed momentum as others stepped up before halftime. Senior Ty Rusko popped off 10 of his 15 points in the second, including two crucial wing 3-pointers as the Eagles led 26-20 at the half.

In the third, Arlington would get into the driver’s seat as Martin splashed in a 25-footer, putting the Eagles ahead 29-20 with 7:18 left in the quarter.

In the middle stages of the third, Baumann would spark a Shorecrest mini rally, pumping in 10 of his 20 in the frame, including a personal 7-0 run as the Scots trailed 45-39 after three.

“Our defensive game-plan was centered directly around Parker,” Zachman said. “I mean … he can flat out play, he’s just a hooper. We went box-and-one on him and really tried to eliminate him from the game and I think we did a good job of that, although he was hitting some tough shots for them.”

Baumann was held to three points in the fourth as Arlington didn’t allow a Shorecrest point until just over the 3-minute mark in the period.

“We got punched in the mouth last time,” Arlington coach Nick Brown said. “And it took us a half to get moving and get our bearings straight. With this one, we knew wanted to be ready to go, which we did better. … Defensively, you have to be ready for Parker. He went off and we called a timeout, made an adjustment and it was a pretty good move for us. He’s a really good player, we knew that, but we also think our kids David and Leyton are pretty good too. .. it was a fun one, our kids just played really well. .. My whole staff did a good job preparing these guys, putting everything together, executing it, and getting it done.”

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