Arlington girls hold off Lake Stevens in OT

TACOMA — After a last-second Lake Stevens 3-pointer sent the game to overtime, Arlington girls basketball coach Joe Marsh rallied his team at the bench for a few well-chosen words.

What Marsh said was this: “We’re not done. They made a great shot, good for them, it’s 0-0 now and now let’s go win this thing.”

And the Eagles did exactly that.

In a dramatic, physical and hard-fought game between two Western Conference North rivals, Arlington went ahead midway through overtime and hung on for a 66-64 victory that sends the Eagles into tonight’s 7 p.m. championship game at the Class 4A state tournament.

“We’re such big rivals with Lake Stevens,” Arlington senior forward Lindsay Brown said. “We go back and forth with them all the time. But we just knew that we wanted this, and it was time for the seniors to step up and make it happen.

“I can’t even find words right now,” she added with a grin. “This is unbelievable.”

Arlington, which improved to 22-4, faces top-ranked Mead in tonight’s title game. Mead defeated Mount Rainier 51-50 in Friday’s other semifinal.

“I’m just in shock, to be honest with you,” Marsh said with a grin. “I can’t ask more of a group of basketball players. They just left it all out there, and as a coach that’s all you can ask.

“This is just a tremendous group of girls,” he said. And the chance to play for a state title, he added, “is just so exciting for the community.”

The Eagles spent most of the game playing catch-up against a determined Lake Stevens team that had title aspirations of its own. The Vikings led by seven points after one quarter, eight at halftime, and 12 early in the third period.

But Arlington never buckled. The Eagles tightened their defense in the second half, holding Lake Stevens to just six field goals in the final two quarters, and just one in the fourth period.

“We struggled in the first half,” Marsh said. “Lake Stevens is obviously a great team and they had their way a little bit. But we came in at halftime, settled down and regrouped, and then played tremendous defense in the second half.

“These kids just never quit,” he said. “They just battled.”

Arlington drew within three points at the end of the third quarter, got its first lead since the game’s early moments midway through the fourth period, and then seemed to take control on a Brown 3-pointer and a Winter Brown free throw in the final 35 seconds of regulation.

But Lake Stevens would not go quietly. Senior Brittney Pahukoa dribbled out of backcourt and lifted a 3-point shot from beyond the top of the key that swished as the horn sounded at the end of regulation, sending the game to overtime.

Brown had six points in OT, including another 3-pointer that put the Eagles in front for good. Arlington scored its final four points at the free throw line, and then had enough poise to hold on in the late seconds.

Trailing by three points, Lake Stevens guard Brooke Pahukoa went to the free throw line with 1.7 seconds to play. She made the first shot and deliberately missed the second, but the Eagles gathered the rebound as time expired.

Brown finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and two blocked shots, while freshman forward Jayla Russ had 23 points and added six rebounds.

“Jayla Russ was just unbelievable for a freshman tonight,” Marsh said. “Just unbelievable.”

“At the beginning of the game I was really nervous,” Russ admitted, “but once I stepped out on the court it was just another game. I just went out there and played my hardest.”

Against Mead tonight, the Eagles will be trying to win the second girls basketball state title in school history. Arlington was the 1982 state champion.

Mead presents “a huge challenge,” Marsh acknowledged. “But you know what? Us getting here was a huge challenge, too, and we’re here. If we go out and play basketball the way we’re capable of, we will battle with anybody.

“Why not us?” he added. “That’s what we keep saying. Why not?”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Granite Falls' Kaleb Roberts rushes with Sultan's Kaden Harwick closing Friday night in Sultan on February 26, 2021 (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Friday night lights finally back on

Granite Falls beats rival Sultan in OT in the area’s first prep football game in more than 15 months.

Seattle Mariners' Julio Rodriguez waits to bat during spring training baseball practice Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, in Peoria, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Mariners prospect learning from Seattle icon

Julio Rodriguez, just barely 20 years old, is relishing an opportunity to work with Ichiro Suzuki.

Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin (0), left, and center Christian Koloko (35) smother Washington forward Nate Roberts (1) as they fight for a loose ball goes to the ground in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (Kelly Presnell/Arizona Daily Star via AP)
Huskies edged by Arizona in regular-season finale

Washington’s difficult regular season comes to an end with a hard-fought 75-74 loss on the road.

High School football teams across Snohomish County are closing in on their first game in over a year. (Herald file photos)
Prep football: Key games and the area’s complete schedule

The first H.S. football game in the county in over a year is set to take place this coming Friday.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, right, talks to quarterback Russell Wilson (3) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020 in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Seahawks defeated the Dolphins 31-23.(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Reports show growing divide between Wilson, Seahawks

But despite the star quarterback’s apparent unhappiness, a trade in 2021 remains unlikely.

Austin Johnson, 26 years-old, trains on the Centennial Trail in Lake Stevens and is planning to do a 24-hour run to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
24 hours, 80 miles, $23k raised for mental health

Austin Johnson completes a 24-hour run along the Centennial Trail to raise money for suicide prevention.

Quarterback Tanner Jellison runs a play with running backs Jay Roughton, left, and Trayce Hanks as the Lake Stevens High School football team conducts its first practice, marking the first day of practice for fall sports in the Wesco division, on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 in Lake Stevens, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Wesco high school sports teams’ long layoff finally ends

For the first time in more than 450 days, Wesco fall athletes gathered for official practices.

Seattle Mariners' Dylan Moore, right, is congratulated by teammate Kyle Lewis after hitting a solo home run off of Texas Rangers starting pitcher Kolby Allard during the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 7, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Servais on Dylan Moore: ‘He’s a ball player’

Mariners’ super-utility player looks to build on a breakout season.

FILE - Ohio State offensive lineman Wyatt Davis (52) is shown during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game against Clemson in Glendale, Ariz., in this Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, file photo. Davis was selected to The Associated Press All-America first-team offense, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
Mock draft time in the NFL

Here’s who the Seahawks could take with their first pick

Most Read