EDMONDS — The Arlington girls basketball team has a knack for wearing down opponents with its full-court press defense and turning its stifling pressure on defense into game-breaking scoring runs.
The Eagles did it again Thursday night.
Arlington broke a 23-23 third-quarter tie with 14-2 run, held Edmonds-Woodway without a made field goal in fourth quarter and cruised to a 60-34 road victory over the Warriors in a battle between teams in the thick of the Wesco 3A/2A league-title race at Edmonds-Woodway High School.
“That’s one of the things we want to do,” Eagles coach Joe Marsh said. “I think with our depth and pressure we’re counting on teams getting tired late in games.”
Arlington (9-2, 5-1 Wesco 3A/2A) delivered constant pressure throughout the game and clamped down defensively in the second half, forcing turnover after turnover while outscoring Edmonds-Woodway 35-13 over the game’s final 16 minutes.
“I think we just settled down defensively is what happened,” Marsh said of the second-half success. “We were kind of all over the place in the first half and just kind settled down and were more disciplined (in the second). And then we caused them trouble, which we did not in the first half. So once that happened, then it turns into offense. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
Edmonds-Woodway (7-5, 5-1) tied the game at 23-all in the third with a bucket from senior AJ Martineau. That’s when the Eagles made their run.
Freshman Jenna Villa delivered eight of her 11 points in the third period as Arlington turned turnovers into transition buckets near the hoop and pushed its lead to 44-27.
It was more of the same in the final period as the Eagles kept the pressure up and didn’t allow a made field goal as Edmonds-Woodway scored all seven of its points in the closing frame at the foul line.
“I thought we folded, made a couple bad decisions mid, early third quarter,” Edmonds-Woodway coach Jon Rasmussen said. “We got down and we ran out of gas. We just didn’t have the legs and we were tired.”
The victory keeps Arlington one loss behind Archbishop Murphy (5-0 league) for the lead in Wesco 3A/2A. The Eagles host Archbishop Murphy on Friday.
The loss knocks Edmonds-Woodway out of the league’s top spot. The Warriros join Arlington, Meadowdale, Shorecrest and Lynnwood as one-loss squads in league play.
Keira Marsh led the Eagles with a game-high 15 points, Villa added 11 and Makenzie Gage and Hailey Hiatt chipped in eight.
Senior Jadyn Waram notched a team-high 12 points and senior Brooke Kearney added eight for the Warriors.
Edmonds-Woodway opened the game with a barrage of 3-pointers and jumped out to a 12-5 lead, with Kearney accounting for two of the four Warriors triples in the opening stretch. But Arlington would answer right back with a 10-0 run, sparked by 3s from Marsh and Hiatt, to take a 15-12 advantage.
Neither team could get much going offensively in a second quarter marred with turnovers and fouls. Arlington pushed its lead to as many as four points at 23-19 when Gage converted a 3-point play in the closing minute of the half. The Warriors cut the lead to 23-21 after Martineau grabbed a rebound and alertly dished off a quick pass to Waram, who scored through contact with .9 seconds remaining in the half.
The win is the Eagles’ fourth straight by 21 or more points since dropping an early conference showdown with Shorecrest on Dec. 20. The loss snaps a seven-game winning streak for Edmonds-Woodway.
“I think we’re starting to play better basketball consistently,” Joe Marsh said of his team’s recent stretch. “We’re still trying to put together four quarters of a great game. We did it for a half tonight and we’re trying to stretch it out right now. But you know Edmonds-Woodway is playing really good right now. (Coach) Rasmussen has got them playing great basketball right now, so this is a big win for us one road.”
GETTING THROWN RIGHT BACK INTO THE MIX
School closures Monday through Wednesday due to inclement weather prevented Edmonds-Woodway from practicing all week leading up to Thursday’s contest.
Edmonds School District rules prevent athletic teams from practicing during school closures, which meant the Warriors were tasked with facing one of Wesco 3A/2A top squads after a six-day layoff.
The Arlington School District shut down schools Tuesday and Wednesday.
“It’s tough for my team when you haven’t played since Friday,” Rasmussen said. “Six days we haven’t touched a ball or been in the gym practicing. How do you contend with … a team of that caliber? It’s pretty tough. We went for a half but we ran out of gas. They’re a great team and we couldn’t keep up with them.”
Edmonds-Woodway travels to face Marysville Getchell (4-8, 1-5).
It was the eighth time this season Arlington reached the 60-point mark and eighth time the Eagles have won when doing so.
Arlington got to 60 points with a balanced scoring attack. Nine different players found bottom of the net, with six delivering four or more points.
The Eagles have won 49 straight games when scoring at least 60 points, a streak that dates back to Jan. 9, 2015.
The Eagles are 1-2 when failing to reach 60 points this season.
FIRST-QUARTER 3-POINT FRENZY
Arlington and Edmonds-Woodway opened the game by flexing their muscles from beyond the arc. The squads combined to knock down seven triples in the game’s opening period.
The scorching start from deep didn’t last long, though, as neither team hit a 3-point shot for the rest of the contest.