Lynnwood’s Teyah Clark passes out of trouble against Arlington during the 3A District 1 semifinals on Wednesday at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Lynnwood’s Teyah Clark passes out of trouble against Arlington during the 3A District 1 semifinals on Wednesday at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Arlington rallies past Lynnwood in 3A district semis

The Eagles overcome an early hole and clinch their fifth straight district title game appearance.

MARYSVILLE — The Arlington High School girls basketball team found itself on the ropes against Lynnwood on Wednesday night, but the Eagles figured it out down the stretch.

Arlington flipped the switch in the second half as it toughed out a 51-45 victory over the Royals in a Class 3A District 1 semifinal game at Marysville Pilchuck High School.

With the win, the top-seeded Eagles (20-2) booked their fifth straight trip into the district title round and earned a state berth. They’ll battle with third-seeded Snohomish (16-5) for the championship on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the same location.

After trailing 26-13 midway through the second quarter and 28-21 at the half, Arlington found a way to take advantage of a short-handed Lynnwood (14-8) group to inch its way back.

“We couldn’t put the ball in the basket in the first half,” Arlington head coach Joe Marsh said. “That was our biggest issue. It’s basketball, you gotta put the ball in the basket this time of the year and we did that in the second half, and we turned up our defense.”

The Eagles senior tandem of Katie Snow and Samara Morrow helped stabilize the group in the second half. Snow turned in 19 points and nine rebounds while Morrow finished with 15 points, six assists. They went a combined 10-for-11 from the free throw line (all in the second half).

Arlington’s Samara Morrow tries to step back for a shot in the paint against Lynnwood during the 3A District 1 Semifinals on Wednesday at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Arlington’s Samara Morrow tries to step back for a shot in the paint against Lynnwood during the 3A District 1 Semifinals on Wednesday at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

As they competed without their standout 6-footer Kayla Lorenz, who was out due to injury, the Royals relied heavily on Sienna University commit Aniya Hooker to shoulder the offensive load.

Hooker finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and four assists, but was held to just five points post-intermission.

“That was really a focus in the second half,” Marsh said. “That kid is so tough. We were going to make sure that if they were going to beat us, somebody else was gonna do it and not her. … Defense and rebounding, we did a much better job in both those things.”

Morrow pitched in seven points in the third period and junior Kierra Reese splashed in two 3s as the Eagles closed the frame on an 11-2 run to lead 39-35 entering the fourth.

Snow supplied 11 of her 19 points in second half as she navigated through Lynnwood’s tight zone defense.

“It was a little bit hard because it was pretty condensed,” Snow said. “But I think once we started going up strong in the paint and getting some of those foul calls, it started getting a lot better for us.”

Arlington’s Katie Snow pulls down a rebound in traffic against Lynnwood during the 3A District 1 semifinals on Wednesday at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Arlington’s Katie Snow pulls down a rebound in traffic against Lynnwood during the 3A District 1 semifinals on Wednesday at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Arlington went ahead 45-38 at the 4:05 mark in the fourth on a bucket from Reese, triggering a Lynnwood timeout.

A turnaround jumper from Hooker brought the Royals back within a single possession at 47-44 with 1:43 remaining, but a pair of free throws from both Snow and Morrow in the closing minute put it out of reach.

Arlington will look to claim its fourth consecutive district tile when it squares off with Snohomish on Saturday.

“They’re playing great basketball right now,” Marsh said. “It’s gonna be another battle. It’s always a battle when we play them. I’m just looking forward to it and I’m really proud our kids.”

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