SHORELINE — Out of the 15 teams representing Wesco 3A/2A, Shorecrest entered Friday’s matchup with Arlington as the league’s lone unbeaten. Scots coach Carlos Humphrey knew after five straight wins to open the season that the Eagles would present Shorecrest with its first big test.
The Scots passed, and added some style points while improving to 6-0 on the season.
Shorecrest displayed its balanced attack, dominated the boards and ran away with the game in the second half for a 58-43 home league win on Friday.
“We took our calendar and broke it up into sections,” Humphrey explained. “This was the test. This was a big test for us. We knew this was going to be a big, early-season game, but in Wesco you got to be ready to play. Although we say we are going to treat it like another game, it was a huge win for the kids. I am very proud of them.”
Junior center Kiana Lino used her outstanding blend of size and athleticism to score a game-high 15 points and bring down a game-high 19 rebounds. Senior guards Amanda Lee and Sydney VanNess and sophomore guard Leila Hosn expertly navigated Arlington’s full-court press, which the Eagles deployed all night. Lee finished with 14 points, VanNess added 11 and Hosn scored eight. Senior forward Laura Weaver also gave the Scots good minutes, finishing with seven points.
The Eagles (5-2, 1-1 Wesco 3A/2A) were led by Sierra Scheppele’s 14 points, Keira Marsh added 11 and Hannah Rork added 10 for Arlington, which was without standout junior guard Hailey Hiatt.
Arlington turned over Shorecrest at times during the first half with its full-court pressure defense, but the Scots quickly maneuvered through it in the second half and got open look after open look. And when Shorecrest missed, Lino was there for a putback.
“We knew that they don’t have too many holes over at Arlington,” Humphrey said. “Rebounding is probably one of their few weak points, and we knew (Lino) would have a big day in the middle if she could guard on the defensive end.”
While the Eagles quickly fell behind in the second half, they raced out to an early lead to start.
Scheppele opened the game with a pair of 3-pointers and scored Arlington’s first nine points, which all came on 3s. The Eagles matched their largest lead of the game when they took a 14-10 lead with 3:50 play in the first quarter before holding a 17-16 advantage after the first eight minutes.
Arlington led again, 22-18, early in the second before a 3-pointer from VanNess gave Shorecrest a 24-22 lead with 3:18 to play until halftime. Lino score five of the Scots’ next eight points, helping Shorecrest take a 32-30 edge into the break.
Then the third quarter started, and Shorecrest quickly captured momentum with a scoring barrage and stifling defense.
Back-to-back triples by VanNess and Lee extended the Scots’ lead to 38-30. VanNess paired another 3 with a basket from Weaver, and before Arlington could catch its breath, Shorecrest had taken a 45-32 advantage with 2:15 to play in the third.
“I’m very pleased with how my team played and how we pulled it together in the third quarter,” Lino said. “I’m glad we were able to hit a couple shots and get that lead that we really needed. I feel like we have really good chemistry on our team, so whenever we get into those tight spots we are able to pull it together and pull through together.”
A basket from Lino to open the fourth quarter pushed Shorecrest’s lead to 50-36 with 6:20 to play. Arlington cut its deficit to 11 with 3:45 to go, but couldn’t get the game to single digits.