SNOHOMISH — As the Arlington Eagles got closer to ending their lengthy losing streak against one of the area’s perennial powerhouse teams, excitement morphed into tension. But after a 20-point lead shrunk to two, Arlington buckled down and finished the job.
Aided by senior guard Cole Carpenter’s four free throws in the final minute, Arlington outlasted the Snohomish Panthers 51-45 Monday in a Western Conference North Division boys basketball showdown. Carpenter finished with 13 points, three assists and three steals for Arlington, which beat Snohomish for the first time in at least 20 years, according to Arlington High athletic director Tom Roys, who has been with the school since 1989.
Arlington (9-6 in Wesco North) also moved into fourth place and has a one-game lead over Snohomish (8-7) with one division game to go. Fourth place is coveted. It means an automatic berth in the upcoming Class 4A District 1 tournament; the fifth-place North team drops to a loser-out district play-in game against Wesco South No. 4 seed Edmonds-Woodway (5-12).
Arlington plays host to Everett (4-11) Wednesday in its final North contest; Snohomish plays at Stanwood (13-2).
“It’s just a great feeling going into the last game of league and being in fourth place … but we’ve still got to go in and get Everett,” Carpenter said. “That’s kind of what’s most important right now.”
Guard Lucas Larson scored 15 points for Arlington, which used full-court pressure to frustrate Snohomish early. The Eagles slowed down in the second quarter but still led by 13 (29-16) by halftime. Arlington’s largest lead was 20 points (29-9), which it reached when Larson drilled a 3-pointer from a foot behind the line.
Sparked on senior night by senior guard Brian Wolfe (14 points, four 3s), Snohomish generated a fierce rally in the second half. The Panthers outscored Arlington 15-9 in the third quarter and twice got within two points in the final period. With Arlington leading 43-41, Carpenter was fouled with 59 seconds remaining. The official scorekeeper said it was Snohomish’s seventh team foul, which gave Carpenter a 1-and-1 chance at the foul line. Snohomish head coach Len Bone disagreed with the foul total, but nevertheless Carpenter went to the line and made both shots.
“We thought we had two (fouls) to give,” Bone said, “and we weren’t planning on giving either. We were planning on playing pressure defense and trying to get a steal.”
Instead, after Carpenter made a steal he drained two more free throws. Snohomish never got closer than five points.
“Cole Carpenter was clutch tonight. He had ice water in his veins,” Arlington head coach Nick Brown said.
Will Heath had five steals and six points for Arlington, which stumbled in the second half but still earned a long-awaited triumph over Snohomish.
“It’s been 20 years. We were definitely worried about that,” Brown said. “We kind of tightened up in the second half and I think that we were (nervous), but I’m real proud of my boys.”
At Snohomish H.S.
Arlington—Richardson 6, Heath 6, Larson 15, Busby 6, Carpenter 13, Carlson, Cooper 5, Petersen, Petit. Snohomish—Wolfe 14, Mason 4, J. Scattaregia, M. Scattaregia 2, Caudill, McGee 8, Ortiz 8, VandenBosch 1, Pecha 6, McGinnis. 3-point goals-Larson 2, Wolfe 4, Pecha 2, McGinnis 2. Records—Arlington 9-6 in division, 11-8 overall. Snohomish 8-7, 10-7.