Valentine’s Day will be sweet for at least one local team.
Whichever team wins Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Jackson High School between Marysville-Pilchuck and Arlington will go to the regional playoffs next week.
The losing team still has a chance to move on, as the tournament is double elimination.
The Lakewood boys and Arlington girls also are still in it, but they face tougher battles as they each lost their first-round games badly.
M-P won its first game with a 52-44 win over Meadowdale. Arlington came from behind to beat Ferndale 69-59. Lakewood was demolished by visiting Lynden 66-39, and the Arlington girls lost just as badly at Stanwood 70-37.
RaeQuan Battle scored a team-high 22 points and Luke Dobler added 11 for M-P in its 3A District 1 tournament win over Meadowdale. Meadowdale, 11-11, kept it surprisingly close against M-P, 17-4, each quarter in the defensive battle.
For M-P, Josiah Gould tallied 9, Kobe Baumann 6 and Aaron Kalab 4.
Justin Chambers led the Mavericks with 23.
Arlington, playing without leading scorer Anthony Whitis, fell behind early against Ferndale. The visiting Golden Eagles could not miss from the outside after driving inside and passing it back out. Ayodele Aribibola stole the ball and laid it in and later scored off the fastbreak. After Jaren Carey, Josh Guttierez and Max Smith all scored inside the score was tied at 14-14.
Griffen Gardoski and Aribibola hit 3’s in the second quarter, and Guttierez scored on another fastbreak as the Eagles came back to within 34-31 at the break. The visitors increased the lead to 52-46 after three. But Arlington broke it open with a 23-7 run in the last quarter to win by 10.
Aribibola and Gutierrez each scored 16 points followed by Gardoski with 15 and Carey with 12. Caden Smith contributed 5, Campbell Hudson 2 and Smith 2.
Visiting Lynden just could not miss in its runaway game over Lakewood. The Cougars never got going from the outside as the Lions extended their defense, challenging Lakewood to drive. The Cougars obliged, but then had trouble hitting inside against their taller opponent. Trailing 29-21 at halftime, the third quarter just got ugly, with the home team being called for two technical fouls. The Cougars only scored 2 points that entire quarter, and that was with 41 seconds left and Lakewood trailing 51-23. The Cougars were so rattled they weren’t even making their free throws.
A slam dunk by Lynden’s 6-foot-8 center Trey Labounty to start the fourth quarter only added insult to injury.
Lakewood actually beat the Lions 58-52 just a few weeks ago at home. Lakewood plays Mountlake Terrace at Skagit Valley College Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in a loser out game.
At Stanwood, the Spartans scored 22 first-quarter points and dismantled Arlington with a stifling defensive performance
The Spartans led 32-13 at halftime and 50-19 after three quarters. Stanwood held the Eagles to their third-lowest point total of the season.
Arlington freshman Hailey Hiatt scored all of her team-high 12 points in the fourth quarter. Mellick added 10 points for the Eagles, who will face Meadowdale in an elimination game Tuesday at 7:45 p.m. at Mountlake Terrace.