PUYALLUP — The Arlington girls basketball team topped Todd Beamer on Friday, Feb. 22, to qualify them for the state quarterfinal game against Gonzaga Prep on Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Tacoma Dome.
“I think this is fantastic,” said head coach Joe Marsh. “This has been a great year and that win was fantastic. We’ve been a little bit delirious with excitement.”
The Lady Eagles have not advanced to the state quarterfinals since 2001, and haven’t won a state championship since 1982.
“I think we are focusing on having a really good week of practice, like we did last week, and being ready to play our best basketball,” said Marsh. “We feel like if we play well, we can play anybody. These are all good teams.”
The team beat Todd Beamer High School on Friday, Feb. 22, with a 50-42 final score. Arlington led from the start, scoring 13 points in the first quarter to the Titans’ nine points. They held onto the lead, going into halftime with a score of 24-15. The Titans kept pace with the Eagles in the third quarter and actually scored more points than Arlington in the fourth quarter, but thanks to their previous lead and strong defense, the game ended with Arlington ahead.
“Our defense was great again,” said Marsh. “We rebounded really well. We were relentless with the rebounds. We executed offensively really well.”
Freshman post Jayla Russ scored 15 points, Winter Brown scored 10 points, Taylor Graham scored eight points, Lindsay Brown and Krista Showalter scored six points each, Lyndsay Leatherman scored four points and Emma Janousek scored one point.
“Krista Showalter, our point guard, had a great game,” said Marsh. “She handled their pressure really well. They were a physical team and she was able to handle it. So was Winter Brown. She did a great job. Jayla Russ is a ninth grader who was starting in place of Ronnie [Ladines] and she scored 15 points, just awesome.”
Getting to the state championships has been a goal for the Eagles all year, especially considering that the team has six seniors who are giving it all they’ve got.
“We’re really excited about this. It’s been one of our goals since the beginning of the year, and now we are thinking ‘Let’s go win a state championship,’” said Marsh. “I think it’s great for the Arlington community that both the boys and girls teams are going to state. We want to play with the best and show everybody how good we are. We’re not done yet.”
Arlington faces Gonzaga Prep at the Tacoma Dome at 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28.