ARLINGTON — The Arlington girls basketball team defeated Lake Stevens, 54-40, on Jan. 31.
It was senior night at Arlington High School, and its students said farewell to senior Lyndsay Leatherman. "It's sad, but I don't think we're done here," Leatherman said. "If we win districts, we'll be here again."
The Eagles' lone senior scored 12 points and was a key defensive player.
"We wanted to come out and have a great game for Lyndsay tonight," Arlington head coach Joe Marsh said. "She's done a great job for us all year."
The 6-foot-1 center imposed her height advantage to pull down rebounds, complimenting the aggressive Eagle defense that was present all season.
"She's big and strong," Marsh said. "Everyone is keyed on her."
Sophomore forward Jayla Russ was Arlington's highest scorer, hitting for 20 points along, with causing steals on defense.
"All these young kids have stepped up, and they're doing a great job," Marsh said.
Another defensive player was five-foot sophomore guard Serafina Balderas who was quick with the steals and absorbed charging fouls from much larger players. Balderas was able to score five points as well.
"I'm really proud of my teammates," Leatherman said. "They did a really great job."
The first quarter began slowly with no scoring from either team. Lake Stevens scored first, but a run from Arlington had Lake Stevens trailing 6-2. The Eagles' ever-present defense held Lake Stevens to score only three more points in the first quarter.
"Coming out I didn't start very well," Leatherman said. "I ended up coming back and playing okay." Arlington led at the end of the first quarter 11-5.
Defense carried the game again for the Eagles in the second quarter. Balderas took off with a huge mid-court steal, converting it for two.
On offense, Arlington scored 13 points in the second quarter to Lake Stevens' 12. Arlington led Lake Stevens 24-17 at halftime.
The game became competitive again in the third quarter when Arlington only scored 11 points to Lake Stevens' 13. Lake Stevens' offense turned on in the end of the third quarter.
"They made a run," Marsh said. "All teams are going to make runs sometimes." Lake Stevens was only behind 35-30 entering the fourth quarter.
The Eagles quelled any hope of a Lake Stevens' comeback by making the fourth quarter their highest scoring. "For us, it's all about defense," Marsh said. "We calmed down on offense and stretched it back out."
The Eagles extended their lead over Lake Stevens, 39-30, before the Vikings answered back. Arlington sealed their 54-40 win at the end of the game.
If there was anything the Eagles could improve upon, it was at the free-throw line. "Free throw shooting has been an issue us. We got to make sure we knock those down," Marsh said. "Other than that, I thought we played pretty well tonight."
With their last two regular season games against Snohomish on Feb. 3 and Mount Vernon on Feb. 5, Marsh's goal is to take the league title. "Hopefully we get the No. 1 seed in the playoffs," Marsh said.
As of Feb. 3, the Eagles are No. 1 in Wesco 4A North with a conference record of 9-3 and 15-3 overall.