Sports

Lady Eagles soar to 4A Championships

Arlington High School senior Lyndsay Leatherman, left, and sophomore Jayla Russ double-team a Todd Beamer player. - Casey Olson, Federal Way Mirror
Arlington High School senior Lyndsay Leatherman, left, and sophomore Jayla Russ double-team a Todd Beamer player.
— image credit: Casey Olson, Federal Way Mirror

ARLINGTON — The Arlington High School girls basketball team punched its ticket to the Tacoma Dome on Saturday, March 1, by topping Todd Beamer, 35-33, in its 4A Regional game.

The Eagles beat Todd Beamer in overtime, with sophomore forward Jayla Russ scoring a game-winning goal.

The Arlington Eagles will make a consecutive appearance in Tacoma for the quarterfinals, facing Moses Lake on Thursday, March 6.

"We feel great," Arlington head coach Joe Marsh said. "We get to go back to the Tacoma Dome."

As the score suggested, Arlington executed its signature defense well, but not so much its offense.

"We played great defense and got rebounds," Marsh said. "We didn't score a lot, but we did enough to win."

It turned out to be the Eagles' lowest-scoring game all season.

"The ball just wasn't going into the basket," Marsh said.

Todd Beamer entered as the taller team with the superior record.

"They were big and athletic," Marsh said. "That's why we had to rebound good."

Todd Beamer entered Regionals undefeated in the regular season, with only two losses in the playoffs, compared to the Eagles' overall record of 20 and 4.

But the Eagles' defense, and relatively cool offensive scoring, brought the No. 1 4A SPSL South team's season to a halt.

Arlington senior center Lyndsay Leatherman was a key player on both offense and defense. Leatherman held her own against Todd Beamer's taller center, and took her out of the game in the second half.

"She scored 8 points, and had about 12 rebounds," Marsh said. "She did great defense on their 6-foot-3 player."

Marsh said sophomore Emma Janousek had a tremendous game on defense.

"Emma did a great job," he said. "She is the leader of the defense, and she did a great job."

Janousek contributed 6 points for Arlington.

Russ was Arlington's highest scorer, hitting for 15 points. Russ hit one 3-pointer in the game.

Marsh said his team relied not so much on individual talent, but on teamwork and cohesion.

"We don't have superstars," he said. "It's the way our team works together."

In the first quarter, Arlington was able to lead Todd Beamer 12-10. Todd Beamer fought back in the second quarter, however, in which they led Arlington 17-16.

The intensity really picked up after halftime.

In the third quarter, the teams traded goals, but Arlington got back on top by one point. It was 23-22 at the end of the third quarter.

The game was tied at the end of the fourth quarter 33-33.

In the final four minutes of overtime, it was Russ who scored the only points in that timeframe.

Now going to State, Marsh said his team will focus on performing their best in the upcoming games.

"We will start preparing for whatever team we'll face," he said.

Arlington will battle Moses Lake, which is ranked No. 1 in the Big 9 Athletics, on March 6 at the Tacoma Dome, starting at 12:15 p.m.

Stay updated on Arlington's progress in the 4A State Championships at www.arlingtontimes.com.

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