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Arlington overwhelms Shorecrest
ARLINGTON At halftime of the Dec. 5 girls basketball game between the Arlington Eagles and the Shorecrest Highlanders it appeared the Eagles would be in for a long night. They trailed 22-28 after managing only three points in the second quarter. Shorecrests pressure defense and full-court trapping made it difficult for Arlington to find good scoring opportunities in the first half.
In the second half an entirely different story unfolded. The Eagles made adjustments and did an excellent job defensively. In addition to forcing the Highlanders into tough shots, Arlington managed to do a better job controlling the boards. The Eagles got a big contribution from their bench to help retake the lead by the end of the third quarter. Arlington extended the advantage further in the fourth quarter and won comfortably 50-41.
Right from the opening tip Arlington attacked offensively. Quinn Kesselring found an open Kyra Prause along the baseline for a three-pointer on the Eagles first possession. Kesselring produced a runner of her own from the right side of the painted area minutes later. She knocked down a jumper from the right wing to make the score 11-5 in favor of the Eagles early on.
Christina White checked into the game and made an immediate impact. She grabbed a defensive rebound and tossed a long outlet pass to Kayla Cornist. Cornist in turn found Alisha Murrin ahead of the pack for two points.
Cornist and Murrin would combine for another impressive play moments later on the defensive end. As a Shorecrest forward attempted a lay up under the basket Murrin swatted the ball back down. The Highlanders recovered the loose ball and went up for a second attempt. This time the shot was blocked by a leaping Cornist, rotating over from the weakside. After one quarter the Eagles led 19-15 on the strength of their long-distance shooting.
The second quarter proved to be all Highlanders. Arlington struggled to put the ball in the hoop and a determined Shorecrest bunch stormed back to take the lead. The Eagles were hurt by foul trouble to starting post Kjirsten Jensen, which softened up the middle and allowed Shorecrest more easy buckets. If not for several athletic scoring plays by Prause the halftime deficit might have been much worse than six.
Arlington needed a major shake-up and they got it. Coach Nathan Davis lit into his team at halftime for their performance in the first 16 minutes. He changed his tactics regarding the defense and went to a full court trap. The trap paid immediate dividends as Arlington came storming out of the gate on a 10-2 run to start the third quarter. Shreryl Scheppele drilled a three pointer from the left corner to put Arlington back on top 30-28. The Eagles continued to build on that momentum through the third quarter. The Eagles retook control of the game, leading 35-34 with all the momentum in their favor at the end of the quarter.
They got a further boost in the fourth quarter when Cornist finished off three plays near the basket to push the advantage to 41-36.
With 3:30 remaining Prause took a rebound and went coast-to-coast, weaving through the Highlander defense. She laid the ball in for a seven point Arlington lead. Kesselring then blocked a Shorecrest shot on the wing, and Arlington came away with the ball. A rebound and assist from Prause to Scheppele sealed the game for the Eagles.
I think we worked really hard in the second half on defense, said Prause following the game. Coach got on us at halftime that we really needed to do better on the defensive end.
Coach Davis was pleased with the result and saw hard work pay off in the second half.
I thought both teams started off really hot, everybody scored a lot of points in the first quarter, said Davis. We made some halftime corrections and the girls stepped up and did a nice job finishing the game off. We had five girls going to the boards in the second half. Were not tall so we have to have that kind of effort.