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Eagles get timely, momentous win over Snohomish
SNOHOMISH — “Brown told me to get the ball, and they fouled me,” said Arlington guard Cole Carpenter.
The Arlington senior made it sound like the call was downright practical, when the moment had to be tense and emotional and anything but practical. With the inside track to the fourth and final guaranteed district seed out of Wesco North on the line Feb. 9 against Snohomish — a team no Arlington squad beaten in any of these players’ lifetimes — the Eagles watched what had been a 20-point lead dwindle down to two midway through the fourth quarter.
“We’re not used to playing with the lead,” Carpenter added.
Arlington shot hot in the first half, missing only one or two attempts in the first quarter. They played an up-tempo game and aggressively defended the ball, coming up with 10 team steals — led by senior Will Heath’s five — and took advantage of Snohomish turnovers en route to an 18-7 lead by the end of the first quarter, when Carpenter tipped a long Snohomish throw in and drove it down for the basket.
Midway through the second quarter, the momentum shifted. With senior Lucas Larson’s three-pointer to put Arlington up 29-9, the Panthers went to work, putting on seven unanswered points before the halftime break. They continued chipping away as Snohomish seniors Brian Wolfe and Reed Pecha put up three treys in a row in the third quarter. With another trey at the start of the fourth quarter, the lead was trimmed to 38-34.
Then Snohomish senior Brendan Mason hit the second of his two free throws, pulling within 43-41. Arlington called the timeout.
“I told them, ‘It’s 2-0, you’re ahead,’” said Arlington coach Nick Brown. “‘We’ve played not very well and we’re ahead.’”
Carpenter did get the ball, scoring two on a one-and-one to go up 45-41. With a steal on the next possession, he was fouled again, extracting two more points at the free throw line, to give him a total of 13 for the night. Larson, who led the team with 15 points, was fouled after getting a steal of his own, adding another point for a 48-41 lead.
Wolfe’s trey with eight seconds left wouldn’t keep Arlington from ending a sweep that had stretched over two decades as the Eagles won 51-45.
“It was just a great game,” an exhilarated Carpenter said.