The Arlington Eagles, undefeated in Wesco League play, not only brought their perfect league record to Lynnwood High School on Tuesday but also packed a little science lesson as well.
With a smothering defense that Royals’ assistant Coach Jamal Weems compared to an ever-moving and expanding single-cell organism, the Eagles schooled the Royals 56-48 to improve their league mark to 6-0.
Lynnwood struggled to get past the tutorial of the Arlington pressing defense, committing 24 turnovers and getting off few uncontested shots in the contest.
“(Arlington) went with the pressure,” said Weems, who was pushed into the head coaching role on Tuesday due to the absence of Lynnwood Coach Brandon Newby. “They have kind of an amoeba press where you really don’t know where the trap’s coming from everytime. And that can give you some problems throughout the game.”
The Arlington press trapped Royals’ all over the court, forcing passes that were often intercepted or off-target.
“They sent two girls at the ball a lot, no matter who it was with the ball,” Weems continued. “Nakia (Boston), Amayah (Kirkman), Mia (Jones), whoever it was, they liked to send two girls at you. They make it hard; you’ve got to be ready to keep up with that pressure for a whole four quarters and not let the wheels fall off.”
Lynnwood led after the first quarter 9-7 on the strength of its defensive effort, forcing Arlington into five turnovers during the Eagles’ seven possessions. And the Royals were down by just two points, 28-26, before Arlington ended the third quarter on a 13-2 run.
Lynnwood tried to close out the game on a positive note, cutting the Arlington lead to 48-42 with 2:22 to go; but that was as close as the Royals would get as the Eagles held on to get the win.
Weems was pleased with the defensive effort his squad showed on Tuesday. “I thought we played on the defensive end really, really well,” he said. “I thought we played with a lot of energy, we talked and really made it hard on their girls with ball pressure.”
“The performance was good; we’re not too disappointed with our performance,” Weems concluded. “Obviously the result wasn’t what we wanted, but the performance was good and we’re going to just keep building off of that.”
For Arlington Coach Joe Marsh, Tuesday’s victory was an A-plus. “It’s my first win here (at Lynnwood High School), so I’m really happy to get this one,” he said. “This has been a tough place for us to get a ‘W’.”
Three Eagles scored in double-figures, two off the bench as junior Allison DeBerry led the squad with 12 points and freshman Keira Marsh tallied 10 points. Starter Josie Stupey added 11 points in the Arlington victory.
Boston scored 20 points to lead the Royals; Kirkman, who was battling the effects of an inner-ear infection, scored 10 points in the loss.
Coach Newby, who had missed the game due to a family medical emergency, is expected to return for Lynnwood’s next game on Friday, Jan. 11, at Snohomish; tipoff is slated for 7:15 p.m.
In other prep action on Tuesday, the Meadowdale Lady Mavericks rolled over the Oak Harbor Wildcats 47-25 at Oak Harbor High School. The Lady Mavs, winners of five straight games, go for their sixth in a row on Thursday when they host the Marysville-Pilchuck Tomahawks; tipoff is set for 7:15 p.m.
Prep Girls Basketball: Arlington at Lynnwood, Jan. 8
Arlington 7 16 18 15 — 56
Lynnwood 9 9 10 19 — 48
Lynnwood individual scoring: Nakia Boston 20, Amayah Kirkman 10, Emily Whybark 6, Katelyn Kesinger 5, Marika Canda 3, Mia Jones 2, Madison Steele 2, Taylor Staheli, Jayden Angell, Hailey Johnson
Arlington individual scoring: Allison DeBerry 12, Josie Stupey 11, Keira Marsh 10, Hailey Hiatt 6, Sierra Scheppele 6, Jordan Bartlow 4, Abby Schwark 3, Abbey Hassing 2, Jackie Stupey, Mollie Janousek
Records: Lynnwood 3-3 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 6-6 overall; Arlington 6-0 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 8-3 overall
Lynnwood next game: versus Snohomish; Friday, Jan. 11; 7:15 p.m. at Lynnwood High School
Prep Girls Basketball: Meadowdale at Oak Harbor, Jan. 8
Meadowdale 47 – Oak Harbor 25
Records: Meadowdale 2-3 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 7-4 overall; Oak Harbor 0-6 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 3-9 overall
Meadowdale next game: versus Marysville-Pilchuck; Thursday, Jan. 10; 7:15 p.m. at Meadowdale High School
— By Doug Petrowski