Going up against the no.1-seed Arlington Eagles, the Lynnwood Royals knew they would need to play a near-perfect game in their District 1 playoff game on Tuesday night. And for the first five minutes of the contest, the Royals looked as though perfection may be within their reach.
Then the Eagles showed why they are among the top teams in the state this season.
Arlington went on scoring runs of 9-0 and 9-2 in the first half, then pulled away in the second to beat the Royals 61-42 in a District 1 3A girls basketball tournament semifinal game played at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.
With the defeat, Lynnwood loses out on a chance to win the district title but still has plenty to play for. The no.4-seed Royals will face the no.3-seeded Everett Seagulls on Thursday, Feb. 16, with the winner of that contest earning a spot in the regional round of the 3A girls state tournament. The Royals-Seagulls winner-to-state game will tip-off at Everett Community College at 5 p.m.
Tuesday’s loss to Arlington came after Lynnwood jumped out to a 15-9 lead in the first five minutes, due primarily to the hot shooting of Kayla Lorenz. The Royals’ junior scored 13 points in those opening minutes, nine of which came off of a trio of converted shots from beyond the three-point arc.
But a nine-point Eagles run to close out the first quarter put Arlington up 18-15 after the first eight minutes. Then the Eagles closed out the second quarter on a similar run, this time 9-2, to take a 30-23 lead into the halftime locker room.
Up against a more aggressive Eagles team, Lynnwood couldn’t mount any type of second-half comeback and eventually succumbed to the no.3-ranked team in the AP Washington state 3A girls basketball poll.
“I think our energy sort of fell away,” said Royals Coach Eddie Mcferrin after the game. “We had that great start then they started to poke at us a little bit. I think we got a little flustered.”
“I’ve been preaching about panicking down the stretch against good teams like this — that we can’t make mistakes,” he continued. “And even if we make mistakes we have to minimize them. And tonight we didn’t do that.”
In addition to grabbing more rebounds and committing fewer turnovers than Lynnwood, Arlington enjoyed a big advantage from the free throw line in Tuesday’s matchup, going 10-for-16 from the charity stripe. The Royals went the entire game without an attempt from the line.
Senior guard Jenna Villa, who has committed to playing in Pullman for the Washington State Cougars next year, scored a game-high 28 points for Arlington on Tuesday. Teammate Samantha Morrow contributed 16 points for the Eagles.
After netting 13 in the first quarter, Lorenz finished the contest with 24 points for the Royals.
Despite the loss, Mcferrin was upbeat after the game and looking forward to seeing his squad play for a spot in the 3A state tournament.
“I thought we did some good things and on Thursday we’ll be able to adjust some things and hopefully win that game and go to state,” he said.
To view the entire District 1 3A girls basketball tournament bracket, click www.wescoathletics.com/m2/tourn.php?act=vt&tid=3866.
Prep Girls Basketball: Lynnwood vs. Arlington, Feb. 14 (District 1 3A girls basketball tournament semifinal game)
Lynnwood 15 8 8 11 – 42
Arlington 18 12 16 15 – 61
Lynnwood individual scoring: Kayla Lorenz 24, Mataya Canda 6, Aniya Hooker 5, Nyree Johnson 4, Teyan Clark 3, Eve Pereira, McKenzie Ruse-Martin, Dina Yonas
Arlington individual scoring: Jenna Villa 28, Samara Morrow 16, Maddy Fischer 5, Katie Snow 5, Rachel Snow 4, Kierra Reese 2, Addison Green 1, unknown 2, Jersey Walker, Khari Deberry, Kalli Rumsey, Taelor Kron
Records: Lynnwood 15-6 overall, 1-1 in District 1 3A tournament; Arlington 19-2 overall, 2-0 in District 1 3A tournament
Lynnwood next game: versus Everett; Thursday, Feb. 16; 5:00 p.m. at Everett Community College (District 1 3A girls basketball tournament winner-to-state)
— Story and photos by Doug Petrowski
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