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Arlington uses veteran tricks to claim WIAA 3A regional girls basketball victory, 3 takeaways

Fifth-seeded Eagles ride Samara Morrow's 24 points to 48-45 road win over No. 4 seed Auburn

AUBURN, Wash. - There isn't much the Arlington Eagles haven't seen over their lengthy run as 3A Wesco girls basketball champions.

And they still know a trick or two to throw a monkey wrench into the plans of an on-the-rise future state contender.

Senior Samara Morrow scored a game-high 24 points - 17 coming in the second half - and the fifth-seeded Eagles eked out a 48-45 victory over No. 4 seed and host Auburn on Friday night.

Arlington broke out to an 11-0 lead in the game's six minutes, held a double-digit lead much of the night - only to see an Avery Hansen-led charge in the final minute make things very interesting.

Hansen tallied a team-high 17 points, including 13 points in the fourth quarter.

It was the third consecutive season the Eagles earned a state-tournament bye into the state quarterfinals.

Here are three takeaways from the Auburn-Arlington girls game:



For as many non-seniors that played in the game Friday, Arlington point guard Samara Morrow came through like the battle-tested veteran she is.

She essentially carried the Eagles in he second half.

And when she wasn't twisting through tight spaces for tough buckets, she was was finding teammates for scores as two and sometimes three defenders ran toward her.

"I just realized I have to push through for my team," Morrow said. "If nobody else is going tp step up, I have to be the one to step up."

Added Arlington girls coach Joe Marsh: "We want the ball in her hands."



Marsh and the Eagles threw a lot of different looks at the Trojans' young group - and it worked, especially in the first 31/2 quarters.

The Trojans settled for quick perimeter shots, turned he ball over 22 times - and scored just 11 first-half points.

"We settled for the first open looks, which wasn’t always a great look," Auburn girls coach Jessica Hansen said. "That is the first team that pressured us ... and they did a good job of setting the tone."


Arlington registered a bevy of regular-season wins over state-bound teams - Lake Stevens (4A), Kamiak (4A), Lake Washington (3A), Seattle Prep (3A), and King's (1A) in non-league wins, and 3A/2A Wesco victories over Snohomish, Everett, Monroe and Archbishop Murphy.

Needless to say, when the Eagles found out they were given the No. 5 seed after their last-second loss to Snohomish in the district title game, they weren't all that thrilled.

"It adds to our chip," Marsh said. "Our bady of work speaks for itself. Our strength of schedule was as good as anybody in the state.

"This probably should have been a home game for us … but the basketball gods determine those things, and that is what happens."